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March 25, 2005

Charlottesville, Va. –

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Game 7
#2 Virginia at #1 Johns Hopkins
March 26, 2005 ** 1 pm
Homewood Field ** Baltimore, Md.

Game OverviewThere are three undefeated teams remaining and two of them meet Saturday afternoon in a 1 vs. 2 match-up when top-ranked Johns Hopkins hosts second-ranked Virginia at 1 pm at Homewood Field in Baltimore.
The Cavaliers have gotten off to a 6-0 start this spring, their best start in nine years. A victory over the Blue Jays would mark UVa’s best start in more than 30 years. The 1973 Virginia squad opened the season with seven consecutive wins before losing to the Blue Jays 14-9 at Homewood.
Johns Hopkins has won 29 straight home games dating back to its last loss–a 9-8 Virginia victory in quadruple overtime four years ago. Current UVa assistant coach Conor Gill scored the game winner 1:15 into the fourth overtime to end what remains the longest game in the storied history of both programs.
The Cavaliers have opened the season 4-0 or better 10 times since 1977, but have seen their winning streaks end at the hands of the Blue Jays. In 1977, `79 and `91, the Cavaliers got off to 6-0 starts only to have Johns Hopkins hand them their first defeat.
Virginia features the nation’s third-highest scoring offense with an average of 13.7 goals per game. The Cavaliers have reached double figures in all six games so far, a feat they accomplished just five times all last season. Their double-digit run is their longest since a nine-game streak in 2003.
The defense is also doing the job, limiting the opposition to just 5.7 goals per game which is third nationally, while holding five of six opponents to fewer than 10 goals.
The Blue Jays are 4-0 and have stood atop the polls all season. They fought back from a 7-1 deficit last week to defeat Syracuse 12-11 in overtime. Curiously, that is the same score UVa defeated the Orange by three weeks ago.
Johns Hopkins has won one game by a goal (Syracuse) and two by three goals (Princeton, UMBC) and gives up an average of 7.0 goals per game.
Virginia has won six of the last seven vs. the Blue Jays going back to the semifinals of the 1999 NCAA Tournament.
A close game would follow the recent historical pattern as the last three meetings at Homewood have been decided by one goal.

The Series vs. the Blue Jays
Johns Hopkins holds a commanding 52-22-1 record in the all-time series with Virginia. The rivalry between the two schools goes all the way back to two meetings in 1904, well before lacrosse was recognized as a varsity sport at UVa. The series didn’t resume until 1926, the second “official” year of the UVa varsity program (but still 22 years before UVa joined the USILA). The teams have met at least once every season since 1948, the longest current series of any Virginia opponent.
The Cavaliers have closed the gap recently by winning nine of the last 12 vs. the Blue Jays.
John Hopkins’ 52 wins over Virginia are by far the most wins by any school over the Cavaliers. Maryland is next with 42 wins over UVa.
Virginia has also played more games against Hopkins than any one else (75). Again, Maryland is second with 73 games vs. the Cavaliers.
The Blue Jays have dominated the series in Baltimore, winning 32 of 40 match-ups at Homewood Field (with one tie). The last three games have been barn burners decided by one goal each time (Hopkins won two).
This game features some historical patterns that could bode well for the Cavaliers.
Known as a team that likes the up-tempo pace, Virginia would certainly like to see its offense explode vs. the Blue Jays since the Cavaliers are 17-7 all-time when scoring at least 10 goals. In fact, when UVa scores more than 13 goals they have won 11 of 14 games against Hopkins.
The Cavaliers can also be successful if they are able to contain the Hopkins offense because they are 15-4-1 when allowing fewer than 10 goals. The Blue Jays have not scored more than eight goals in the last six games vs. Virginia.

It’s 1 vs. 2 Saturday at Homewood
There aren’t many sports in college athletics where you get a 1 vs. 2 match-up at this point in the season; we don’t have figures to back it up but we believe it’s more common in lacrosse than most other sports. In fact, the last 1 vs. 2 contest occurred last year when #1 Johns Hopkins gained a 10-9 overtime win #2 Navy.
A #1 vs. #2 game isn’t unusual for the Cavaliers–this is the 10th time since 1971 they have played in this type of game. As the underdog team in these type of contests they have had pretty good success by winning three of five (including the last three as the No. 2 team).
This is the third time a #2 Virginia club has faced #1 Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays won the first such match-up in 1973, while the Cavaliers won the 2003 national championship with a 9-7 win in the NCAA finals.
A look at the results of UVa’s previous 1-vs.-2 games is below.

Year UVa rank opp. & rank         result1973    2     #1 Johns Hopkins    JHU, 14-91974    2     #1 Maryland         Md, 25-131980    1     #2 Johns Hopkins    JHU, 9-8 (ot) NCAA Finals1995    2     #1 Syracuse         UVa, 15-71995    1     #2 Johns Hopkins    JHU, 22-131996    2     #1 Syracuse         UVa, 17-151996    1     #2 Princeton        UVa, 12-92000    1     #2 Syracuse         SU, 13-12 (ot)2003    2     #1 Johns Hopkins    UVa, 9-7 NCAA Finals

History Suggests Rankings Don’t Mean Much
One of the characteristics of the Virginia vs. Johns Hopkins series since the late 1980s is the inability to use rankings as a predictor of victory, which the Cavaliers hope will be the case Saturday.
The higher ranked team has lost 13 of the last 18 regular season meetings dating back to 1987. In fact, from 1990-1995, the higher ranked squad lost each time. The higher ranked team has lost the last four regular season match-ups as well as the last five overall.
Over the last 10 years or so this rivalry has also been death to teams ranked #1. In 2002 the Blue Jays came to Charlottesville as the top-ranked team and suffered their first loss of the season 12-6. Similarly, the most recent game at Homewood two years ago saw the Blue Jays hand the #1 Cavaliers an 8-7 loss. The back-and-forth pattern continued last year as the Cavaliers (ranked 17th, the lowest for either team in the series) again handed the Blue Jays their first loss of the season by a 9-8 count in overtime in Charlottesville.
Since 1991 a team ranked #1 has lost six of seven games in the series. Virginia won as #1 in 1996 and lost in 1991, `95 and `03. Johns Hopkins lost as #1 in 1992, 2002 and last year.

Starsia Nears UVa Record and All-Time Top 10
In his 13th year at the helm of the Virginia program, head coach Dom Starsia has guided his Cavalier squads to many outstanding achievements, including two national championships.
With the team off to a hot 6-0 start this season, Starsia is one win away from tying Jim “Ace” Adams as the winningest coach in school history. Adams won 137 games (and lost 60) at UVa from 1978-92; Starsia currently has a 136-50 record.
In addition to nearing the school record for most wins, Starsia is moving up the list of winningest Division I coaches all-time. He and Bucknell’s Sid Jamieson are battling on a game-by-game basis for 10th on the all-time list. Jamieson, who will retire after this season, is currently 10th with 238 wins, one ahead of Starsia.
Starsia is also one of three coaches to win 100+ games at two different schools. In addition to his 136 UVa wins, he won 101 games at Brown from 1983-92. Jack Emmer won 100+ games at both Washington & Lee and Army, while Dave Urick topped the century mark at Hobart and Georgetown. It’s interesting to note all three coaches are active.
The list of the winningest all-time Division I coaches is below.

    Coach, school(s), years                      Wins 1. Jack Emmer, Cortland, W&L, Army, 1970-pres.   319 2. Dick Garber, UMass, 1955-90                   300 3. Roy Simmons, Jr., Syracuse, 1971-98           290 4. Jim Adams, Army, Penn, UVa, 1958-92           287 5. Dick Edell, Baltimore, Army, Md., 1973-2001   282 6. Carl Runk, Towson, 1969-97                    257 7. Glenn Thiel, UVa, Penn State, 1970-pres.      261 8. Richie Moran, Cornell, 1969-97                257 9. Roy Simmons, Sr., Syracuse, 1931-70           252 10. Sid Jamieson, Bucknell, 1968-pres.           238 11. Dom Starsia, Brown, UVa, 1983-pres.          237

Virginia vs. #1
Johns Hopkins comes into this game as the No. 1 team in the nation, a spot the Blue Jays have found themselves in many times throughout the years. The Blue Jays had several close games this season, but won them all to stay #1.This is the third time in a row Virginia has played No. 1 Johns Hopkins.
Last season the Cavaliers posted a 9-8 come-from-behind overtime win at home. The previous season Virginia captured its second national championship in five seasons with a 9-7 win over Hopkins, who finished the season ranked number 1 (polls done before completion of playoffs).
Not surprisingly, the Blue Jays are UVa’s most frequent #1 opponent–15 meetings. The Blue Jays have won 10 of those meetings, but UVa has won the last four going back to 1992.
Virginia is 15-18 vs. the #1 team since 1973, including an 11-4 mark under Dom Starsia.
A look at UVa’s games against the #1 team are shown below.

Year #1 Opp. UVa rank Site Winner, score1973 Md. #3 Towson UVa, 10-9 JHU #2 A JHU, 14-91974 Md. #2 A Md., 25-131975 JHU #4 A JHU, 10-9 (OT)1976 Md. #6 A Md., 24-15 (OT)1979 JHU #4 A JHU, 13-8 JHU (NCAA) #5 A JHU, 16-71980 JHU #8 H UVa, 12-91981 JHU #4 A JHU, 15-13 JHU (NCAA) #4 A JHU, 10-61983 JHU #4 A JHU, 12-61985 JHU #4 A JHU, 12-5 JHU (NCAA) #4 A JHU, 11-81986 Md. #7 A UVa, 8-7 (OT)1987 Md. #6 H Md., 12-51989 JHU #9T A JHU, 12-31991 UNC #5 H UNC, 11-101992 JHU #10 H UVa, 15-91993 UNC #7 H UVa, 13-12 (OT)1994 Syra. #5 Md. UVa, 15-14 (OT)1995 Syra. #2T A UVa, 15-71996 Syra. #2 H UVa, 17-15 Md. #3 H UVa, 13-9 Prince. (NCAA) #3 Md. Princeton, 13-12 (OT)1997 Prince. #3 A Princeton, 14-13 (OT)1998 Prince. #5 H UVa, 9-72001 Syra. #3 A SU, 13-7 Md. #7 H UVa, 7-22002 JHU #4 H UVa, 12-62003 Syra. #4 A UVa, 16-15 JHU (NCAA) #2 Balto. UVa, 9-72004 JHU #17 H UVa, 9-8 (OT) Md. #10 A Md., 11-2

Starsia’s Cavaliers as Underdogs
Virginia began the season ranked eighth in the preseason coaches poll, but a 6-0 start (and losses by several team ranked higher) has enabled the Cavaliers to creep up to second this week.
Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins, ranked first in the preseason, remains atop the polls.
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 pretty good success springing an upset as shown by their 24-25 record since 1993 when being the lower-ranked team.
The Cavaliers got off to a slow start last year, losing four of their first five games. As a result they fell quickly in the polls and found themselves frequently playing higher ranked opponents, finishing with a 4-5 record. The four wins are their most ever as an underdog.
UVa is 12-19 against Johns Hopkins since 1971 when ranked lower than the Blue Jays (5-2 under Starsia), and has won five of the last six.

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