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Feb. 27, 2006

Charlottesville, Va. –

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Game 4
#3 Virginia vs. VMI
Feb. 28, 2006 • 4 pm
Klöckner Stadium • Charlottesville, Va.

Game Overview
Virginia plays its third consecutive home game against VMI Tuesday afternoon at 4 pm at Klöckner Stadium. This is the first time in nine years the two schools have clashed.

The Cavaliers continued their fast start to the season with a 17-4 win over Stony Brook on Saturday to move to 3-0 on the year.

VMI, finished with a 7-7 record last spring, but dropped its season opener to Hartford by a 13-10 score on Saturday.

The Series vs. the Keydets
Virginia has won 12 meetings against VMI, but the teams have not met since a 31-4 Cavalier win in Lexington in 1997.

The first meeting in 1949 saw the Cavaliers eke out an 11-10 win in the closest game in the series. The two teams met the following year in Lexington with Virginia winning 14-4. The 10-goal margin in that game is the closest the teams have been since.

The teams didn’t meet for another 38 years before restarting the series in 1988. They then met every year through 1997.

Under head coach Dom Starsia, Virginia is averaging 28.4 goals per game and has won by an average of 22.6 goals.

Given the wide margins of victory it is no surprise that the Cavaliers have rarely trailed the Keydets. Based on available records going back to 1988, the Cavaliers have only trailed in one game. VMI scored the first two goals in the 1994 tilt (2:19 and 7:30 of the first quarter) and led for 5:33. The Cavaliers quickly tied the score with 7:08 to go in the opening quarter and took the lead for good with 3:51 left in the period.

In 1989 Virginia scored first (14:20 of first quarter), but the Keydets tied it at the 12:51 mark. It remained tied for several minutes before the Cavaliers took the lead for good with 10:31 remaining in the first quarter. That is the only other time since at least 1950 the teams have been tied.

Green Grass of Klöckner Bodes Well
After playing their first home game on Monday (13-7 win over Denver) on the UHall Turf Field, the Cavaliers make their 2006 debut at Klöckner Stadium Saturday against Stony Brook.

Virginia is riding a nine-game winning streak at Klöckner Stadium dating back to the 2004 season. Last year the Cavaliers were 7-0 at Klöckner, their best record ever there.

Overall Virginia is 56-12 (.824) at Klöckner since moving there in 1993.

Long Home Winning Streak
Last year’s national champion Johns Hopkins has gotten a lot of attention for its 37-game home winning streak, which is by far the longest streak in the nation. But the Cavaliers have quietly put together a 13-game home winning streak dating back to the 2004 season. Last season Virginia won all nine home games and continued to win at home this season with two consecutive victories.

The 13-game winning streak is UVa’s longest since a school-record 15-game run from 1994-96. Overall it is tied for the second-longest streak in school history. Virginia also won 13 consecutive home games from 1992-93.

The Cavaliers’ winning streak ties Duke for the second-longest active streak in the country. The longest current streaks are listed below.

School, years                  Wins
1. Johns Hopkins, 2001-pres. 37
2. Virginia, 2004-pres. 13
Duke, 2004-pres. 13

Billings, Glading Off to Fast Starts
Danny Glading was named the top recruit in the nation in the fall by Inside Lacrosse, while classmate Garrett Billings was considered the magazine’s “Canadian X-Factor.”

Glading had a stellar high school career at Georgetown Prep and finished his career as the school’s all-time assists leader with 156. As a senior last year he scored 55 goals and finished with 93 points and was named the Washington Post’s Player of the Year.

Billings is a relative newcomer to the field game, but is a prolific scorer indoors, where he starred for the Burnaby Lakers club that won the Minto Cup in 2004 and `05. Last year he won the scoring title with 52 goals and 52 assists and 104 points and was named to the first all-star team.The pair has given an already potent offense an added kick so far this season.

Glading has scored 11 points (4g, 7a) and is tied for fourth in the country in total points. He is tied with teammate Matt Ward with a nation-leading seven assists. He opened his career with a 2-goal, 2-assist performance against Drexel. Against Denver in his second game he led the team with four assists. Last Saturday vs. Stony Brook he finished with two goals and an assist.

Billings notched two goals and added an assist in his debut vs. Drexel and scored twice vs. Denver in his second game. He made his first start against Stony Brook in place of an injured Ben Rubeor and notched three goals and an assist. He is tied for eighth in the country in total points and tied for seventh in goals.

They join a long line of freshmen who have made a mark on the Cavalier attack. Among the freshmen who have starred under head coach Dom Starsia include Christmas, Conor Gill, Doug Knight, Drew McKnight, Rubeor, Ward, Michael Watson, Tim Whiteley and Joe Yevoli.

Ward Joins Exclusive Club
Senior attackman Matt Ward has earned his way onto a select list of Virginia’s all-time greats. He has led the Cavaliers in goals the last two seasons and has notched at least one in 42 of 48 games in his career.

He scored a trio of goals in last week’s win over Denver to become only the ninth player in school history to score at least 100 in a career; he is ninth with 105 goals.

Ward is also fourth among active Division I players in goals. His place among active players is shown below.

Player, school, years                       goals
1. Joe Walters, Maryland, 2003-06 117
2. John Walker, Army, 2003-06 112
3. Matt Warner, Mount St. Mary's, 2003-06 109
4. Matt Ward, UVa, 2003-06 105
5. Merrick Thompson, Albany, 2004-06 104

Virginia Features Three of Nation’s Top Scorers
Virginia’s offense is one of the top units in the country, led by returning starters on attack Matt Ward and Ben Rubeor. The offense also features standout freshmen Danny Glading and Garrett Billings on attack, as well as a top midfield group that is in its third year as starters.

Ward is currently the nation’s leading scorer with 15 points (5.00/g), four points ahead of Rubeor and Glading, who are tied for fourth. Billings (9 points) is tied for eighth and midfielder Matt Poskay (8 points) is tied for 13th. Glading is the second-leading freshman scorer, while Billings is second. and is the leading rookie scorer. (North Carolina’s redshirt freshman Michael Burns leads with 12 points.)

Poskay and Ward are second nationally in goals with eight each. (Delaware’s Cam Howard leads with nine.) Poskay leads the way among all midfielders.Billings and Rubeor are tied for seventh in the country with seven goals apiece; Billings is second among freshmen behind Burns.

Glading and Ward share the lead nationally with seven assists. Kyle Dixon and Rubeor aren’t far behind in eighth place with four assists.

Overall Virginia is tied for sixth in offense with an average of 15.0 goals per game.

Starsia is UVa’s All-Time Wins Leader
In his 14th 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.

Starsia’s list of accomplishments grew a bit last season when he passed former head coach Jim “Ace” Adams for the most wins in program history. Starsia now has a 144-54 (.727) record at UVa.

In addition to setting the school record for most wins, Starsia is eighth all-time (as best we can tell) in coaching wins at the Division I level. (This list includes only time spent coaching at the DI level, which is why Dave Urick, Carl Runk and several others are not listed.)

He is also one of three coaches to win 100+ games at two different schools. In addition to his 143 UVa wins, he won 101 games at Brown from 1983-92. Jack Emmer won 100+ games at both Washington & Lee and Army, while Urick topped the century mark at Hobart and Georgetown.

The list of the winningest all-time Division I coaches is below.

Coach, school(s), years                         Wins
1. Jack Emmer, Cortland, W&L, Army, 1970-2005 326
2. Dick Garber, UMass, 1955-90 300
3. Roy Simmons, Jr., Syracuse, 1971-98 290
4. Jim Adams, Army, Penn, UVa, 1958-92 284
5. Glenn Thiel, UVa, Penn State, 1970-pres. 268
6. Richie Moran, Cornell, 1969-97 257
7. Roy Simmons, Sr., Syracuse, 1931-70 253
8. Dom Starsia, Brown, UVa, 1983-pres. 245

Four Cavaliers on Tewaaraton Watch List
Michael Culver, Kyle Dixon, Kip Turner and Matt Ward have been named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List announced by the Tewaaraton Award Foundation. The Tewaaraton Award is given annually to the nation’s top player.

Culver is considered one of the top close defensemen in the country. A preseason second-team All-American by Face-Off Yearbook, he is starting for the third year in a row. Last year he shut down some of the nation’s leading attackmen and was one of only two defensemen named All-ACC. He scooped up a career-high 40 ground balls, tied for fourth among ACC defensemen.

Dixon is one of the nation’s most outstanding midfielders. His tremendous size and athletic ability make him a factor on both ends of the field. He was named a preseason second-team All-American by Face-Off Yearbook this year. Last season he finished second among ACC midfielders with 33 points and 17 assists.

Turner was one of the key performers in the Cavaliers’ run to the final four last season. He ranked sixth nationally in goals allowed average (7.15/g) and 10th in save percentage (.592) and was a preseason honorable mention All-American by Face-Off Yearbook this season.

Ward, a preseason second-team All-American by Face-Off Yearbook, is a team captain for the year this season. He was an All-ACC choice for the second time last year after leading the team in goals (38) and points (49). He has scored four goals this season to become the ninth player in school history to score 100 in a career; he has 105.

2006 Captains Named
Michael Culver, J.J. Morrissey and Matt Ward have been selected team captains for this season.

Culver, a senior defenseman from Ridgewood, N.J., enters his third season as a starter on close defense. Last season he was a third-team All-American and an All-ACC selection after shutting down some of the nation’s leading attackmen. He snared 40 ground balls, third among defensemen in the ACC.

Morrissey, a senior midfielder from Winchester, Mass., has been one of the team’s most underrated performers throughout his career. Primarily a short-stick defensive midfielder early in his career, he expanded his role on both ends of the field a year ago. He scored six goals and tallied seven assists for 13 total points. Morrissey was sixth in the ACC in ground balls with an average of 3.4 per game.

Ward, a senior attackman from Oakton, Va., is a captain for the second year in a row. He earned second-team All-American honors last spring after leading the team in goals (38) and points (49). He was 10th in the country in goals and has led the team the last two seasons. His 105 career goals are eighth in UVa history.

Seven Receive Preseason All-American Nod
Seven Cavaliers have been named to the 2006 Face-Off Yearbook preseason All-American squad. A trio was named to the second-team–senior defenseman Michael Culver, senior midfielder Kyle Dixon and senior attack Matt Ward. Senior midfielder Matt Poskay, juniors defenseman Ricky Smith and goalie Kip Turner, and sophomore attack Ben Rubeor all received honorable mention recognition.

Culver is an aggressive shutdown defenseman who draws the opposition’s top attackman. He took over as the team’s stopper and had a tremendous year last spring, earning third-team All-American honors and was one of only two defensemen named All-ACC.

Dixon emerged as one of the nation’s top midfielders last year and was named a second-team All-American. He finished second among ACC midfielders with 33 points and 17 assists. His 16 goals tied for sixth among ACC middies.

Ward, a four-year starter, was the team’s offensive leader once again in `05. A powerful player who attacks the cage, he was the team leader in goals (38) and points (49), fifth with 11 assists. He finished third in the ACC and 10th nationally in goals (2.53/g) andsixth in the ACC in scoring (3.27 ppg).

Poskay was hobbled by a sore hamstring last season that limited him at practice but didn’t seem to affect him during games. His 29 goals last spring led ACC middies and tied for 10th all-time by a UVa midfielder. He led the team in goals on five occasions and scored at least three goals five times.

Smith is one of the rising stars on defense nationally. A first-time starter last season, he teams with Culver to give the Cavaliers two of the top defenders in the country. He started all 15 games last spring and snared a career-high 40 ground balls to tie for 18th in the ACC.

Turner was one of the key performers in the Cavaliers’ run to the final four last season. He recorded 137 saves last season, 12th most in school history by a first-time starter, while his .591 save percentage is third. Quick to the ball, he was sixth nationally in goals allowed average (7.15/g) and 10th in save percentage (.592).

Rubeor made an immediate impact in the line-up and was rated the #4 freshman last year by Inside Lacrosse. He led ACC freshmen with 16 assists and was second with 18 goals and 34 points. A terrific passer, he led the team in assists five times and placed sixth nationally among freshmen in assists and eighth in total points.

Starsia vs. Lower Ranked Opponents
Virginia comes into this game ranked third in the three preseason polls and fourth in Inside’s weekly poll. Since Dom Starsia took over the Virginia program in 1993, the Cavaliers have feasted upon lower or unranked opponents, winning 118 and losing only 27 (.814).

In home games, Starsia’s Cavaliers are an impressive 70-7 (.909) vs. lower/unranked opponents and have won 17 in a row.

Glazer Shines in First Start
Senior faceoff midfielder Charlie Glazer made the first starting assignment of his career in the first game against Drexel and played a big role in the Cavaliers’ 15-7 win over the Dragons.

The Greenwich, Conn., native won 11 of 15 attempts (.733), all career-high figures at the time. He also finished with four ground balls, the second-highest total of his career.

Glazer won five of seven draws in the first half to help UVa post a slim 5-4 lead at the break. Drexel tied the score early in the second half, but Glazer was spectacular winning five of six faceoffs as UVa scored eight unanswered goals that pushed the UVa lead to 13-5 at the end of the period. He won three straight faceoffs in a four-minute span that enabled the Cavaliers to maintain possession each time and score goals to extend the lead.

He had an even better performance in last Saturday’s win over Stony Brook, while going up against Jim Astea, who was 12th last year in winning percentage. Glazer won 12 of 14 attempts (.857) as Virginia built a big lead and went on to win 17-4. He also grabbed a career-high 10 ground balls to lead the team.

Seasoned First Midfield Returns
The first midfield unit of Kyle Dixon, Matt Poskay and Drew Thompson returns for a third year as starters this spring.

After a rough beginning as a unit in 2004, they gelled last season and played a key role in the team’s dash to the final four. Among them they combined to score 56 goals and 23 assists in one of the most potent offensive units under head coach Dom Starsia.

Dixon was second among ACC midfielders with 17 assists, while tying for sixth in goals among league middies, and was one of six ACC midfielders to reach double figures in both goals and assists. He earned second-team All-American honors and is a preseason second-team All-American by Face-Off Yearbook this year.

Poskay was a force in front and possesses an amazing knack for getting an open shot. He notched 29 goals last spring to lead ACC midfielders despite playing the season with a sore hamstring that severely limited his practice time. Poskay is a preseason honorable mention All-American by Face-Off Yearbook.

Thompson had a breakout year as a sophomore in `05 and is one of the most complete midfielders in the nation. He was playing at a very high level at the end of last season and looks to build upon last year’s momentum. He was 10th among ACC middies in goals and could be the team’s primary faceoff man this year.

Culver Anchors Close Defense
Senior All-American Michael Culver headlines an experienced close defense in front of goalie Kip Turner this season.

He was the team’s main stopper for the first time last spring and shut down some of the nation’s leading attackmen.

In the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, he was matched against Albany’s Merrick Thomson, the nation’s leading goal scorer, and completely shut him down. Thomson came into the game with 54 goals on just 97 shots and managed to take only one shot against Culver late in the third quarter. (Thomson got a second shot later in the game against the Cavalier reserves, but didn’t score.) Thomson also didn’t record an assist and was a non-factor in the game.

Some of the others who found the going tough against Culver, include Maryland’s Joe Walters, who scored one goal and had one assist in two games vs. Culver, Jed Prossner of North Carolina who scored one goal, Peter LeSueur of Johns Hopkins (1 goal), and Navy’s leading scorer Nick Mirabito (1 goal).

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