Cavaliers Host Duke in Key ACC Match-Up
April 12, 2002
Charlottesville, Va. –
#2 Virginia (7-1/2-0 ACC) vs. #12 Duke Blue Devils (5-4/1-1 ACC)
April 13, 2002
Ticket information: Tickets for Saturday’s game are $ 5 for adults and $ 3 for youth 18 & under and senior citizens. Ticket booths open one hour before face-off.
The Series vs. the Blue Devils
Virginia leads the all-time series with Duke by a 44-14 margin. The Cavaliers have defeated Duke more than other other team in school history.
The Cavaliers have dominated the series in Charlottesville, winning 24 of 28 games on their home field. Even more impressive is that since 1953 Virginia has won 22 of the 24 meetings. The Cavaliers have won the last five games in Charlottesville, including three wins in the ACC Tournament.
Virginia lost last year’s match-up 10-9 in Durham, but has won eight of the last 10 meetings overall.
The Cavaliers’ five-goal win over Duke two years ago in the most recent game in Charlottesville goes against the recent history of a series that has been characterized by many close games. Six of the last seven games between the two have been decided by one or two goals.
Duke’s only two wins over Virginia since 1996 have been by one goal (1999, 2001). In addition, the Blue Devils’ last two wins in Charlottesville (1992, ’94) were also by one goal.
It is interesting to note that Duke has done an excellent job of containing Virginia’s offense in recent years. The Cavaliers reached double figures in 34 of 35 games from 1962-98, but have scored 10+ in only two of the last five.
The Blue Devils have been the stingiest ACC team against Virginia since 1998, allowing the Cavaliers to score an average of 10.1 goals per game. Duke has held UVa to 12 goals or less in the last eight games, a feat not matched by Maryland or North Carolina.
Similarly, Virginia has held the Duke offense in check, giving up fewer than 12 goals in eight straight games.
ACC Regular Season Championship on the Line
The Cavaliers can capture the ACC regular season championship and finish with an unblemished 3-0 league record with a win over Duke Saturday.
If the Cavaliers win, they would be the top seed in next week’s ACC Tournament to be played in Durham, N.C. The other three ACC squads would finish with identical 1-2 league records and their seeding would be determined by a blind draw Monday at the league office.
If Duke wins Saturday, the Blue Devils would claim the regular season title and be the top seed in the league tournament. Virginia would be the second seed, with Maryland the third seed and North Carolina fourth.
The semifinals of the ACC Tournament are Friday (April 19). The first and fourth seeds meet in the first game at 6:00 p.m., while the second and third seeds clash at 8:30 p.m. The only exception to this is Duke will play in the 8:30 p.m. regardless of its seed.
The tournament finals are Sunday (April 21) at 3:00 p.m. They will be televised live by Comcast Sports Net.
Looking to Extend Longest Winning Streak in Two Years
The Cavaliers have been playing well lately and are riding a six-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s match-up vs. Duke.
The six-game winning streak is Virginia’s longest since the Cavaliers won 13 games in a row two years ago.
The winning streak is tied for the 11th longest in school history. If the Cavaliers beat Duke, the resulting seven-game winning streak would tie for the seventh-longest in school history.
Gill Named ACC Player of the Week
Senior All-American Conor Gill was selected the ACC’s Player of the Week for his performance in leading the Cavaliers to a narrow 10-9 win over North Carolina last Saturday in Chapel Hill.Gill a 6-2, 200-pound attackman from Lutherville, Md., had his first multi-goal game of the season, finishing with a season-high four points (2g, 2a). His two goals were his first in five games.
He had a hand in UVa’s final three goals, all within a span of 58 seconds near the end of the third period. He assisted on Chris Rotelli’s goal with 1:22 left to put the Cavaliers up 8-6, then scored his second goal of the game 30 seconds later. He assisted on A.J. Shannon’s extra-man tally to give Virginia a 10-6 lead.
Winning the Close Games
One of the hallmarks of good teams is an ability to win close games. Head coach Dom Starsia has preached that to his team this season and the Cavaliers have responded.
Last season the Cavaliers were 1-3 in games decided by one or two goals as they finished with a 7-7 record.
This season they have won four games decided by 1-2 goals, while losing one. The four wins are more than half their win total this spring. They have also won their first two ACC games by one goal each.
The four wins in 1-2 goal games are tied for the most “close” wins in school history. Starsia’s first Virginia squad in 1993 was 4-3 in 1-2 goal games, including winning four in a row. The 1988 team was 4-2 in close games, while the 1938 team was 4-1.
Living on the Edge in ACC Games
Virginia has won both of its ACC games by one goal this season, perhaps giving head coach Dom Starsia more anxiety than he would care to experience. Both games have gone down to the wire with the opposition having a chance to tie in the waning seconds each time.
If Saturday’s game is decided by fewer than four goals, it would mark the closest series of ACC games in UVa history. Six goals is currently the school record for smallest combined difference in ACC games. In 1993 and 1995 Virginia won all three league games by a combined six goals, while in 1991 the Cavaliers posted a 2-1 ACC record with the same differential.
Interestingly, there have been three instances in ACC history where a team had all three league games decided by one goal each. Duke was the most recent team to play three one-goal league games. The Blue Devils did so in posting a 2-1 record in 1999.
North Carolina was the first school to have a “cardiac” ACC season. The 1996 Tar Heels played three one-goal games in league play en route to a 2-1 mark. Maryland did it the following year, but wasn’t as lucky and compiled a 1-2 record.
Virginia’s perfect seasons in ’93 and ’95 listed above are the smallest goal differential for an undefeated team in ACC history.