Men's Lacrosse Concludes Season with Road Trip to Penn State
May 7, 2004
Charlottesville, Va. –
#15 Virginia at Penn State
May 8, 2004 * 1 pm
Jeffrey Field * State College, Pa.
Virginia: 5-7/1-2 ACC
Penn State: 5-7/0-3 ECAC
The Rankings: (USILA/Inside Lacrosse)
Penn State: not ranked
The Series vs. Penn State:
Current Streak: W1
Biggest UVa Win: 11, 1950 (23-12)
Biggest PSU Win: 5, 2002 (13-8)
UVa Goals: 83
PSU Goals: 58
Starsia (UVa) vs. PSU: 2-1
Radio Coverage: The game is being broadcast on ESPN radio 1450 AM WMAJ in State College, Pa. Follow this link to listen to all the action.
The Series vs. the Nittany Lions
Virginia won the first four meetings with Penn State, before the Nittany Lions ended the Cavaliers’ winning streak with their only win in the series the last time the two teams met in State College two years ago. The Cavaliers returned to the win column by holding off a fierce Penn State comeback and gaining an 11-10 win in Charlottesville.
Last year’s 11-10 Virginia win marked the Cavaliers’ first one-goal win in the series since the first meeting in 1949. In between the Cavaliers won three straight (1950-74-95) by at least eight goals.
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 won the program’s second NCAA title in 1999 following a 12-10 win over Syracuse in the playoff finals and duplicated the feat with his second title last season. Starsia is in his 12th season at Virginia and is the school’s second-winningest coach with 130 wins.
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 ACC’s all-time list which is shown below. He is currently fourth and needs just three saves to move into third place all-time. A fabulous outing against the Nittany Lions (at least 22 saves) could vault him into second place.
Ward on Scoring Binge
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. Currently he is tied for 11th in the country in goals (2.50 gpg) and tied for 15th in scoring (3.50 ppg), both figures that rank third in the ACC.
Against the Blue Devils the retooled attack tallied eight of the Cavaliers’ 13 goals for its most productive effort of the season to that point. Yevoli responded with three goals to end a two-game goal-less drought with his best effort in six games. Gilbert notched a career-high three goals to equal his total coming into the game. Ward scored twice.
In the tourney finals vs. Maryland the attack scored five times against one of the nation’s leading defenses. It must be noted that the attack scored just once vs. the Terps in the season’s first meeting.
Virginia has allowed more than one EMO goal on just two occasions this season, both by North Carolina, one of the nation’s best EMO teams. The Tar Heels scored three times on EMO in an 11-9 regular-season win over UVa and tallied twice in a loss to UVa in the ACC Tournament.
UVa’s offense hasn’t done a very good job recently making the opposition pay for its penalties. The Cavaliers have converted just two of their last 16 extra-man opportunities in the last six games and both goals occurred vs. Duke.
Giving Fans Their Money’s Worth
One of Virginia’s characteristics this season is playing close games; eight games have been decided by one or two goals with the Cavaliers coming out on top three times.
Poskay Leads the Way in the Midfield
Sophomore broke out of a mini-scoring drought with a season-high three goals against Duke three weeks ago. His three-goal effort is the best by a Cavalier middie this season.
Two Cavaliers among Active ACC Leaders
Virginia features two of the leading active scorers in the ACC-Joe Yevoli and . Yevoli is the leader with 127 career points, while Christmas third behind UNC’s Jed Prossner with 112.