Men's Lacrosse Hosts Duke on Senior Day
April 16, 2004
Charlottesville, Va. –
#18 Virginia vs. #13 Duke
April 17, 2004 * 1 pm
Kl?ckner Stadium * Charlottesville, Va.
Virginia: 3-6/0-2 ACC
Duke: 4-5/0-2 ACC
The Rankings: (USILA/Inside Lacrosse)
The Series vs. Duke:
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.