Top-Seeded Virginia Set for Semifinal Showdown with Duke on Saturday in Baltimore
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers (16-1) enter the semifinal round of the NCAA Championship as the nation’s top-ranked team in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media and USILA coaches polls. Participating in a third-straight NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship, UVa will have a semifinal matchup with the Duke Blue Devils (14-4) on Saturday evening, inside Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. Faceoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Live stats will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
The game will also be broadcast in the Charlottesville area on WINA 1070 AM with John Freeman calling the action and Doug Tarring doing the color broadcast. The contest will be televised live in HD on ESPN2 with Sean McDonough doing the play-by-play, while Quint Kessenich serves as the color analyst, with Eamon McAnaney and Bob Holtzman patrolling the sidelines.
This is Virginia’s 33rd tournament appearance overall, second behind Johns Hopkins (39). Virginia won the national championship four years ago and has received a bid in 17 of the last 18 seasons. UVa is also making its 21st overall appearance in the semifinal round and 12th appearance in head coach Dom Starsia’s 18th season at the helm.
Virginia advanced to the semifinals on May 23 when the Cavaliers received hat tricks from Shamel Bratton and Chris Bocklet, the second time the duo has accomplished the feat during this NCAA Tournament. Adam Ghitelman was stellar in between the pipes, saving 13 shots en route to UVa’s 10-9 triumph over the eighth-seeded Stony Brook Seawolves.
Virginia advanced to the quarterfinals on May 15 when the Cavaliers received hat tricks from Shamel Bratton, Chris Bocklet and Brian Carroll, while Steele Stanwick dished out five assists in UVa’s 18-4 victory over Mount St. Mary’s in the first round.
The Blue Devils, ranked No. 5 in the media and coaches poll, reached the semifinals with convincing victories over Johns Hopkins, 18-5 in the first round, and 17-9 over ACC foe North Carolina in the Princeton quarterfinal. The Blue Devils are making the program’s fourth-straight semifinal appearance.
Friday marks the 73rd all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and the Blue Devils, a series that began in 1938 and which the Cavaliers own a 49-23 advantage. Facing each other every year since 1972 – save the 2006 season, UVa ended an eight-game losing streak to the Blue Devils the last time out in the ACC Tournament, defeating Duke 16-12 in College Park, Md.
The winner of this game faces the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal game between Cornell and Notre Dame in the finals at M&T Stadium in Baltimore on Monday (May 31). The semifinals will be televised on ESPN in HD at 3:30 p.m.
Bocklet leads Virginia with 49 goals, while Stanwick holds the team lead with 30 assists and is second on the team with 25 goals. Bocklet leads the squad with 63 points and needs one goal to become the first Cavalier to amass 50 goals in a season since Doug Knight tallied 56 goals in 1996. Shamel Bratton and Brian Carroll are tied for third with 23 goals, while Rhamel Bratton is next with 22 scores. Tewaaraton finalist Ken Clausen has 52 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers, while Chris LaPierre is next with 49 ground balls. Ghitelman is saving 56.3 percent of the shots against him, while posting a 7.87 goals-against average to go with a team-best 58 ground balls.
Duke head coach John Danowski is in his fourth season at Duke and returns 31 letterwinners and seven starters from last year’s NCAA semifinalist team that went 15-4. The Blue Devils are currently ranked No. 5 in the coaches poll and media poll.
Tewaaraton finalist Ned Crotty leads the Blue Devils with 82 points, amassing 60 assists to go with 22 goals. Crotty’s 3.3 assists per game average is tops in the nation. Max Quinzani has scored 64 goals and is second on the squad with 77 points. Zach Howell rounds out the top scorers with 47 goals and 17 assists for 64 points. Parker McKee has picked up a team-high 98 ground balls, while Dan Wirgrizer has seen the most time in the cage, saving 52.0 percent of shots and posting a 9.47 goals against average. Mike Rock started the NCAA game against North Carolina and is saving 44.4 percent of shots and posting a 5.79 goals against average.