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April 20, 2002

Durham, N.C. –

#1 Virginia (9-1) vs. #12 Duke (6-5)

ACC Tournament Championship Game

April 21, 2002
3:00 p.m.
Koskinen Stadium
Durham, N.C.

Television:Sunday’s game is being televised on Comcast SportsNet, Fox Sports South and the Sunshine Network. Mike Hogewood is the play-by-play announcer, former Maryland coach Dick Edell is the color analyst and Jim Noble is the sideline reporter.

Virginia goes for its third ACC title since 1999 Sunday afternoon against Duke at 3 p.m. The Cavaliers advanced to the finals with a 10-3 win over North Carolina in Friday night’s first semifinal game.

Duke gained an 8-7 overtime win over Maryland in the other semifinal to set the match-up with Virginia.

Virginia suffered a series of heartaches in the ACC Tournament before winning it for the first time in 1997. The Cavaliers followed that with tournament championships in 1999 and 2000. Overall this is the sixth time in the last seven seasons the Cavaliers have played for the league championship.

Prior to the beginning of the tournament format in 1989, Virginia captured 11 ACC championships (1962-64-69-70-71-75-80-83-84-85-86).

This is the seventh time Virginia has tangled with Duke in the ACC Tournament. The Cavaliers have won five meetings, including a 12-6 win in the championship game of the 1997 tournament and an 8-7 triumph in the 1999 title game.

All three of Virginia’s ACC Tournament championships have occurred under head coach Dom Starsia, who, no doubt, would like to celebrate his 50th birthday with a tournament championship.

Virginia clinched this season’s ACC regular season championship and the top seed in this weekend’s tournament with a 15-10 win over Duke in Charlottesville a week ago. The Wahoos broke open a close game with a four-goal run in the fourth quarter to turn aside the Blue Devils. Nick Russo scored two of the four late goals to give the Cavaliers a lift and was named the ACC Player of the Week for his effort.

Virginia holds a 45-14 lead in the all-time series vs. Duke. The Cavaliers have defeated Duke more than any other team in school history. The men in orange and blue have also had remarkable success in Durham, posting an 18-9 record on the Blue Devils’ home turf through the years. The Cavaliers’ 18 wins at Duke are their second-most wins on an opponent’s home field. However, Virginia has lost the last two meetings in Durham (1999, 2001) by identical 10-9 scores.

In addition to winning the season’s earlier meeting, Virginia has won nine of the last 11 games against Duke.

Despite the five-goal margin of that contest, the recent history of a series has been characterized by many close games. Six of the last eight games have been decided by one or two goals. Duke’s only two wins over Virginia since 1996 have been by one goal (1999, 2001).

This is the second consecutive trip to the finals where Virginia has had to play on the opposition’s home field. Two years ago the Cavaliers won the ACC title with an 11-7 win over Maryland at the Terps’ Byrd Stadium.

Joe Yevoli scored three goals in Friday’s semifinal win over North Carolina for his sixth hat trick of the season. He has scored 27 goals, the most by a UVa rookie since Michael Watson scored 31 in 1994. Yevoli’s total is third all-time by a Cavalier freshman. Kevin Pehlke holds the record with 34 goals in his freshman season in 1990.

Conor Gill, a three-time All-ACC selection, has 199 points in his career (71g, 128). He is looking to become the seventh player in school history to score 200 points.

Goalie Tillman Johnson recorded 13 saves in the win over North Carolina Friday night. It is the eighth game in a row he has reached double figures, a feat not accomplished by a Virginia keeper since 1982. He has 110 saves this season and an 8.27 GAA.

Despite playing with a torn ACL, All-ACC defenseman Mark Koontz turned in a tremendous performance in the semifinal win over North Carolina. He scooped up a season-high seven ground balls and caused six turnovers. Carolina’s starting attack failed to score a goal or register and assist in the game.

North Carolina’s three goals is an ACC Tournament record low and the fewest goals scored by the Tar Heels since 1984.

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