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July 27, 2006

Chicago, Ill. – Former UVa men’s lacrosse standout Michael Culver, currently a starting defenseman with the Chicago Machine of Major League Lacrosse, has guaranteed a victory for the winless Machine (0-9) in their home game against the Los Angeles Riptide on Saturday. Culver made his challenge on WGN Sports Radio with Dave Kaplan last night.

If his team loses, Culver will donate half of his season’s salary to the Children’s Heart Foundation, a charity founded in Chicago and committed to the funding of research “to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects.”

Culver, one of the captains of Virginia’s undefeated national championship team this season, hopes his proposition will help carry the Machine to victory, in addition to shedding light on an important charity. Win or lose, Culver will donate his game salary for this Saturday’s contest to the Children’s Heart Foundation. He has also challenged local Chicago residents to match his donation and help in the mission of The Children’s Heart Foundation.

“My intentions in guaranteeing a win for the Machine on Saturday are twofold: I want to raise awareness about congenital heart disease in children and motivate our team to win,” said Culver. “We have displayed plenty of spirit and resolve but at 0-9 I felt that something more drastic needed to be done. As a high draft pick I believe in order to live up to my side of the bargain as a player, I have to help our team win some games. If it requires risking half of my salary, so be it. As spectacular as our perfect season at Virginia was, I have no intentions of following it with a similarly unblemished record.”

Culver started at close defense in all 17 games for Virginia this past season on the nation’s 10th-ranked defense this season. A tremendous cover defensemen, he consistently shut down some of the nation’s top attackmen and was named the USILA Defenseman of the Year in recognition of his outstanding play. He was also named first-team All-American and to the NCAA Championships All-Tournament team. The Cavaliers ranked 10th nationally in defense this season, giving up an average of just 7.59 goals per game. His 39 ground balls were second among the team’s defensemen. The seventh pick in the MLL draft by Chicago, he has played in seven games and snared 18 ground balls in his first season as a professional.

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