Men's Lacrosse to Battle #2 Duke Saturday
April 15, 2005
Charlottesville, Va. –
#3 Virginia at #2 Duke
April 16, 2005 ** 3 pm
Koskinen Stadium ** Durham, N.C.
Virginia faces Duke Saturday afternoon at 3 pm in a match-up to decide the ACC regular season champion and the top seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament in Baltimore.
Both teams have been among the most pleasant surprises in the nation this spring after posting identical 5-8 records last year.
Virginia is 8-1 this season, while Duke won its first 11 games and stands 11-1 overall. Rankings wise, the Blue Devils moved into the No. 2 spot two weeks ago, while the Cavaliers were ranked as high as second, but the loss to Johns Hopkins dropped them to third.
The Cavaliers and Blue Devils are ranked among the national leaders in both offense and defense. In the “something’s gotta give” department, Duke features the nation’s top-ranked offense (12.75), while Virginia is the nation’s second-ranked defense (6.00). The Cavaliers average 12.67 goals per game to rank second in the country and will attack Duke’s defense that is ranked fifth in the nation allowing an average of 6.50 goals per game.Attackman Matt Ward leads the Cavalier offense with an average of 3.89 points per game (8th in the nation). He averages 3.0 goals per game and is third in the country.
Zack Greer spearheads the Duke attack and is having a fabulous freshman campaign. He is tied with teammate Matt Danowski for sixth in scoring (4.00 ppg) and is one spot ahead of Ward in goals (3.17/g).
The Cavaliers don’t have a lot of time to prepare for their next game…Sunday night. They host the Denver Pioneers at Klöckner Stadium at 7 pm in a make up of a game originally scheduled for Feb. 28 that was snowed out.
Despite having to make the bus ride home from Durham shortly after end of the Duke game, Denver has an even less desirable itinerary. The Pioneers travel to Yale for a 1 pm contest before heading south Saturday night to face the Cavaliers Sunday.
Denver is 6-2 overall this spring (pending the Yale result) and is ranked 15th in this week’s coaches poll.
The Series vs. the Blue Devils
Virginia leads the all-time series with Duke by a 48-15 margin. The Cavaliers have defeated Duke more than any other team in school history.
The men in orange and blue have lost three of the last four games against Duke in Durham. The Cavaliers eked out an 11-8 regular season win two years ago in the most recent meeting on the Blue Devils’ home turf, but lost the three previous times (regular season losses in 1999 and 2001 and the ACC Tournament finals in 2002). Overall, however, the Cavaliers have posted a 19-10 record on the Blue Devils’ home turf through the years. The Cavaliers’ 19 wins are tied for the second-most wins on an opponent’s home field. They have won 23 games at Washington & Lee and 19 at North Carolina.Since losing the 2002 ACC Tournament finals (14-13) to the Blue Devils on their home field, the Cavaliers have won three in a row, their longest winning streak since taking five straight from 1996-1998. All three wins have been in convincing fashion, including last year’s 13-4 victory in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers have a chance to win four consecutive games in the series by more than one goal for the first time since winning five games by at least three goals from 1988-1991.
Several games in the recent history of the series have been nailbiters. Going back to 1998, seven of the last 12 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). In fact, of all the Blue Devils’ wins since 1956 (7), five have been by one goal and another by three.
It is interesting to note that Duke (currently fifth nationally with an average of 6.50 goals allowed per game) 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 just seven of the last 10. Their offense has picked up somewhat recently as the Wahoos have reached double figures the last five 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 (currently ranked first in the country at 12.75 gpg) in check, giving up fewer than 12 goals in 12 of the last 13 meetings.
Christmas Wins Weekly ACC Honor Again
Senior attackman John Christmas was named ACC Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Week for the second week in a row for his play in UVa’s 15-9 win over North Carolina last Saturday.
Christmas led the Cavalier offense with a season-high five points, his best output in two years. He scored two goals and assisted on three others.
He assisted on UVa’s first two goals in the first quarter and scored two more in a fast-paced opening 15 minutes that saw the Cavaliers open a 5-2 lead. He registered his third assist just before halftime as the UVa lead grew to 10-4 at the break. The Tar Heels cut Virginia’s lead to two (11-9) late in the third quarter, but could not get any closer.
Christmas also earned conference honors the previous week following a 2-goal, 2-assist performance in a 10-2 win over Maryland.
Starsia Becomes UVa’s All-Time Wins Leader
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.
His list of accomplishments grew last Saturday following the Cavaliers’ 15-9 win over North Carolina, Starsia’s 138th victory at Virginia as he passed Jim “Ace” Adams for the most wins in program history. Starsia now has a 138-51 (.730) record at UVa.
In addition to setting 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 240 wins, one ahead of Starsia.
Starsia is also one of three coaches to win 100+ games at two different schools. In addition to his 138 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. 324
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, Maryland, 1973-2001 282
6. Glenn Thiel, UVa, Penn State, 1970-pres. 263
7. Carl Runk, Towson, 1969-97 262
8. Richie Moran, Cornell, 1969-97 257
9. Roy Simmons, Sr., Syracuse, 1931-70 252
10. Sid Jamieson, Bucknell, 1968-pres. 240
11. Dom Starsia, Brown, UVa, 1983-pres. 239