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April 16, 2004

Charlottesville, Va. –

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Game 10

#18 Virginia vs. #13 Duke
April 17, 2004 * 1 pm
Kl?ckner Stadium * Charlottesville, Va.

Game Info

The Records:
Virginia: 3-6/0-2 ACC
Duke: 4-5/0-2 ACC

The Rankings: (USILA/Inside Lacrosse)
Virginia: 18/16
Duke: 13/11

The Series vs. Duke:
Overall: 47-15
Home: 26-4
Away: 19-10
Neutral: 2-1
Current Streak: W2
Biggest UVa Win: 27, 1972 (29-2)
Biggest Duke Win: 10, 1942 (13-3)
UVa Goals: 799
Duke Goals: 482
Starsia (UVa) vs. Duke: 14-5

Radio Coverage: You can listen to Jed Williams and Doug Tarring call all the action of Saturday’s game by following this link WINA AM 1070 radio broadcast of men’s lacrosse.

The Series vs. the Blue Devils
Virginia leads the all-time series with Duke by a 47-15 margin. The Cavaliers have defeated Duke more than any other team in school history.

The men in orange and blue have dominated the series in Charlottesville, winning 26 of the 30 games. Even more impressive is that since 1953 Virginia has won 24 of the 26 meetings. The Cavaliers have won the last seven games in Charlottesville, including four wins in the ACC Tournament. Duke’s last win in Charlottesville occurred in 1994.

Virginia won both matchups last season-11-8 during the regular season at Duke and 12-6 in the ACC Tournament championship game right here at Kl?ckner Stadium.

The Cavaliers have a chance to win three straight games in the series by more than one goal for the first time since winning three 1+-goal games from 1996-97.

Several games in the recent history of the series have been nailbiters. Going back to 1998, seven of the last 11 games have been decided by one or two goals.

All three of Duke’s wins over UVa since 1996 were by one goal (1999, 2001, ’02).

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 meetings from 1962-98, but have scored 10+ in six of the last nine. Their offense has picked up somewhat recently as the Wahoos have reached double figures the last four meetings (while averaging 12.8 gpg in that span). If UVa scores 10 in this game it would be the longest streak of double figure games since an eight-game run from 1994-98.

The Cavaliers have held the Duke offense in check, giving up fewer than 12 goals in 11 of the last 12 meetings. The Blue Devils are averaging 9.2 goals in the last 11 games since 1998, the highest average by an ACC team vs. UVa in that span.

ACC Tournament Up Next
The Duke game is the final ACC regular season game before next week’s ACC Tournament held in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Maryland earned the top seed with an unblemished 3-0 league mark, while host North Carolina is the second seed with a 2-1 conference record.

The Cavaliers and Blue Devils have both dropped their two league contests and are battling for the third and fourth seeds Saturday afternoon.

A Virginia win would give the Cavaliers the third seed and a meeting against North Carolina in Friday’s second semifinal contest. Maryland and Duke would play the first semifinal game that night at 6 pm.

If Duke wins, the Blue Devils would face North Carolina in the second semifinal contest Friday night, while the Cavaliers and Maryland would tangle in the first semifinal at 6 pm.

Seniors Make Final Kl?ckner Appearance
Saturday’s game marks the final Kl?ckner Stadium appearance for several Cavaliers. Those playing in their final home game include captains , , and , as well as , , and . Lamade, Focht and Thompson all have a year of eligibility remaining and could return next season.

This group of players have played key roles in leading the Cavaliers to two final four berths, including last year’s national championship. The 2003 squad won a school-record 15 games on the way to the title.

They also won the ACC title last season and have been invited to the NCAA Tournament every year. In addition, they have been ranked in the top five for 19 weeks, including five at #1. Their overall collegiate record stands at 36-19 (.654).

Offensive Woes Continue
Virginia has failed to put double digits on the scoreboard in the last five games, including being held to two goals by Maryland two weeks ago, its lowest total in 20 years.

Typically one of the nation’s most potent offenses, the Cavaliers have been outscored 84-76 this season and are averaging just 8.44 goals per game.

The offensive output is UVa’s worst in nearly four decades. The 1966 team averaged just 4.7 gpg and is the last time the Cavaliers had been outscored this late in the season.

Misfiring on Scoring Opportunities
Virginia has not been a good shooting team this season, connecting on just 21.7 percent of its shots. Last season the Cavaliers scored on 27.1 percent of their shots and were above 30 percent the year before.

In the season opening 15-4 win over Drexel, Virginia shot 32.6 percent (15×46), but hasn’t really come close to approaching that figure since.

During the disastrous trip to Colorado early in the season, the Cavaliers were successful 18.8 percent of the time (6×32) in a 7-6 loss to Air Force, and dropped off even more the following afternoon against Denver by shooting 17.1 percent (7×41).

Subpar shooting (and poor shot selection) were factors in the 8-7 loss to Princeton as UVa shot a then season-low 15.9 percent (7×44), the worst shooting since 2001.

The accuracy perked up a bit in a win over Towson when UVa made good on 21.4 percent (9×42) of its shots, a low percentage to be sure but enough to down the Tigers.UVa didn’t shoot very well in the upset of #1 Johns Hopkins, but the Cavaliers managed to shoot enough and have some go in. Overall they shot 20.0 percent (9×45), the third game in a row below 22 percent.

The subpar shooting returned in the loss to Maryland two weeks ago with one of the worst performances of all time. The Cavaliers shot just 7.7 percent (2×26).

In the Cavaliers’ three wins this season, they are shooting 24.8 percent, while in their five losses they are shooting 19.8 percent.

Since 2000 UVa is 1-5 when shooting less than 20 percent and 25-5 when shooting better than 30 percent.

Starsia’s Cavaliers vs. Higher Ranked Opponents
This is the first time since the 1999 ACC Tournament championship game that Duke comes into this game ranked higher than the Cavaliers, ending a streak of seven consecutive games when UVa was ranked higher. Despite losing records by both teams this season, the Blue Devils are ranked 13th, while the Cavaliers are 18th.

Virginia has been ranked for every game against Duke going back to 1972, but there were several early season contests played before the first poll of the season. Overall the Cavaliers have been ranked for 34 of 41 matchups in the last 32 years.

This is only the fourth time since then that Duke has been ranked higher, but UVa has not allowed its underdog status serve as a deterrent. All three games have been decided by one goal, with the Cavaliers coming out on top twice.

Since the Cavaliers are typically found at or near the top of the polls, it’s not unusual they are the higher ranked team. However, on the rare occasions when the Cavaliers are the lower ranked squad they have had decent success springing an upset as shown by their 21-22 record under since 1993.

One-game Shutout Sparks Ward
Attackman was one of the nation’s top freshmen last season after scoring 26 goals and assisting on 20 others. He and Patrick Walsh from Notre Dame were the only “20-20” rookies in 2003.

He got off to a hot start this season and has been the team’s leading scorer all season. He led the team in scoring in five of the first six games before scoring just a single goal in the overtime win over Johns Hopkins. Maryland blanked him the following game ending his 13-game streak with a goal.

The scoreless streak lasted just one game as Ward got back on track in a big way last Saturday vs. North Carolina as he single-handedly almost got the Cavaliers a victory. He tallied a career-high five goals and added two assists and tied his career high with seven points.

With his team trailing 11-7 late in the game, he notched two goals in a 39-second span to cut the lead. Unfortunately, Virginia wasn’t able to maintain the momentum and lost 11-9.

Ward’s five goals are the most by a Virginia attackman since torched Johns Hopkins for five scores (in a 3:08 span of the first quarter) in the 1999 national semifinals.

The sophomore from McLean, Va., is third in the ACC in goals with an average of 2.22 gpg. He is also third in the league in scoring at 3.44 ppg.

Johnson Moves Up All-Time ACC List
Goalie is making his 56th consecutive start between the pipes in his final Kl?ckner Stadium appearance Saturday.

Last year’s Goalie of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championships, Johnson became UVa’s all-time leader in saves earlier this season, passing Rodney Rullman for the top spot. Rullman stopped 553 shots from 1972-75.

Johnson now turns his attention to moving up the ACCs all-time list. He is currently fourth and could move up a few spots, but it is unlikely he’ll move to number one as shown below.

Player, school, years…..Saves
1. Joe Kirmser, Duke, 1994-97…..843
2. Kevin O’Leary, Maryland, 1981-84…..705
3. Brian Dougherty, Maryland, 1993-96…..685
4. , UVa, 2001-pres……637

Ground Balls Key to Victory
One of the goals of the Virginia coaching staff every game is winning the ground ball battle. This season the Cavaliers are averaging 38.0 ground balls per game, down 10.4 per game from last season.

UVa has been “out ground balled” six times this season (Air Force, Denver, Princeton, Towson, Johns Hopkins, Maryland), losing four. Last season Virginia was “out ground balled” only three times, but won each time.

The performance against Princeton last month was the Cavaliers’ worst in quite some time. They had just 27 ground balls and lost the battle by 20. The 20-GB differential is UVa’s biggest deficit since Princeton had a 57-34 margin in 2002, while the 27 total ground balls is UVa’s lowest based on available records dating back to 1970.

In fact, since 1970 three of the four lowest GB totals have occurred this season.

The Cavaliers have won 44 of their last 50 games dating back to 1998 when snapping up at least 50 ground balls.

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