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March 12, 2004

Charlottesville, Va. –

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Game 5

#17 Virginia vs. #7 Princeton
March 13, 2004 * 1 pm
Kl?ckner Stadium * Charlottesville, Va.

Game Info

The Records:
Virginia: 1-3
Princeton: 1-1

The Rankings: (USILA/Inside Lacrosse)
Virginia: 17/14
Princeton: 7/5

The Series vs. Princeton:
Overall: 9-9
Home: 4-3
Away: 3-2
Neutral: 2-4
Current Streak: W2
Biggest UVa Win: 16, 1971 (18-2)
Biggest PU Win: 8, 1994 (14-6)
UVa Goals: 185
PU Goals: 166
Starsia vs. PU: 7-7

Last Meeting:
Virginia won 10-7 last season

Radio Coverage: Due to the ACC basketball tournament, WINA is not airing this game. They will resume their coverage with next Sunday’s game at Towson. You can listen to all the action by following this link WINA AM 1070 radio broadcast of men’s lacrosse.

The Series vs. the Tigers
Given the slim margins that typically separate the winner from the loser in this series, perhaps it’s not surprising to note the series is tied at nine wins apiece.

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).

The Cavaliers have evened the series by winning the last two contests, including a 10-7 win in Princeton a year ago. Virginia began the winning streak with a 13-11 win at Kl?ckner two years ago. The two wins have been nip-and-tuck affairs for the Cavaliers, who scored five of the last six goals to win last season. The year before there were four ties in the first half before the Cavaliers ended the half with a surge and held off the charging Tigers in the end.

UVa looks to equal its longest winning streak in the series when the Cavaliers won three straight from 1998-2000.

Princeton’s 8-4 win three years ago ended a streak of four consecutive one-goal wins dating back to 1994’s national title game.

Of Virginia’s last five wins over the Tigers going back to 1998, three have been by two goals.

Since 1992, Virginia’s average margin of victory is 3.7 goals, while Princeton’s is 2.6.The Cavaliers have won the last four match-ups on their home field, including wins in both games played at Kl?ckner Stadium (1998, 2000).

History Suggests a Tight Contest
This is the 16th 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 15 meetings have been decided by more than three goals. One goal has been the margin on four occasions (including three overtime decisions), while four more have been decided by two goals and three by three goals.

Princeton has had remarkable success vs. Virginia in tight games, winning all four one-goal games.

The Cavaliers have won three of four games decided by two goals, including a 13-11 win two years ago in Charlottesville, and two of the three three-goal games.

Not What You’d Expect
Cavaliers have a reputation as an explosive offensive squad and have led the nation in scoring twice since 1997. Princeton, on the other hand, favors taking a more methodical approach to offense and relying on a strong defense to slow the opponent.

Given the differing philosophies between the two teams, 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. The recent history of the series indicates that the Cavaliers fare better against Princeton in a low-scoring affair.

The most recent game in Charlottesville (a 13-11 UVa win two years ago) is the only time in the history of the series Princeton has lost when scoring at least 10 goals (6-1). The complete game-by-game results are on page 3.

That game is also unusual because both teams reached double digits, something that’s happened only five times in the 18 games between the two; there have been five occasions when neither team reached double figures.

Last season returned to the historical norm with Virginia gaining a 10-7 victory in Princeton.

Virginia’s 6-4 win in 1999 is the only time since 1973 Virginia has won a game with as few as six goals.

Cavaliers Hand Tigers Rare Losses
Since 1995 Princeton has lost just 24 games, including 19 regular season contests. Of those 24 losses, seven have come against Virginia. Princeton’s other losses have come to Syracuse (8), Johns Hopkins (5), and Cornell, Dartmouth, North Carolina and Yale (1 each).

The Tigers lost just once during their NCAA championship seasons in 1996 and 1998-both times to Virginia.

Of Princeton’s 19 regular season losses since 1995, seven have been to the Cavaliers. (Syracuse has just three regular season wins over Princeton in that span.)Virginia’s 9-7 win over the Tigers in 1998 ended their 29-game winning streak.

Looking to Continue Charlottesville Trend
The Cavaliers have lost three in a row, dropping from #1 in the polls to #17 this week. Meanwhile Princeton comes in ranked seventh.

This is the fourth game in a row Virginia has hosted Princeton as the lower ranked team. The Cavaliers undoubtedly hope history repeats itself since their wins in 1998-2000-2002 were all upsets. Overall, Virginia has been the lower ranked team in four of its last five wins over the Tigers.

The higher ranked team won all eight meetings from 1992-1997, but since then the lower ranked team has sprung the upset five times in seven meetings.

Starsia’s Cavaliers vs. Higher Ranked Opponents
Virginia comes into this game ranked 17th in the current coaches’ poll, while Princeton is ranked seventh.

Since the Cavaliers are typically found at or near the top of the polls, it’s not unusual they are the higher ranked team more often than not. However, on the rare occasions when the Cavaliers are the lower ranked squad they have had pretty good success springing an upset as shown by their 19-21 record.

Last season the Cavaliers spent time at #1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 and played only two games as the lower ranked squad with resounding success.

They gained a big early season win over #1 Syracuse in the Carrier Dome in early March and concluded the season with a 9-7 win over top-ranked Johns Hopkins in the national finals.

Virginia is 4-7 all-time as the lower-ranked team against Princeton, but has won four of the last five including a 13-11 win in the last game in Charlottesville two years ago.

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