Cavaliers Continue Quest For Second Consecutive National Championship
May 18, 2000
2000 NCAA Tournament-Quarterfinals
Hosted by Johns Hopkins University
#2 Virginia (12-1) vs. #8 Duke (11-4)
May 21, 2000
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia continues its quest to capture a second consecutive nationalchampionship Sunday against ACC-rival Duke in the quarterfinals of the 2000NCAA Championship. The Cavaliers come into Sunday’s game with a 12-1 overallrecord and have won their last 12 games. Duke downed Hobart 13-1 in thefirst round last weekend to improve to 11-4 this season.
The Cavaliers defeated Duke 12-7 at home earlier this season and have wonthe last two games in the series.
The winner of Sunday’s game advances to the national semifinals next weekendat Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
The Series vs. the Blue Devils
Virginia leads the all-time series with Duke by a 43-13 margin. TheCavaliers have defeated Duke more than other other team in school history.Overall Virginia has won the last two meetings, including a 12-7 winearlier this season, and seven of the last eight meetings dating back to1996.
Even though the rivalry with Duke dates back to 1938, this is the firstNCAA Tournament meeting between the two schools. This is curious becauseVirginia has played the other ACC schools several times in past NCAATournaments-North Carolina four times and Maryland three.
This is just the third series meeting on a neutral site, both teams havewon one game during the ACC Tournament at Chapel Hill, N.C. The Cavaliersdowned the Blue Devils 8-7 in last season’s championship game.
The recent history of the series suggests a close contest. The four gamesprior to UVa’s five-goal victory earlier this season were all decided byone or two goals. The teams met twice last season and both were decided bya lone goal. In fact, Virginia’s victory last month is the biggest victoryby either team in the series since a 12-6 UVa win in 1997.
Since 1972, Virginia has been the higher ranked team 19 times with theCavaliers winning 15 contests. Conversely, Duke has been the higher rankedthree times (all since 1998), but Virginia has managed to win twice.
Cavaliers Down Duke in Season’s First Meeting
Virginia dominated the second quarter against Duke and hung on to beat theBlue Devils 12-7 at home earlier this season.
Tied at 2-all with just under seven minutes to play before the half,Virginia scored five straight goals to go into halftime ahead 7-2.Attackman Conor Gill, who scored two goals and assisted on three others forthe game, scored once and assisted Aaron Vercollone and A.J. Shannon in therun. Two of the goals came in extra-man situations as UVa scored on four ofsix extra-man opportunites in the game.
Duke tallied three straight goals in the third quarter to cut the deficitto 7-5, but Ian Shure stopped the Duke momentum by notching his lone goalof the contest. Shure came off a screen in front and cleanly put DavidJenkins’ pass into the back of the net. Hanley Holcomb scored his secondgoal of the game with 16 seconds remaining in the period to push UVa’s leadto 9-5 and keep the Blue Devils at bay.
Jay Jalbert, Holcomb, and Shannon each scored two goals for Virginia, andJalbert added two assists. T.J. Durnan led Duke with four goals. GregPatchak had a goal and two assists.
McKnight, Starsia Named ACC’s Best
The Virginia Beach, Va., native is among the national and ACC leaders inscoring (52 points, 4.00 per game), goals (28, 2.15 per game) and assists(24, 1.85 per game).
McKnight took just eight games to accumulate 20 goals and 20 assists whichis as fast as any Cavalier has reached these figures in the last 36 years.His selection marks the second year in a row a Cavalier has been selectedthe player of the year. Tucker Radebaugh, an assistant coach at UVa thisseason, won the award last season.
Starsia was named the conference’s top coach for the second year in a rowas he led the Cavaliers to the ACC title again this season. He has guidedthe Cavaliers to a school-record 12 consecutive victories and a 12-1overall record this spring.
Starsia also won the league’s coaching award in 1995 and 1997.Under Starsia’s tutelage, Virginia has produced 41 All-Americans, 28All-ACC selections, four ACC Rookies of the Year and three ACC Players ofthe Year. He has a 91-28 record in eight seasons at UVa and has led theCavaliers into the NCAA playoffs every year.
Virginia in the NCAAs
This is Virginia’s 24 appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Only Johns Hopkinshas been to the tournament (28 times) more than the Cavaliers. Maryland isalso playing in its 24th tournament.
The Cavaliers have a 25-21 all-time playoff record and are fourth intournament wins.
Wahoos Down Butler 20-7 in Last Game 19 Days Ago
Virginia scored six goals in the final five minutes of the first half tobreak open a tight contest and roll to a 20-7 victory over Butler atKlockner Stadium 19 days ago in its most recent game. The win was theCavaliers’ 12th in a row and set the school record for consecutivevictories over collegiate opponents. Virginia also won 12 consecutivecontests over college teams in 1970-71.
David Bruce and Ian Shure led all scorers with three goals apiece to pacethe Cavalier attack. Overall 12 different Cavaliers scored in the game.Conor Gill tied his career high with five assists, while chipping in withtwo goals. He has had 13 assists in the last three games.
The first quarter was played at a very deliberate pace as Butler attemptedto slow the Cavalier attack. UVa scored twice in the opening five minutes,but then didn’t score again for the next six minutes. The period ended withUVa holding a 4-1 lead.
Butler’s Matt See scored his only goal of the day one minute into thesecond quarter to draw Butler to within two goals at 4-2. But the Cavaliersanswered that goal with eight consecutive tallies, including six in theclosing five minutes of the half. Bruce and Drew McKnight both scored twicein the run as six different Cavaliers found the back of the net in buildinga 12-2 halftime lead.
The third quarter was much the same as Virginia extended its lead to 17-4at the end of the period. Virginia substituted liberally in the fourthquarter as everybody who was in uniform played. Three goalies saw action inthe net for Virginia in the fourth quarter and gave up three goals toButler.
UVa Has Nation’s Longest Winning Streak, Could Set Record Today
The Cavaliers bring a 12-game winning streak into today’s game and have anopportunity to set a school record for the longest winning streak in schoolhistory. The current winning streak, the nation’s longest, is tied for thelongest winning streak over collegiate opponents in school history when theCavaliers of 1970-71 also won 12 consecutive games against college foes.Overall Virginia has won 19 of its last 20 games dating back to lastseason’s ACC Tournament to mark the best 20-game stretch in school history.
Virginia Looks to Extend School Record
This is Virginia’s eighth game away from Charlottesville this season. Overthe last two years the Cavaliers have established themselves as a very goodteam when playing on the road.
Going back to last season, Virginia has won 13 consecutive games at road orneutral sites (seven road games, six neutral site games) and could tie anACC record for most consecutive wins away from home with a win today. NorthCarolina won 14 straight games away from Chapel Hill from 1981-83.UVa’s 13-game winning streak in games away from Charlottesville is thelongest such streak in school history. The previous record of nine winsaway from home was held by the 1994 squad.
The last time Virginia lost away from Charlottesville was a 10-9 overtimeloss to Duke on April 18, 1999.
Graduation Set for Today
One of the highlights of most college students is graduation day. At theUniversity of Virginia the day is made even more special by the opportunityto walk down the historic “Lawn,” the focal point of the Grounds asdesigned by Thomas Jefferson, and have degrees conferred upon the graduates.Several members of the UVa lacrosse team will be unable to attend today’sgraduation ceremonies because of the NCAA quarterfinal match-up againstDuke.
Missing graduation ceremonies has become commonplace for the Cavaliersrecently. Several times over the last decade, they have had NCAA Tournamentcommittments which caused them to be unable to be in Charlottesville ongraduation day.
As has been customary in such instances, a special graduation ceremony willbe held for graduating Cavaliers tomorrow.
NCAA Rematch Isn’t Unusual
Today’s game marks UVa’s second meeting of the season against Duke. Youmight think it is unusual to meet a team in the regular season and thenplay them again in the NCAA Tournament.
However, in Virginia’s case it isn’t unusual at all. In fact, it’s happenedmore often than not.
The Cavaliers have played 46 tournament games since 1971 and 25 have beenrematches of regular season meetings.
Rematches in the NCAA Tournament haven’t necessarily been a good thing tothe Cavaliers. They are 8-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament games that havebeen rematches of regular season games.
Virginia won the season’s first game against Duke, but will hope to be ableto avoid its historical trend. The Cavaliers are 3-8 in the NCAA Tournamentin games against teams they beat in the regular season. They have also losttheir last two NCAA Tournament games to teams they beat in the regularseason (’96 Princeton, ’97 Maryland).
Revenge must be a motivating factor because Virginia is much betterpercentage-wise after losing the regular season meeting. The Cavaliers are5-9 in rematches and avenged regular season losses to Johns Hopkins andSyracuse en route to the NCAA title last season.
Cavaliers Claim 14th ACC Title
The Cavaliers won the ACC Tournament this season to claim their secondconsecutive ACC championship and the 14th overall. This season’s titlemarks the first time since 1983-85 (when the champion was determinedthrough regular season play) that they have won back-to-back championships.Virginia’s title this season makes the Cavaliers the first team since NorthCarolina in the early ’90s to win consecutive ACC championships. The TarHeels won the first six ACC Tournaments from 1989-94, but the champion hadalternated between the four ACC schools every year until this season.
Five Cavaliers Named All-ACC
Five Cavaliers were named to the 2000 All-ACC squad, the largest contingentof Wahoos since 1997, in voting by the league’s head coaches. Two Cavaliersare repeaters from last season-Ryan Curtis and Jay Jalbert-while ConorGill, Mark Koontz and Drew McKnight were selected for the first time.Gill and McKnight give UVa two All-ACC attackmen for the first time since1997, when Doug Knight and Michael Watson were selected.
Jalbert’s selection marks UVa’s first two-timer in the midfield since AndyKraus in 1988-89.
Known for their offensive prowess, it’s not unusual to see several Cavalierattackmen or midfielders selected. But this season the ACC coaches haveproperly rewarded the UVa defense for its outstanding play in 2000 with theselection of Curtis and Koontz. This marks the first time since 1991(George Glyphis and Mike Schattner) that two Cavalier defensemen were namedAll-ACC. Curtis joins Tommy Smith (1996-97) as the only two-time All-ACCdefensemen under Dom Starsia, while Koontz is UVa’s first sophomoredefenseman named to the all-league team since Scott Lind in 1984.
Gill and Koontz are the only sophomores named to this season’s All-ACC team.
Gill Takes Over Team’s Scoring Lead
Sophomore attackman Conor Gill has been on a scoring tear lately, scoring29 points (10g, 19a) in the last five games, and has wrestled the teamscoring lead from ACC Player of the Year Drew McKnight, who had led theteam most of the season.
In just the last two games, Gill has had a hand in almost half ofVirginia’s scores. He recorded a career-high eight points (4g, 4a) twogames ago against Ohio State in UVa’s 13-7 win. Three days later he scoredtwo goals and tied his career high with five assists in a 20-7 win overButler.
He has scored 24 goals and added 35 assists for 59 total points and haseclipsed his numbers from last season in three fewer games.
With 111 career points (46g, 65a) as a sophomore, Gill has reached thecentury mark in scoring faster than any UVa player since Kevin Pehlke in1990-91. Pehlke recorded 125 points through his first two seasons.An amazing example of Gill’s offense prowess shows an uncanny ability toboth score and set up others for scoring opportunities. In 29 career games,he has either scored a goal or recorded an assist in every one. He hasscored at least one goal in every game since the NCAA Tournament win overJohns Hopkins last season (15 straight games).
McKnight Joins Exclusive “90-90” Club
Drew McKnight has been a remarkably consistent scorer throughout hiscareer. Prior to this season he had scored between 19 and 25 goals andassisted on between 20 and 24 more goals.
This season, however, McKnight’s scoring has exploded. He is among thenational and ACC leaders in scoring, averaging 4.00 points per game (52points). He is also among the leaders in goals (2.15 gpg) and assists (1.85apg).
McKnight has scored a career-high 28 goals and added 24 assists for 52total points (also a career best). His next assist will complete thetrifecta by being a career high.
For his career he has scored 94 goals and recorded 90 assists and is onlythe fourth player in school history with at least 90 goals and 90 assists.The members of the “90-90” club are listed (chronologically) below.McKnight’s place on UVa’s goals, assists and points lists is listedelsewhere in this notes packet.
McKnight Becomes 20-20 Man
Senior attack Drew McKnight is the 27th Cavalier since 1964 to score 20goals and record 20 assists in a season. As one of the nation’s leadingattackmen, his offensive ability has never been questioned.
But considering some of the offensive standouts-Tom Duquette, Kris Snider,Roddy Marino, Kevin Pehlke, Tim Whiteley, Doug Knight, Michael Watson,Tucker Radebaugh just to name a few-that have worn the orange and bluethroughout the years, perhaps it is interesting to note that McKnight gotto “20 & 20” as fast as anyone. It took him just eight games to reach 20goals and 20 assists, the same amount of time it took Tom Duquette in 1970,Mike Caravana in 1982, and Doug Knight and Michael Watson in 1997. Since1964, no Cavalier has gotten to “20 & 20” as fast as this group.
Underrated UVa Defense Among Nation’s Best
Virginia is allowing just 7.85 goals per game this season and is rankedfifth in the nation in scoring defense. UVa’s current GAA is its lowestsince a 7.20 mark in 1986.
The Cavaliers have only allowed more than eight goals in a game twice thisseason, most recently a 16-goal outing by North Carolina in the ACCTournament semifinals.
Prior to North Carolina’s 16-goal outburst, Virginia had strung togethereight consecutive games in single digits, the longest such streak since1986.
The defense has also proven adept at limiting the opposition’s shotopportunities throughout the season, allowing just 24.8 shots per game.There have been only four games all season when the opposition has takenmore than 30 shots.
The most shots taken by a UVa opponent this season is the 40 taken by NorthCarolina in a double overtime game in the ACC Tournament.Since that game, Virginia has held its last three opponents to fewer than24 shots.
If the Cavaliers’ current average of shots allowed per game holds up itwould be their lowest mark since at least 1969. In the last 31 years, thefewest shots Virginia has allowed was an average of 26.9 shots per game in1980.
UVa’s man-down defense has also been outstanding. So far this seasonVirginia has relinquished just 14 goals in 59 extra-man opportunities(.237) and ranks 12th nationally in man-down defense. The Cavaliers’man-down defense hasn’t been this good since 1991 when UVa allowedopponents to convert on just 21.2 percent of its advantages.
In the last eight games Virginia’s opponents have scored on just 17.2percent of their extra-man situations (five of 29). In just the last fourgames the Cavaliers have given up just one goal in 10 EMO chances by theopposition.
Hard, Jenkins Share Faceoff Duties
They began alternating face-offs last season and the change in strategyproved to be beneficial to both players.
Jenkins finished second in the nation in winning percentage last season(.643), while Hard was sixth (.628).
This season it’s much the same. Hard is fourth nationally with a 64.1winning percentage while Jenkins is 10th at 62.5 percent. Virginia is theonly team in the country with two players in the top 12.
Overall Virginia is third in the country in face-off winning percentage at63.0 percent.
Virginia has won the face-off battle in all but one game this season (Duke).
Scoring Comes From Unlikely Sources
Head coach Dom Starsia and his coaching staff were no doubt looking tomidfielders Jay Jalbert and Hanley Holcomb to be among the Cavaliers’ bigguns in the offensive zone this season. Jalbert has held true to form,scoring 26 goals to rank second on the team. Holcomb, however, is having atough season with just eight goals.
Much to Starsia’s delight, there have been some pleasant surprises who havepicked up on the offensive end to take over some of the scoring load.Although a proven offensive player, Drew McKnight has almost surelysurpassed what was expected of him. The ACC Player of the Year has foundthe back of the net a team-leading 28 times, surpassing his previous careerbest of 25 goals.
Fifth-year midfielder/attackman David Bruce has been a reserve throughouthis career, never scoring more than 11 goals. He moved to the midfield forhis final season and the move has paid off. Using the knowledge gained overthe previous four years, Bruce has tallied 20 goals. It took him just fivegames to surpass his previous career high for goals. Bruce has madeopponents pay in 2000 with good positioning around the crease that hasenabled him to score almost all of his goals from in close.
Ian Shure missed all of last season due to a knee injury and saw limitedaction as a freshman two years ago. But playing at full strength, Shure hascontributed 22 goals so far (on just 56 shots).
A.J. Shannon, a highly regarded freshman from Canada, leads Atlantic CoastConference rookies with 15 goals while running with the first midfield. Hegoals have come in pairs-two against Syracuse, Rutgers, Stony Brook, NorthCarolina (twice), Duke and Maryland.
Faceoff specialist Jason Hard has been more involved on offense this seasonthan in the past and has scored 15 goals. Like Bruce, it took him only fivegames to exceed his previous career high (five in 1997).
Bruce Records Three Hat Tricks vs. Highly Ranked Teams
When David Bruce decided to return for his fifth year this season he wasn’tsure what his role would be for head coach Dom Starsia. He missed all ofthe 1998 campaign due to a knee injury and played on the second attack unitlast season. With Drew McKnight, Conor Gill and Ian Shure penciled into thestarting attack this season, Bruce volunteered to move to the midfielddespite never having played there in college before, to get more time.
Whatever Bruce lacked for playing in the midfield, he makes up for withgood overall knowledge of the game. And he’s put his four years of collegeexperience to good use so far this season.
Finding himself in the right place at the right time, Bruce has capitalizedon virtually all of his scoring chances this season.
In the season opening loss to Syracuse, Bruce scored three times, with allthree scores coming from point-blank range.
Bruce’s scoring parade continued in the win over Princeton as he scoredthree times for the second game in a row. All three goals came in just overa nine-minute span in the middle of the first half and helped erase anearly deficit.
He scored three goals against Johns Hopkins for his third hat trick of theseason.
He is fifth on the team with 20 goals. It took him just five games toexceed his previous career high of 11 goals in 1997.
Hard, Jenkins Are Unsung Heroes
Faceoff specialists Jason Hard and David Jenkins don’t get a lot of theattention that some of their teammates get, but their play was perhaps theprimary reason Virginia won the ACC Tournament last month. They will alsobe important to the Cavaliers’ bid to repeat as national champions thisseason.
In the wins over North Carolina and Maryland in the ACC Tournament, the duocombined to win 41 of 59 faceoffs. They also added five goals, includingtwo by both in the narrow win over North Carolina in the semifinals.
Their faceoff prowess was exceptional down the stretch in the fourthquarter against North Carolina. Trailing 15-11 early in the fourth, theyproceeded to win five of the next six faceoffs to get the possessions theyneeded to whittle away at the lead. The Cavaliers scored the final threegoals of regulation, including two shortly after faceoffs, to forceovertime.
Their performance in the finals against Maryland was just as important asit was against North Carolina two days before. They won 17 of 22 faceoffsvs. the Terps, including all 11 in the second half.
Virginia jumped to an 8-2 lead early in the third quarter before Marylandroared back with five unanswered goals to cut the lead to one.The importance of winning faceoffs paid off for the Cavaliers as theyscored the game’s final three goals to pull out the win.
Hard scored three goals in the tournament and won two-thirds of hisfaceoffs (20 of 30), while Jenkins snatched 26 ground balls (13 each game)and won 72.4 percent (21 of 29) of his draws.
Hard has scored 15 goals (by far a career high), while winning 64.1percent of his faceoffs this season. His winning percentage is also acareer best at the moment.
Hard’s 15 goals are the most by UVa’s primary faceoff man since Gabby Roescored 19 times in 1991.
Jenkins has won 62.5 percent of his draws, while chipping in with five goals.
2000 Squad Could Tie Season Wins Mark
The Cavaliers dropped their season opener to Syracuse back in March, butthey quickly rebounded and have won their last 12 games and have a 12-1record.
Their 12 regular season wins is the most in school history. They can addtheir name to another school record with a win today. The school record forwins in a season is 13 by the 1994 and 1999 squads.
If the Cavaliers win today they would become just the ninth team in ACChistory to win as many as 13 games in a season.
A list of the ACC’s winningest teams is below.
|1.||North Carolina, 1991||16-0|
|2.||North Carolina, 1982||14-0|
|North Carolina, 1993||14-2|
|5.||North Carolina, 1989||13-5|