Virginia Men's Lacrosse Team Hosts Princeton Saturday
March 8, 2002
Charlottesville, Va. –
#6 Virginia (1-1) vs. #4 Princeton (0-1)
March 9, 2002
Ticket information: $5 for adults, $3 for youth and senior citizens. Ticket booths open at noon.
The Series vs. the Tigers
Princeton holds a slim 9-7 advantage in the series with Virginia in what is one of the most hotly contested series in recent collegiate lacrosse action.
Although the first meeting occurred in 1948, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the two schools began to meet with regularity. The two teams had met only three times before beginning an annual series in 1992.
In addition to meeting during the regular season every year since 1992, the two teams have battled in the NCAA Tournament championship game twice (1994, ’96) and in the semifinals once (2000).
Princeton has won the last two meetings, including a match-up in the semifinals of the 2000 NCAA Tournament and in the regular season last spring. The Tigers haven’t won consecutive regular season match-ups since 1992-94.
Virginia has won the last three games in Charlottesville, including a 15-8 victory two years ago in the most recent game at Kl?ckner Stadium.
Prior to their 8-4 loss last season, the Cavaliers’ previous four losses to the Tigers, including three in NCAA Tournament action, had all been by one goal.
The four goals last season represent Virginia’s lowest output since a three-goal effort vs. Johns Hopkins in 1989.
All of Virginia’s wins in the series have been by at least two goals, including the seven-goal win in 2000. Meanwhile almost half of Princeton’s wins (four of nine) have been by one goal (and another by two goals). Since 1992, Virginia’s average margin of victory is 4.2 goals, while Princeton’s is 2.6.
Cavaliers Hand Tigers Rare Losses
Since 1995 Princeton has lost just 15 games, including 12 regular season contests. Of those 15 losses, five have come against Virginia. Princeton’s other losses have come to Syracuse (5), Johns Hopkins (3), and Cornell and North Carolina (1 each).
The Tigers lost just once during their NCAA championship seasons in 1996 and 1998-both times to Virginia.
Of Princeton’s 12 regular season losses since 1995, five have been to the Cavaliers. (Syracuse has two regular season wins over Princeton in that span.)
Virginia’s 9-7 win over Princeton in 1998 ended the Tigers’ 29-game winning streak.
Not What You’d Expect
Dom Starsia’s Cavaliers have a reputation as an explosive offensive squad and have led the nation in scoring twice since 1997. Princeton, on the other hand, has favored taking a more methodical approach to offense and relying on a strong defense to slow the opponent.
Given the differing philosophies between the two schools, you might assume the Cavaliers would want to get into a fast-paced offensive game, while the Tigers would rather slow the pace.
However, you should remember what your mother said about assuming things because in this rivalry it’s not good to assume. Despite Princeton’s 8-4 win last season, the recent history of the series indicates that the Cavaliers fare better against Princeton in a low-scoring affair.
Two recent wins by UVa illustrate this pattern. The Cavaliers won 9-7 at home in 1998 and followed that with a 6-4 win in Princeton the next season. The 6-4 win marks the only time since 1973 UVa has won a game with as few as six goals.
Princeton’s 12-11 win in the semifinals of the 2000 NCAA Tournament is the only time since 1997 that the Tigers scored more than eight goals vs. UVa. The last three times the Tigers have reached double figures they have won by one goal.
The chart below shows the average score in this series since 1993 when UVa wins and loses.
avg. UVa score avg. Princeton score avg. total goalsUVa wins 10.6 6.4 17.0UVa loses 8.6 11.3 19.9
History Suggests a Tight Contest
This is the 14th meeting between Virginia and Princeton since the two began playing each other on an annual basis in 1992. They have also faced each other in the NCAA Tournament on three occasions (’94, ’96, ’00).
One of the most obvious characteristics of the series is how close the games have been. A game decided by more than three goals qualifies as a blow out.
Only four of the last 13 meetings have decided by more than three goals. Four have also been decided by one goal (including three overtime decisions), while three others have been decided by two goals and two by three goals.
Princeton has had remarkable success vs. Virginia in tight games, winning all four one-goal games.
The Cavaliers have won two of three games decided by two goals and the teams have split the two three-goal decisions.