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March 18, 2006

Charlottesville, Va. –

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Game 8
#2 Virginia at #19 Towson
March 19, 2006 • 1 pm
Unitas Stadium • Towson, Md.

Broadcast Information

Television: The game is being televised live in the Baltimore area on WMAR-ABC 2. Scott Garceau calls the play-by-play, while Quint Kessenich provides the color commentary. ESPNU is airing the game on a tape delay basis Sunday at 5 pm. Please check with your local cable provider to see if it offers ESPNU. ESPNU is also available on DirectTV, channel 609.

Radio: WINA AM 1070 in Charlottesville is providing live play-by-play coverage of this game. Adam Gottschalk calls all the action. He is joined in the broadcast booth by Doug Tarring, a member of UVa’s 1972 national championship team.

The Series vs. the Tigers
Virginia leads the all-time series by an 8-3 margin and has won the last five match-ups. The schools met on an annual basis from 1972-77, but did not meet again until the 1991 NCAA Tournament, a game Towson won 14-13 in Charlottesville.

A 10-year gap followed before the series resumed in 2001 with a 12-8 Cavalier victory. The four-goal margin in that game proved to be the biggest defeat the Tigers suffered that season when they advanced to the final four.

Virginia’s 14-3 win last year in Charlottesville stands as the largest margin of victory in the series. UVa’s average victory margin during its current five-game winning streak is 5.8 goals.

The Cavaliers won 9-8 two years ago in the most recent game at Unitas Stadium. That game is also the only overtime game in the series.

Two of Towson’s three victories have been by one-goal (1977, `91). The Tigers’ three wins have been by an average of 2.0 goals.

Holding the Lead
During Virginia’s current five-game winning streak over Towson, the Cavaliers have outscored the Tigers 58-29. They have scored at least nine goals in all five, while never giving up more than eight.

One of the characteristics of UVa’s winning streak has been an ability to get and maintain a lead. In the last five meetings Towson has only had two leads (2002, 2004).

The Tigers have also had the added whammy of long scoring droughts. In the last five meetings they have had 11 scoring droughts of 10+ minutes (ranging from 10:00 to 28:08).

Towson’s lead of 33:29 in the game two years ago is by far its longest lead time in the last five games.

Virginia’s five-game winning streak broken down by time of lead is listed below.

              Time    Percent of Total
Towson lead 34:35 (11.5%)
Tie score 61:13 (20.4%)
UVa lead 204:42 (68.1%)
total 300:30 100%

Virginia Features Nation’s Top Offense
Virginia comes into this game ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring with an average of 15.57 goals/g.

The Cavaliers have scored 109 goals in the seven games so far, their most after seven games since they scored 111 in the national championship season in 1999. Overall, it is the sixth-most they have ever scored at this point in a season.

The Cavaliers have scored at least 13 in six of seven games, including at least 20 twice. The last time UVa scored 20+ more than twice in a season occurred in 1999 season when they reached that mark three times.

The offense features five of the top-20 scorers in the country, led by senior All-American Matt Ward. Ward is tied for third nationally with 25 points (15g, 10a), while sophomore Ben Rubeor is tied for sixth with 17 points (13g, 7a) despite missing two games with an injury.

Freshman Garrett Billings leads all freshmen in scoring–tied for 20th overall–with 16 points (11g, 5a). Among the others he is tied with are midfielders Kyle Dixon (7g, 9a) and Matt Poskay (15g, 1a). Dixon and Poskay are the third-leading scoring middies in the nation.

Glazer ACC Faceoff, Ground Ball Leader
One of the biggest question marks coming into the season for head coach Dom Starsia and his staff was who was going to replace four-year starter Jack deVilliers on faceoffs.

Senior Charlie Glazer and junior Drew Thompson have been sharing the duties, but with Thompson on the field for both offense and defense, Glazer has had plenty of chances to ply his specialty.

Given the most extended playing time of his career, Glazer has been one of the team’s most pleasant surprises with his excellent play. He leads the ACC in faceoff winning percentage with a 70.5 mark (67 of 95). He also leads the league in ground balls, averaging 5.43 per game.

Glazer got the first starting assignment of his career in the opening game against Drexel and played a big role in the Cavaliers’ 15-7 win. He won 11 of 15 attempts (.733) and finished with four ground balls.

He had an even better performance in the win over Stony Brook, 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 won 17-4. He also grabbed a career-high 10 ground balls to lead the team.

One of the keys in Virginia’s recent wins over Syracuse and Princeton has been an ability to gain and maintain possession, particularly when it comes to faceoffs.

In the win over the `Cuse, UVa outscored the Orange 8-1 in the second quarter to seize control. Glazer won 14 of 24 draws overall, including five of eight in that period, when the Cavaliers had possession virtually the entire period.

His ability to win draws was significant in the Cavaliers’ comeback from a 4-1 deficit to down Princeton 7-6 last week. He won eight of 12 attempts, including all three in the third quarter when UVa mounted its comeback. Glazer also finished with a game-high seven ground balls.

Glazer was perfect in Tuesday’s win over Mount St. Mary’s, winning all 11 faceoffs he took, tying a school record for the best perfect game. Once again he was the ground ball leader with six.

Dixon is 40-40 Man
In baseball much is made of a player who combines the strength to hit home runs and the speed to steal bases, specifically hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases in a season. In the entire history of baseball, there are only three members of the “40-40 Club” (Jose Canseco-1988, Barry Bonds-1996, Alex Rodriguez-1998).

In lacrosse a “40-40” midfielder is nearly as rare, as most middies are either scorers or passers, but rarely both.

Senior Kyle Dixon is one of the rare midfielders who can do both. Last year he was one of 10 ACC midfielders with 10 goals and 10 assists, and finished second among league mids with 17 assists.

This year his nine assists are the most by a conference midfielder, while his six goals are tied for third.

With 41 career goals and 45 career assists, he is one of only three “40-40 Midfielders” in school history. UVa’s list is below.

  Player, years             goals   assists
1. Scott Gerham, 1981-84 45 57
2. Chris Rotelli, 2000-03 85 41
3. Kyle Dixon, 2003-pres. 41 45

Ground Balls Key to Victory
One of the goals of the Virginia coaching staff every game is winning the ground ball battle.

Last season the Cavaliers were exceptional and averaged 44.8 ground balls per game, up seven from the year before, and almost six more than the opposition. They also won the ground ball war in 11 of 15 games.

This year’s group of Cavaliers have done their best Brooks Robinson impersonation, sucking up ground balls at a rate of 52.86 per game. Against Mount St. Mary’s, they gobbled up 67 and have topped 50 four times. They also have a ground ball margin of 18.0 gb/g.

The Cavaliers have won 53 of their last 58 games (5-0 last year) dating back to 1998 when snapping up at least 50 ground balls.

Turner ACC Player of the Week
Kip Turner was named ACC Player of the Week after guiding the Cavaliers to a 7-6 victory over fifth-ranked Princeton last Sunday.

The junior goalie finished with 10 saves, his second-highest output of the season, while allowing just six goals to the previously unbeaten Tigers. Overall he faced 30 shots on the afternoon. His play helped hold Princeton scoreless for span of nearly 26 minutes from midway through the second quarter until early in the fourth. During that time the Cavaliers turned a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead.

With the Cavaliers clinging to a 5-4 lead in the third quarter, Turner made a huge man-down save to preserve the lead. The Severna Park, Md., native followed with another big save in the closing minutes of the game stopping a Princeton shot with two minutes remaining.

Turner is allowing an average of 6.80 goals per game, while compiling a .542 save percentage.

Poskay Eyes Top 10 Midfield List
Matt Poskay set a national high school record with 362 goals during his storied prep career in New Jersey. Still there was some skepticism from some corners about his ability to be a big time scorer on the collegiate level. But Dom Starsia never had any reservations and his confidence in Poskay’s skills has been justified.

Poskay scored 29 goals last season, fourth in the nation among midfielders and tied for 10th all-time by a UVa middie.

This season he is the nation’s top midfielder scorer with 15 goals, which is tied for fifth overall.

Poskay also owns a 12-game streak with at least one goal dating back to last season, the longest streak on the team.

One of the most prolific scoring midfielders in school history, he needs four goals to become one of the top-10 scoring middies in program history. A look at the top scorers is below.

   Player, years              goals
1. Pete Eldredge, 1969-72 92
5. Andy Kraus, 1987-89, `91 75
6. Tom Holman, 1976-79 70
7. Rick Giusto, 1979-82 69
David Jones, 1992-95 69
9. Doug Cooper, 1971-74 66
Rich Kroll, 1974-77 66
11. Matt Poskay, 2003-pres. 62
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