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April 25, 2002

Charlottesville, Va. –

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#3 Virginia (9-2/3-0 ACC) vs. #17 Penn State Nittany Lions (7-5/1-4 ECAC)

April 27, 2002
1:00 p.m.
Jeffrey Field
State College, Pa.

The Series vs. the Nittany Lions
Virginia has won the four previous meetings with Penn State, including a 20-12 win in 1995 in the most recent meetings of the two schools. That game also marked the last game played at Scott Stadium, the Cavaliers’ long-time home.

After a one-goal win (8-7) in the initial meeting in 1949, Virginia has won the last three match-ups by at least eight goals.

The Cavaliers are averaging 16.0 goals per game vs. the Nittany Lions, tied for the fifth-highest average against schools they have played at least four times. The record is a 23.4 average against VMI.

Championship Head Coaches Meet
Saturday’s game features a coaching match-up of the two head coaches who have guided Virginia to NCAA titles.

Penn State’s Glenn Thiel led the Cavaliers to their first NCAA championship in 1972, with a 13-12 win over Johns Hopkins in the finals. The Cavaliers finished with an 11-4 record that season, Thiel’s third in Charlottesville. He left UVa after the 1977 season to take over the coaching reins at Penn State. He compiled a 63-30 record at UVa and left as the Cavaliers’ all-time wins leader (but is now third). Thiel also led the Cavaliers to a USILA tri-national championship in 1970 in his first season at UVa.

Current head coach Dom Starsia won the program’s second NCAA title in 1999 following a 12-10 win over Syracuse in the playoff finals. The Cavaliers finished with a 13-3 record that year. Starsia is in his 10th season at Virginia and is the school’s second-winningest coach with 108 wins.

Virginia Sweeps ACC Awards
Defenseman Mark Koontz was selected this season’s ACC Player of the Year, while teammate Joe Yevoli was voted the league’s Rookie of the Year and head coach Dom Starsia, the Coach of the Year, in balloting by the four ACC head coaches.

Koontz, a defenseman from Upper Arlington, Ohio, has been a standout throughout his career. Matched up against some of the top offensive players in the country, he has consistently shut down his man despite playing with a broken wrist all season. He is the first defenseman to win the league’s highest honor since North Carolina’s Alex Martin won it in 1992. Koontz has scooped up 36 ground balls this season and is just the fourth defenseman in ACC history named All-ACC three times.

Yevoli has enjoyed an excellent freshman season. The Massapequa, N.Y., native has started all 11 games and leads the ACC in goals scored at 2.64 per game. He has 34 points this season (29g, 5a), placing him second on the team and tied for fourth in the league. His 29 goals this season are third most in school history by a freshman. Yevoli is attempting to become the first freshman to lead the ACC in goals scored since 1978 (Duke’s Dave Hagler).

Starsia earns Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time in his career and third time in four seasons. He previously won the award in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2000. Starsia has led Virginia into the NCAA Tournament in each of his previous nine seasons, including 1999 when the Cavaliers won the national title. He is believed to be just the third coach in collegiate history to win 100-or-more games at two different schools (Brown, Virginia).

Rookie Winner Yevoli Leads the Way with ACC-Best 29 Goals
Rookie attackman Joe Yevoli came to Virginia with less fanfare than classmate John Christmas, but he wasted no time showing why he is one of the nation’s top newcomers this season, earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors along the way.

In his debut against Drexel he found the back of the nets four times while assisting on another goal. His four goals are the most by a Virginia rookie since Conor Gill scored five in the national semifinals vs. Johns Hopkins in 1999. They are also the most by a UVa rookie in his debut since Jay Jalbert scored four vs. Syracuse in 1997.

Yevoli was at it again in the loss to Syracuse, leading the team in scoring for the second game in a row with four goals. His final goal, a stunning behind-the-back shot, tied the game at 13 with 6:23 remaining and put the Cavaliers in position to win.

All told, he has led the team in goals on seven different occasions this season.

He has scored 29 goals this season and leads the ACC in goals with an average of 2.64 gpg.Michael Watson was the last UVa freshman to score more goals than Yevoli. He scored 31 goals, second-most by a rookie in UVa history, in 1994. Kevin Pehlke holds the UVa record with 34 goals in 1990.

Yevoli is fifth in the nation in rookie goals. A list of the nation’s top rookie goal scorers is below.

	Player, school                   goals	1. Eugene Tanner, Manhattan       43	2. Andrew Lucas, Lehigh           39	3. Sean Greenhalgh, Cornell       33	4. Matt Brown, Denver             31	5. Joe Yevoli, UVa                29
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