No. 1 Virginia Hosts In-State Foe VMI on Tuesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After defeating No. 1 Syracuse on Sunday, 11-10, the Cavaliers are this week’s consensus No. 1 team in the nation, receiving all No. 1 votes in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and USILA coaches poll. UVa sees its first action as the nation’s No. 1 team on Tuesday, when the VMI Keydets invade Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Live stats will be available at VirginiaSports.com
Since the USILA started its coaches’ poll in 1973, UVa has been ranked in the Top 5 in 250 polls, including this week’s No. 1 ranking. The No. 1 ranking serves as the first time UVa has been ranked No. 1 in both polls since the week of April 20, 2009. The Cavaliers spent seven weeks last season atop both polls, and 10 weeks as the No. 1 team in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll.
Virginia enters Tuesday’s contest with a 4-0 record, hosting the 2-3 Keydets in what has become an annual in-state rivalry. The Cavaliers own a 16-0 all-time record against the Keydets and 2010 is the fifth straight season the two programs have met in a series that started in 1949. Virginia head coach Dom Starsia is 9-0 all-time against VMI and Tuesday marks the 10th time in the Starsia era VMI and UVa have met. The Cavaliers’ average victory margin in the series is 17.8 goals.
The last meeting between these two teams was UVa’s first in Lexington, Va., since 1997 and much like this matchup was the Cavaliers’ first contest as the nation’s No. 1 team after defeating top-ranked Syracuse on Feb. 27, 2009. The Cavaliers scored the game’s first six goals on the way to a 19-3 triumph over the Keydets on March 3, 2009. Danny Glading tallied five goals and four assists, while Steele Stanwick scored four times to pace the victory.
UVa enters Tuesday’s contest after receiving a career-high four goals from Rhamel Bratton in the victory over Syracuse on Sunday. Bratton was awarded ACC Co-Player of the Week honors for his exploits. Stanwick and Brian Carroll each had two scores and an assist in a game where the UVa defense held Syracuse scoreless for 28:23 between the Orange scoring goals five and six, which spanned the second and third quarter.
The last four meetings between Syracuse and Virginia in the series each have been determined by one goal, with UVa holding the 3-1 advantage during the span. The victory is also UVa’s second consecutive over Syracuse when the Orange are ranked No. 1 in the nation and the Cavaliers are No. 2. Syracuse has lost only five games since the start of the 2008 season on the way to back-to-back NCAA national championships. Three of those losses have come at the hands of the Cavaliers.
On the season Chris Bocklet leads UVa with 11 goals, while Stanwick is second with nine scores. Both sophomores share the team lead with 15 points. Bratton is third in both categories with eight scores and eight points. Adam Ghitelman is saving .516 of shots and holds an 8.00 GAA in the goal.
VMI enters the game with a 2-3 record and is coming off a 19-8 home setback at the hands of Robert Morris on Saturday. Colin Bosse scored three goals and Kelly McMinn had 15 saves, but it was not enough to overcome the attack of the top-scoring team in Division I going into the weekend. Tim Moran leads the VMI offense with 10 goals, seven assists for a team-high 17 points. Brett Leonard and Bosse are second with seven goals apiece. McMinn is saving .532 of shots and holds an 11.36 GAA between the pipes. VMI head coach Jeff Shirk enters his seventh year at the helm of the Keydets and returns 20 letterwinners and nine starters from 2009.
Virginia has a 21-game winning streak going back to 2001 in regular-season mid-week games, including a 15-7 triumph at Mount St. Mary’s on Feb. 23.
No. 1 Virginia travels to No. 8 Cornell on Saturday for a noon tilt before returning to Klöckner Stadium on March 16 for a matchup with Vermont.
Tickets for Virginia lacrosse games can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone at (800) 542-8821 or in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Virginia lacrosse season tickets for 2010 are $30 (adult general admission) and $20 (youth, senior, faculty/staff general admission).
Single-game tickets to lacrosse games are $7 (adult general admission), and $5 (youth, senior, faculty/staff general admission).
All reserved seats are sold out for the 2010 season.