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April 3, 2001

Charlottesville, Va. –

Virginia Cavaliers (4-3) vs. Radford Highlanders (1-6)

April 3, 2001
4:00 p.m.
Dedmon Center Stadium
Radford, Va.

The Series vs. the Highlanders
Virginia has won all six meetings against Radford, outscoring the Highlanders 127-18 in the process. The series is a relatively new one, beginning in 1985. This is the second year in a row the two teams have met, but the first time Virginia has ever played in Radford.

The Cavaliers have scored at least 20 goals in every game except the first meeting (14-4 UVa win in 1985 and last season’s 15-3 UVa win). Meanwhile Virginia has never allowed Radford to score more than four goals in any game.

The 10-goal margin in 1985 (14-4) is the closest game in the series.

Virginia scored 32 goals in the 1995 meeting, which was a school record at the time (it has since been eclipsed).

The Cavaliers won that game 32-1 and the 31-goal margin is the second-biggest in school history (topped only by a 38-5 win over VMI in 1996).

Virginia vs. In-State Schools
Virginia has dominated in-state foes throughout its lacrosse history, compiling a 91-19-2 (.821) all-time record against state schools. Overall UVa has won its last 54 games against in-state schools dating back to 1977.

The Cavaliers have also won their last 17 road games against state schools since losing to Washington & Lee 13-10 in 1977. Overall Virginia is 34-10-1 (.767) on the home fields of state schools.

Curiously, Washington & Lee is the last state school to win in Charlottesville. The Generals won 15-9 i 1976.

Cavaliers Dominate Top-Ranked Maryland in 7-2 Win
Freshman goaltender Tillman Johnson recorded 16 saves, including several at point-blank range, to help #7 Virginia defeat #1 Maryland 7-2 before 2,580 fans last Saturday at Kl?ckner Stadium. Maryland’s two goals are the fewest the Terrapins have scored since falling to Army 10-1 in 1948.

Virginia’s victory marked the fourth in school history over Maryland when the Terps have been ranked #1 in the country.

The win ended Maryland’s winning streak at seven games and ended the Terps’ one-week reign atop the polls. The win was the third in a row for the Cavaliers, who improved to 4-3 overall.

Senior middie Hanley Holcomb and freshman attack Justin Mullen provided the offense for Virginia, netting two goals apiece. Two of attackman Conor Gill’s four assists came on goals scored by Mullen, including the first goal of the game, which came with 10:00 remaining in the first quarter. Holcomb tallied his first goal minutes later on an unassisted, left-hand crank with 5:08 to play in the first.

Johnson held Maryland scoreless for the first 35:51 of the game, one week after he shut out Johns Hopkins during the last 33:35 of a four-overtime victory.

Maryland finally beat the Cavalier netminder on a goal by attackman Dan LaMonica with 9:09 remaining in the third period to make the score 5-1. The Cavaliers answered seven seconds, however, as midfielder David Jenkins took the faceoff, scooped up a ground ball and fed Ian Shure to wrest momentum away from the Terrapins and give the Cavaliers a 6-1 lead.

The Virginia defense kept Maryland attackman Andrew Combs in check, holding the nation’s leading scorer without a point until he scored with 26 seconds remaining on a deflected shot. Combs, who has netted 31 goals on the season, had scored at least three times in each of Maryland’s seven games.

Sophomore Ned Bowen, making his first start on close defense this season, was responsible for holding Combs in check, allowing him to score just once on six shots.

Junior Mark Koontz and freshman Brett Hughes made life difficult for Maryland feeders Mike Mollot and Dan LaMonica, preventing either from recording an assist in the game. Koontz led the UVa long sticks with seven ground balls, while Hughes gobbled up six.

Johnson Named ACC Player of the Week
Goalie Tillman Johnson has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week for his play in the Cavaliers’ 7-2 win over then #1 Maryland on Saturday. The win was the Cavaliers’ ACC opener and prevented Maryland from claiming the ACC regular-season championship.

Johnson, a freshman from Annapolis, Md., turned in a tremendous performance against the Terrapins. He recorded 16 saves, including several from point-blank range, while giving up just two goals. He held them scoreless for the first 35 minutes of action. By the time Maryland scored its first goal, the Cavaliers had built a 5-0 lead. Maryland’s two goals were the fewest the Terps have scored in a game since 1948.

This marks the second week in a row Johnson has won a player of the week award. Last week he was named the Warrior/Inside Division I National Player of the Week for his play in UVa’s 9-8 quadruple overtime win over Johns Hopkins on March 24.

Defense Shuts Down Opponents in Last Three
Despite starting a freshman in goal, another on close defense, as well as a sophomore and a junior on close defense, the Cavalier defense has been on of the team’s strong points all season.

Virginia is allowing an average of 7.86 goals per game this season. Syracuse’s 13 goals are the most given up by UVa this season, while Maryland’s two goals last Saturday are the fewest an opponent has scored.

In fact, Maryland’s two goals are the fewest Virginia has allowed since a 21-0 shutout of Ohio State in 1999 (a span of 33 games).The two goals are also tied for the third-fewest allowed by a Dom Starsia-coached UVa team.

The defense has been especially stingy during the current three-game winning streak, allowing an average of 5.0 goals per game. The 15 goals given up in the three games is the best three-game performance by UVa since 1999 when the Cavaliers gave up 12 goals in a three-game stretch (6 to both UMass and Rutgers, 0 to Ohio State).

Led by goalie Tillman Johnson, the defense has applied the clamps to the opposition offense since halftime of the Johns Hopkins game 10 days ago. Johnson allowed the Blue Jays to score just one goal in the final 44 minutes of the longest game in school history (4 overtimes).

Johnson shutout Maryland in the first half and didn’t allow his first goal until 9:09 remained in the third quarter (by which time Virginia led 5-0). The goal ended Johnson’s shutout string at 69:26 (final 33:35 vs. Johns Hopkins, first 35:51 to Maryland).

Sophomore Ned Bowen, making his first start on close defense this season, was responsible for holding the nation’s leading goal scorer, Buggs Combs in check, giving up just one goal on six shots. Combs came into the game by scoring at least three goals in each game this season.

Junior Mark Koontz and freshman Brett Hughes made life difficult for Maryland feeders Mike Mollot and Dan LaMonica, preventing either from recording an assist in the game.

Holcomb Scores in Bunches
Senior middie Hanley Holcomb scored 27 goals two years ago and was one of the unsung Cavaliers during their championship season. But last season was a trying one for the lefty from Ridgewood, N.J. Hampered for much of the season with a nagging hamstring injury, his goal output dropped to 10 as he pressed to regain his scoring touch. He scored just once in the first six games (missed two due to injury) and he failed to score more than two goals in any game.

Owner of one of the hardest shots in the game today, Holcomb has worked hard on both ends of the field during the preseason to become a more complete player and put last season behind him. An outstanding fall caught the notice of some of the preseason All-American pickers who named him to their preseason squads.

This season, Holcomb has regained his scoring touch. He notched three goals in the opener vs. Towson and has scored nine goals to rank second on the team.

It is interesting to note that Holcomb seems to score his goals in bunches. After his hat trick vs. Towson, he failed to score in the next three games. He tied his career-high with four goals against Denver and added two vs. Maryland.

The Cavaliers have been almost invincible when Holcomb turns in a multi-goal game. They are 16-1 when he scores at least twice.

Shure Adds Punch to Offense
Junior attackman Ian Shure missed all of the fall practice period due to offseason surgery. His recuperation slowed him early in the preseason as he saw limited action in the scrimmages. He didn’t see his most extended action until the Princeton game when he turned in a two-assist, one-goal performance.Shure made his first start of the season in the loss to Notre Dame and scored a goal and added an assist. He was instrumental in the 15-5 win over Denver four days later with two goals and three assists. The three assists and five total points tie his career high.

Shure is second on the team in assists (seven), and tied for third with eight goals. He joins Chris Rotelli as the only Cavaliers to score at least one goal in every game he’s played in this season.

Versatile Rotelli Leads UVa in Goals
Chris Rotelli has seen action at attack and in the midfield this season in order to give Virginia some scoring punch. The sophomore from Rumford, R.I., has been the lone Cavalier who has not had trouble finding the back of the net so far this season.

He leads the team with 12 goals (taking just four games to top his goal total of last season) and is the only Cavalier to score a goal in every game this season.

Rotelli is also third on the team with five assists and ranks second in total points (17).

Moved to the attack for the first time for the Syracuse game, Rotelli responded with a career-high three goals to lead the Cavalier attack. He turned in his second hat trick vs. Notre Dame sharing the scoring honors with A.J. Shannon.

Rotelli scored just once in the win over Denver, but he assisted on three other goals to help spread the wealth. He scored twice against Johns Hopkins including knocking home the game-tying goal with 2:35 remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Winning the Ground Ball War
One of the goals of the Virginia coaching staff this season has been the desire to snag more ground balls than the opposition. This season the Cavaliers are averaging 47.0 ground balls per game and have claimed more ground balls than their opponents in six of seven games. The only game in which Virginia lost the battle of the ground balls was the Syracuse game (a 13-7 loss).

Virginia scooped up a season-high 55 ground balls on Saturday against Maryland and is averaging 51.3 ground balls per game during the current three-game winning streak. The Cavaliers have won 15 of their last 16 games dating back to last season when snapping up at least 50 ground balls.Face-off specialist David Jenkins leads the team with 51 ground balls, which isn’t unusual since he’s led the team the last two years.

All-American defenseman Mark Koontz is second on the team–and the leader among the long sticks–with 39 ground balls. It’s also not unusual to see Koontz leading the way since he was tops among UVa’s long sticks a year ago. Goalie Tillman Johnson, attack Conor Gill and rookie defenseman Brett Hughes have all snagged 28 ground balls.

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