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March 16, 2002

Charlottesville, Va. –

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#4 Virginia (3-1) vs. #9 Towson (2-1)

March 17, 2002
Minnegan Stadium
Towson, Md.

Television:Sunday’s game is being televised in the Baltimore area on WMAR-TV2. Scott Garceau, Quint Kessenich and Keith Mills call the action.

Radio: You can listen to the game on the internet by clicking here for the WTMD broadcast.

The Series vs. the Tigers
Virginia leads the all-time series by a narrow 4-3 margin. The schools met on an annual basis from 1972-77, but then didn’t meet again until the 1991 NCAA Tournament, a game Towson won 14-13 in Charlottesville.

A 10-year gap followed before Virginia’s 12-8 victory last season in Charlottesville. The four-goal margin proved to be the biggest defeat the Tigers suffered during a season when they advanced to the final four.

Virginia’s 15-9 win in the first meeting in 1972 stands as the largest margin of victory in the series. Overall Virginia’s average victory margin is 4.7 goals. (This does not include the 1975 game which was forfeited to Virginia, nor the 1976 game that was ruled a “no contest.”)Two of Towson’s three series victories have been by one-goal (1977, `91). The Tigers’ three series wins have been by an average of 2.0 goals.

Cavaliers Hit the Road
After four consecutive home games to open the season Virginia plays Towson in its first road test of the season.

After winning 14 games in a row in 1999-2000 either as the visitor or at neutral sites, the Cavaliers have found success hard to come by when away from Charlottesville.

Since dropping a 12-11 decision to Princeton in the 2000 national semifinals in College Park, the Cavaliers are 3-6 when playing away from home. In that span the only win over a ranked team was a 9-8 quadruple overtime win over Johns Hopkins at Homewood last season.

Virginia is 4-5 in road openers under head coach Dom Starsia and has dropped five of its last six road openers.

Johnson Comes Up Big in Last Two Games
After struggling against Syracuse making four saves, sophomore goalie Tillman Johnson has been a key contributor in Virginia’s last two wins over Princeton and Notre Dame.

In the win over defending national champion Princeton he made a season-high 13 stops, including two in the waning moments to help preserve the 13-11 victory.

Johnson turned aside a Sean Hartofilis effort with just over two-and-a-half minutes remaining to end one possession. Following a Virginia turnover, the sophomore from Annapolis, Md., denied Owen Daly’s one-on-one bid with 2:05 left in the game to end the Tigers’ hopes for their first victory in Charlottesville since 1994.

His two saves near the end of the game weren’t his only big saves in the game. Early game heroics are often overlooked, but Johnson had two saves late in the first quarter that were just as important as his late game denials. Princeton built a 3-2 lead late in the opening period and looked to add to its lead, but Johnson snuffed two outstanding scoring opportunities to hold the Tigers lead at one goal.

He rejected 10 Notre Dame shots last Tuesday to help preserve Virginia’s narrow 7-5 win over the Fighting Irish to mark the third time in his young career he has reached double figures in back-to-back games.

Johnson made 12 saves his collegiate debut last season against Towson.

Rookie deVilliers Handles Faceoff Duties
Freshman Jack deVilliers was one of the top high school faceoff specialists entering college this season. A standout at Baltimore’s St. Paul’s School, where he won more than 70 percent of his attempts, he has handled two-thirds of UVa’s faceoffs this season. Overall he has won 52 percent of his draws (35 of 67).

He played an important role in Virginia’s win over Notre Dame in the last game. The Fighting Irish fought back to tie the score at five with 3:27 left to play. On the ensuing faceoff, deVilliers got the win as Notre Dame kicked the ball out of bounds. The Cavaliers worked the ball around on offense before Chris Rotelli found Billy Glading alone on the left side for what proved to be the winning goal with 1:45 left. deVilliers won the following faceoff and got a clinching goal from Brenndan Mohler with 52 seconds to play. Again deVilliers won the faceoff as Virginia ran out the clock and gained the win. All told, deVilliers won four of five draws in the fourth quarter and prevented Notre Dame from having any possessions for the final 3:27.

deVilliers looks to be one of the top freshman faceoff specialists in school history. He is already eighth all-time among UVa rookies in most faceoffs taken and most won.

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