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May 18, 2010
12:28 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — UVa’s opponent in the NCAA men’s quarterfinals, Stony Brook, has one of the nation’s top faceoff specialists in Adam Rand, but he struggled Feb. 27 at the University Hall Turf Field.

That’s where the Cavaliers beat the Seawolves 13-8 in a game in which Rand, a junior, won only 11 of 25 faceoffs. UVa sophomore Ryan Benincasa dominated, winning 12 of 16 draws, though teammates Brian McDermott and Garett Ince weren’t as successful that afternoon.

McDermott, a senior, won 2 of 5 draws, and Ince, a junior, went 0 for 4.

“Certainly we’re aware of that,” Dom Starsia said of Benincasa’s record versus Rand. “I don’t think we would hesitate to go to the hot hand. I don’t care who it is. We’re almost at the point where all three of those guys have taken an equal number of faceoffs. That’s something that we’ll look at.”

Rand won 12 of 19 faceoffs in Stony Brook’s first-round win over Denver, and overall he’s won 60.6 percent this season.

Of the Seawolves’ 428 draws in 2010, Rand has taken 409. Virginia, by contrast, has three legitimate options at the faceoff X.

For the season, McDermott has won 97 of 153 draws (63.4 percent), Benincasa 70 of 127 (55.1 percent) and Ince 58 of 119 (48.7 percent).

“Brian has sort of emerged as our first option,” Starsia said, “but I don’t think we’ll hesitate at all to go some different ways and hopefully repeat some of the things that worked for us [Feb. 27] and fix a couple of the things that we can do better.”

No. 1 seed Virginia (15-1) meets No. 8 seed Stony Brook (13-3) at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on Long Island, N.Y. The game is at LaValle Stadium, the Seawolves’ home field.

Jeff White

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