Top-ranked Men's Lacrosse Opens ACC Schedule Saturday at Maryland
March 31, 2006
Charlottesville, Va. –
#1 Virginia at #3 Maryland
April 1, 2006 1 pm
Byrd Stadium College Park, Md.
Radio: WINA AM 1070 in Charlottesville is providing live play-by-play coverage of this game. Jed Williams calls all the action. He is joined in the broadcast booth by Doug Tarring, a member of UVa’s 1972 national championship team.
Top-ranked Virginia plays its first ACC contest and looks to keep its hot start going Saturday against No. 3 Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park. The game is scheduled to face off at 1 pm.
The Cavaliers’ 9-0 start is the best in school history. Virginia hasn’t had a 10-game winning streak since closing out the national championship season in 2003 with 10 straight wins.
After having some rough times away from home, the Cavaliers have won all three road games this spring, their longest road winning streak since winning four in a row from 2001-02.
The Terrapins come into this game riding a three-game winning streak and a 6-1 record. While Virginia is just starting its ACC schedule, the Terrapins are finishing theirs. They have already defeated Duke (8-7) in overtime and North Carolina 9-6 last weekend. Their only loss is a 7-6 overtime loss to Bucknell on March 14.
With the nation’s most potent offense, Virginia would no doubt like to turn this game into a high-scoring affair. In the last 25 years Virginia has scored in double digits against Maryland 23 times and won 18. Conversely, in the 14 games when UVa has been held to fewer than 10 goals, the Cavaliers are 3-11.
The Series vs. the Terrapins
Maryland leads the all-time series with Virginia by a 43-32 margin. The rivalry between the two schools goes all the way back to 1926, the second year of the Virginia program. The teams have met at least once every season since 1950, making this the second-longest current series of any Virginia opponent (behind Johns Hopkins, 1948).
The Cavaliers have not had much success on the Terrapins’ home field, winning just 13 of 35 meetings in College Park. Their luck has been better recently due to wins three of the last four times the teams have met at Byrd Stadium.
Overall Maryland has won the four of the last six meetings going back to 2003.
The team’s split last year’s two match-ups with UVa gaining a 10-2 regular-season win in Charlottesville, while Maryland won an 8-7 overtime battle in the ACC Tournament.
Virginia has not won back-to-back regular season games since winning four straight from 1999-2002.
Maryland’s 43 wins over Virginia are the second-most wins by any school over the Cavaliers. Johns Hopkins has defeated UVa 54 times.
Meanwhile, Virginia’s 32 wins in the series make the Terps fourth on UVa’s list of most beaten opponents (UVa has defeated Duke 48 times, and North Carolina and Washington & Lee 42 times each).
Cavaliers Open ACC Play Saturday
Virginia opens its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule this weekend against Maryland. Curiously, the other ACC schools have completed their conference schedule except for playing Virginia, while the Cavaliers are just starting.
Virginia is 39-13 all-time in ACC openers. When their ACC opener is on the road the Cavaliers are 18-8 all-time.
Rankings Don’t Mean Much vs. Terps
Virginia and Maryland have met 35 times since 1983 and one of the characteristics of the series since then is the inability to use rankings as a predictor of victory.
The lower ranked team has won 16 times, although things have turned around quite a bit in the last few years with the higher ranked team winning 11 of the last 15 match-ups.
The higher ranked team has won four of the last five meetings.
Virginia is 2-1 vs. Maryland when ranked No. 1. Curiously all three games were played in College Park. The Cavaliers won during the regular season in 1980, lost in 1996 and won in the ACC Tournament in 2000.
Man-Down Defense is Outstanding
One of the areas that has contributed to the Cavaliers’ 9-0 this season has been their outstanding man-down defense. Virginia is being whistled for nearly five penalties per game, giving the opposition plenty of chances for extra-man scores.
But with an experienced group that includes Michael Culver, Patrick Buchanan, Chris Ourisman and Ricky Smith protecting goalie , Virginia has allowed just 10 extra-man goals in 41 tries and leads the ACC in man-down percentage (.244).
The defense has allowed an extra-man goal in every game but one but has not given up more than two.
The game against Maryland is being played on April 1, no fooling. The Cavaliers have had pretty good luck on April Fool’s Day, winning six of 10 games all-time. Virginia is sporting a two-game winning streak on April Fool’s but hasn’t played since 1997. The mini streak began with a 12-11 win over Maryland in 1995.
The only other time UVa played Maryland on April Fool’s Day occurred in 1950 when the Terrapins won 11-9 in overtime.
Defense Among Nation’s Best
The Virginia offense has been electric so far this season and leads the nation with an average of 15.0 goals per game.
The defense is determined not to be outdone this spring and has been especially stingy this spring. The Cavalier defenders–led by close d-men Michael Culver, Ricky Smith and Matt Kelly and LSMs Mike Timms and Chris Ourisman, as well as stopper Kip Turner-spearhead the nation’s 10th-leading defense. The Cavaliers relinquish an average of 6.78 goals per game. Only Syracuse (15) has scored more than seven goals vs. Virginia this season.Denver and VMI have scored their fewest goals of the season vs. Virginia, while Drexel, Stony Brook, Princeton and Towson all have their second-lowest output of the season against the Cavaliers.
Of Virginia’s nine opponents this season, only Syracuse has scored more against the Cavaliers than their season average.
UVa is one of only three teams (along with Cornell and Duke) ranked in the top 10 in the country in both defense and offense.
Hoo’ll Lead the Offense Today?
The Cavaliers feature one of the most balanced offenses in the country with a host of players capable of putting up big numbers in any given game.Eleven different players have led the team in scoring and there doesn’t seem to be any pattern getting established as to who might lead on any particular occasion.
Ben Rubeor led the team in goals in the first two games, but missed the next two due to an injury. Since his return he has been the leader twice (Syracuse, Johns Hopkins). He was one of a quartet of Cavaliers to score three times vs. Syracuse, including Matt Poskay, Drew Thompson and Matt Ward.
Ward led three times in a four-game span (Stony Brook, Syracuse, Princeton), but was held without a goal by Towson.
Poskay scored three goals in a four-game stretch and led in three of them (Drexel, Syracuse, Towson).
Thompson led the way in three straight games–VMI, Syracuse, Princeton–but has tallied only twice since.
Freshman attackman Danny Glading shared the scoring honors with Rubeor against Johns Hopkins the last time out, the first time he was high man.It’s interesting to note that midfielder Kyle Dixon has not been the leader yet.
Virginia features eight players with at least six goals, including five already with more than 10.
Poskay’s Streak Reaches Double Figures
Matt Poskay is the nation’s second-leading scorer among midfielders with 19 goals. Villanova’s Matt Starker leads the way with 20 goals.
Poskay has scored at least three goals on four occasions this season and led the team three times.
He has also scored in every game this season to run his streak to 14 consecutive games with a goal. That is Virginia’s longest streak since Matt Ward had an 18-game run in 2004-05.
Poskay’s streak is the longest by a Cavalier midfielder since Jay Jalbert tallied at least once in 14 straight games in 2000. If he scores against Maryland, it would be the longest stretch by a UVa middie since David Curry scored from the midfield in 22 straight games in 1996-97.