Men's Lacrosse Travels to Tobacco Road to Face North Carolina Saturday
April 7, 2006
Charlottesville, Va. –
#1 Virginia at North Carolina
April 8, 2006 2 pm
Fetzer Field Chapel Hill, N.C.
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.
Top-ranked Virginia concludes its ACC schedule Saturday afternoon against North Carolina at Fetzer Field. The game is scheduled to face off at 2 pm.
The Cavaliers’ 10-0 start is the best in school history and marks their longest winning streak since they put together 10-game run to close the national championship season in 2003. Virginia’s last winning streak of more than 10 games occurred in 2000 when UVa won 13 in a row.
After having some rough times away from home, the Cavaliers have won all four road games this spring, their longest road winning streak since winning four in a row from 2001-02. UVa has not won five consecutive road games since a seven-game streak in 1999-2000.
Virginia boasts the nation’s top-ranked offense, averaging 15.0 goals per game. Seven players have recorded at least 20 points, led by senior attackman Matt Ward with 34 points (18g, 16a). This is the first time since 1997 Virginia has had as many as seven 20-point scorers.
Ward loves to see the Tar Heel defense. He has scored 14 goals in his last three games against them and has 16 goals in his career vs. North Carolina.Ward isn’t the only Cavalier who plays well vs. the Tar Heels. Midfielder Kyle Dixon has scored a goal or had an assist in his five games against them and has career totals of five goals and five assists.
Virginia has had at least one player score three goals in the last six meetings vs. North Carolina.
North Carolina opened the season with two straight wins but has lost its last eight games and stands 2-8 overall. The Tar Heels are relinquishing just 9.20 goals per game and have not given up more than 13 goals this season. Scoring has been somewhat of an issue; the offense has scored in double figures once–a 14-goal outing in the opener against Ohio State.
As best as we can tell, this is the first time Virginia has ever played a team on an eight-game losing streak.
The Series vs. the Tar Heels
Virginia leads the all-time series with North Carolina by a 42-24 margin. The Cavaliers’ 42 wins make the Tar Heels tied for second on UVa’s list of most beaten opponents (UVa has defeated Duke 48 times and Washington & Lee 42 times). The series goes all the way back to two meetings in 1938 (when the teams split the contests). After a brief hiatus in the series in the `50s and `60s, the teams have met every season since 1964.
The Cavaliers have had remarkable success on the Tar Heels’ home field, winning 19 of 29 meetings in Chapel Hill through the years. UVa has won six of the last eight games in Chapel Hill, including a narrow 11-9 triumph in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament two years ago in the most recent game at Fetzer Field.
Overall Virginia has won 12 of the last 14 games dating back to 1997. The Tar Heels’ two wins in this span were both by two goals (7-5 in 2001 and 11-9 in 2004). Interestingly, North Carolina’s last four wins over UVa have been by either one or two goals; the Tar Heels haven’t won by more than two goals since a 15-7 win in the 1994 ACC Tournament.
Last year’s 15-9 Virginia win aside, the teams have locked up in several nailbiters recently, including four straight games that went down to the wire in 2003-04. Seven of the last nine meetings going back to UVa’s 17-16 double overtime victory in the 2000 ACC Tournament have been decided by three goals or less.
Hoo’ll Lead the Offense Today?
Virginia features 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 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 three more times (Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Maryland).
Ward led three times in a four-game span (Stony Brook, Syracuse, Princeton), but was held without a goal by Towson and hasn’t led since the Princeton game.
Poskay scored three goals each four times in an eight-game stretch, leading in three of them (Drexel, Syracuse, Towson).
Thompson led the way in three straight games–VMI, Syracuse, Princeton–but has tallied only four times since.
Freshman attackman Danny Glading shared the scoring honors with Rubeor against Johns Hopkins, the first time he was high man.
Virginia Ranked First in USILA Poll
Virginia sits atop the USILA coaches poll for the third consecutive week this week. The Cavaliers are off to a 10-0 start, the best in school history. This is the first time UVa has been ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll since a three-week stay in March 2003.
Under head coach Dom Starsia, UVa is 16-5 when ranked #1 in the USILA coaches poll. The Cavaliers are 4-5 on the road as the top-ranked team.Virginia is 0-1 since 1972 against North Carolina in Chapel Hill when ranked No.1. The loss occurred in 1996.
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 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 ninth-leading defense. The Cavaliers relinquish an average of 6.60 goals per game. Only Syracuse (15) has scored more than seven goals vs. Virginia this season.
VMI and Maryland have scored their fewest goals of the season vs. Virginia, while Denver, Drexel, Stony Brook, Princeton and Towson all have their second-lowest output of the season against the Cavaliers.
Of Virginia’s 10 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 nine in the country in both defense and offense.
Poskay’s Streak Reaches Double Figures
Matt Poskay is the nation’s second-leading scorer among midfielders with 21 goals. Villanova’s Matt Starker leads the way with 23 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 15 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 David Curry scored in 22 straight games in 1996-97.
Starsia Wins 150th at Virginia
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 won his 150th game at UVa with last month’s 12-6 win over Johns Hopkins. He now has a 151-54 (.737) 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 151 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. 272
6. Richie Moran, Cornell, 1969-97 257
7. Roy Simmons, Sr., Syracuse, 1931-70 253
8. Dom Starsia, Brown, UVa, 1983-pres. 252
Ward Creeps Up All-Time Goals List
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 48 of 55 games in his career.
He scored a trio of goals in the win over Denver on Feb. 20 to become only the ninth player in school history to score at least 100 in a career; he is fifth with 115 goals. Ward is also tied for fourth among active Division I players in goals.
His place on UVa’s career goals list is shown below. The number is parenthesis is each player’s standing on the ACC career goals list.
Player, years goals (ACC rank)
3. Kevin Pehlke, 1990-93 138 (8)
4. Chase Monroe, 1985-88 116 (18)
5. Matt Ward, 2003-06 115 (19)
Glazer is ACC Faceoff 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 in the faceoff circle.
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 is sixth in the country (ACC leader) in faceoff winning percentage with a 63.6 mark (89 of 140). He is also 15th nationally (once again the ACC leader) in ground balls, averaging 5.20 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 wins over Syracuse and Princeton was an ability to gain and maintain possession, particularly when it came 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. 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 had a perfect game vs. Mount St. Mary’s (11 of 11) and was excellent going up against Greg Peyser from Johns Hopkins, winning 10 of 17 draws.
Cavaliers are Nation’s Top Offense
Virginia comes into this game ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring with an average of 15.00 goals/g.
The Cavaliers have scored 150 goals in 10 games so far, their most at this stage since they scored 193 in 1997. Overall, it is tied for seventh-most they have ever scored at this point in a season.
The Cavaliers have scored at least 12 in nine of 10 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 several of the top scorers in the country, led by senior All-American Matt Ward. Ward is tied for third nationally with 34 points (18g, 16a), while sophomore Ben Rubeor is tied for ninth with 31 points (21g, 10a) despite missing two games with an injury.
Garrett Billings and Danny Glading are tied for fourth in points among freshmen. They have each registered 22 points, and trail Siena’s Matt Girsh (28) and Chris Zarins (26), and Hofstra’s Tom Dooley (24).
Billings has scored 17 goals and ranks third behind Girsh (22) and Dooley (19) for the lead among freshmen. Glading is tied for eighth with 13.
Gavin Gill’s 10 assists are third nationally among rookies, while Glading is fourth with nine.
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 11 assists are tied for third in the country by a midfielder, while his 20 total points are tied for 15th.
He is one of only nine midfielders with at least nine goals and nine assists this spring.
With 44 career goals and 47 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. 44 47
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 50.3 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 15.6 gb/g.
The Cavaliers have won 54 of their last 59 games (5-0 this year) dating back to 1998 when snapping up at least 50 GBs.
Rubeor on Recent Tear
Ben Rubeor was one of the top freshmen in the nation a year ago and made an immediate impact in the line-up. He led ACC freshmen with 16 assists and was second with 18 goals and 34 points.
In the season’s first game against Drexel he led the way with three goals and two assists and was high man the next game with four goals and two assists vs. Denver. He injured his ankle late in that contest and missed the next two games (Stony Brook, VMI).
The rugged sophomore returned to action against Syracuse as if he had not missed any time. Once again he led the attack with three goals and two assists in a 20-15 win.
Rubeor scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in a 7-6 win over Princeton, interestingly enough on his 20th birthday. He followed that with a relatively quiet game against Mount St. Mary’s with two goals and an assist.
Playing just minutes from his home, Rubeor led the way with five points (2g, 3a) in the 14-7 win over Towson recently.
He led the way with four goals in last week’s 15-5 win over Maryland and was named ACC Player of the Week.
Overall he has led the team in goals in three of the last four games.The second-leading scorer on the team, he is averaging 3.88 points per game and ranked fifth in the country.
Dom Starsia knew when he signed this year’s class of freshmen that he was getting some talented players. However he might not have anticipated getting quite the production he’s gotten so far from this precocious group of youngsters.
Glading has scored 13 goals and added nine assists while starting every game. His 22 total points are tied for fourth in the country by a freshman, while his nine assists are also fourth.
Kelly has started every game as well and usually draws the opponent’s third attackman; he has 15 ground balls.
Canadian attackman Garrett Billings has started several games and is the fourth attackman when he doesn’t start. His 22 total points are tied with Glading for fourth most by a freshman, while his 17 goals are third.
Steve Giannone runs on the second midfield unit and has tallied six goals and added two assists. He was the team’s leading scorer against Mount St. Mary’s with three goals and an assist.
Gavin Gill has played in seven games on attack. He has scored just once, but is third in the country among freshmen with 10 assists.
In addition, the top longstick midfielder is redshirt freshman Mike Timms. He leads the team’s LSMs with 19 ground balls.
Overall, this year’s freshmen have scored 43 goals (28.7% of team total) and had 30 assists (29.4%) and are the most productive freshmen since the 2003 newcomers scored 46 goals and 37 assists.
Morrissey Unheralded Standout
Last season Inside Lacrosse magazine called short-stick defensive midfielder the “most important position in lacrosse” in a story about the seldom-noticed contributions of those playing the position.
Virginia’s J.J. Morrissey certainly falls into this category. Last season he could have easily been named the team’s most valuable player (it went to Matt Ward). He scooped a career-high 51 ground balls to rank sixth in the ACC (3.40/g), scored six goals and assisted on seven more.
This season he has been named a team captain in recognition of his leadership skills. Once again he is a demon on ground balls, ranking third in the ACC with an average of 4.00 per game. Deadly in transition, he has scored four goals and has six assists.
Morrissey has led the team in ground balls three times this season and tied his career high with eight GBs vs. Syracuse.
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 second-leading midfielder scorer with 21 goals, which is tied for seventh overall.
Poskay also owns a 15-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 one goal 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. Matt Poskay, 2003-pres. 68
Billings, Glading are Top Rookies
Danny Glading was named the top recruit in the nation by Inside Lacrosse in the fall, 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, 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 this season.Billings is tied for fourth on the team in scoring with 22 points (17g, 5a). He 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 finished with three goals and an assist. He scored twice vs. Syracuse and has scored at least once in every game except Princeton.
The Canadian is tied for fourth in the nation in total points by a freshman (with Glading among others). He is the third-leading rookie goal scorer with 17.
Glading has scored twice in each of the last three games. An excellent feeder, his nine assists are fourth-most by a freshman (teammate Gavin Gill is third with 10). Glading opened his career with a 2-goal, 2-assist performance against Drexel. He shared the team lead with two goals vs. Johns Hopkins.
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, Matt Ward, Michael Watson, Tim Whiteley and Joe Yevoli.