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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VADespite last week’s 13-7 setback against Maryland, Virginia head coach Dom Starsia refuses to adopt a “Chicken LittleThe Sky is Falling” mentality as his team prepares to face sixth-ranked North Carolina tomorrow afternoon in Chapel Hill.

“It’s funny how radically different you feel after a win and a loss,” he said earlier this week. “The swing in either direction is so unbelievable. After watching the film a couple of times on the bus ride back and again … on Sunday morning … I would say that it was less about our effort and just more about out performance.

“I thought we were ready to play. I think we carried the play to Maryland in the first quarter of the game, but we couldn’t score enough to make it easy on ourselves. They’d get a couple of goals and we were creating good opportunities but not finishing.

“We’ve got to take from the game things that we need to get better at and also the things that we can say, look, we can build on some of these things we did. ”

Several areas the team undoubtedly wants to improve upon this week include faceoffs and defensive play.

Playing extensively for the first time, sophomore Brian McDermott won just two of 15 faceoffs last week and has fallen below 50 percent for the year (.477). Freshman Garett Ince won four of six and is likely to take on a bigger role this week. Starsia noted after the Maryland game that he wished he had played Ince more. Fellow rookie Nick Elsmo could also get some turns at the X this weekend.

McDermott and company aren’t the only players seeing their first action in key spots. Adam Ghitelman has started the entire season in goal with varying results. He had 14 saves on the big stage at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium to highlight the win over Syracuse early in the season. He had several point blank stuffs against Johns Hopkins. But he had a rough outing against Stony Brook before being replaced by fifth-yearman Bud Petit.

Should Petit get the start it would be his first start since the Manhattan contest three years ago. That season Starsia alternated him and Kip Turner by halves before settling on Turner, who took the team to the national semifinals that season.

The 7-2 Tar Heels are coming off an impressive 13-8 win over Johns Hopkins at Homewood last weekend. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and built the lead to 11-3 after three quarters on the way to their first win at Homewood in 14 years.

The North Carolina offense features a balanced attack and a deep midfield. Four players have scored at least 10 goals, while eight have registered at least 10 points.

Junior goalie Grant Zimmerman keys an experienced defense that features two seniors and a junior on close defense.

“I think Grant Zimmerman has been playing probably as good a first half of the season as any goalie in the country overall,” Starsia noted.

“This is a game that is going to require our best effort,” Starsia said. “From our reaction in practice earlier this week, we certainly think that our players understand that and are ready to play their best.”

Faceoff is set for 4 p.m. The game is being televised on ESPNU. Radio coverage is provided by WINA, AM 1070.

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