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Oct. 28, 2005

Charlottesville, Va. – University of Virginia head men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia is pleased to announce the team’s award winners for the 2005 season. The Cavaliers finished with an 11-4 record and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament where they fell to eventual national champion Johns Hopkins 9-8 in overtime.

Attackman Matt Ward received the Dr. Allen Voshell Award as the team’s most valuable player. A second-team All-American as a junior in 2005, Ward led the team in goals (38) and scoring (49 points) for the second year in a row. He finished 10th in the country in goals, the second straight year he was ranked in the top 10. Ward’s 97 career goals are tied for 10th in school history.

Midfielder J.J. Morrissey received the Harry Gaver Award for leadership. A native of Winchester, Mass., he has been one of the team’s most underrated performers throughout his career. A short-stick defensive midfielder early in his career, Morrissey expanded his role on both ends of the field as a junior last spring. He scored six goals and tallied seven assists for 13 points. Morrissey was sixth in the ACC in ground balls with an average of 3.4 per game.

Goalie Doug Brody is the recipient of the E. Doyle Smith Award for having the team’s highest grade point average. A studio art major, he compiled a 3.914 GPA during the 2004-05 academic year. He made three appearances as a reserve and recorded two saves.

Senior attackman John Christmas was named the team’s offensive MVP. He rebounded from a disappointing 2004 campaign with one of the best all-around seasons of his career. The team’s top attackman throughout his career, he led the team last year with a career-high 20 assists. He also tallied 19 goals and was the team’s second-leading scorer with 39 points. The fifth pick in the 2005 Major League Lacrosse draft by the Boston Cannons, Christmas scored two goals and added three assists during his rookie season. He received his degree in sociology in May.

Senior attackman Brendan Gill was selected the team’s Most Improved Player. The Lutherville, Md., native used the experience gained throughout his career to become a valuable contributor last season. He appeared in all 15 games and finished third on the team with 16 assists. He also added five goals. He graduated in May with a degree in English.

Defenseman Steve Holmes received the team’s defensive MVP award. A very athletic player, he was named an honorable mention All-American in ’05. He started all 15 games on close defense and was second among ACC defensemen with 43 ground balls.

Senior midfielder Hunter Kass won the Lawrie Riggs Award for commitment and citizenship. Owner of one of the hardest shots on the team, Kass worked hard to gain additional playing time and his efforts paid off handsomely. Last spring he appeared in 14 games on the second midfield unit and scored a career-high six goals. He received his degree in sociology in May.

Midfielder Joe Thompson received the Tom Rixey Award for spirit and inspiration. One of the team’s emotional leaders and a tireless worker, he returned last spring after being away from the program for two years and was selected a captain. He appeared in 12 games last year.

John Sommi received the Tommy Compton Award for alumni contributions to the program. A three-year letterman as a defenseman from 1977-79, he was a team captain as a senior in 1979. An economics major at UVa, he is a long-time enthusiastic supporter of the program.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce our 2005 team award winners,” said Starsia. “This was a special season and a thorough group effort was required in every area. From the captains to the coaches, trainers and managers, everyone played a valuable role in the final result. As I mentioned at the press conference following our NCAA semifinal game, `2005 was a win’ for Virginia Lacrosse!”

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