No. 2 UVa and No. 11 Johns Hopkins Battle for the Doyle Smith Cup on Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (7-1) are ranked No. 2 this week in both the USILA coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse media polls after defending the home turf against No. 20 Ohio State on March 19. UVa heads back to Baltimore for the second time in three weeks on Saturday to face the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (5-2). JHU is ranked No. 11 this week by the USILA coaches poll and No. 12 by the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. The Cavaliers and Blue Jays are set to clash inside historic Homewood Field. Faceoff is slated for 2 p.m.
There will be a live radio broadcast in the Charlottesville area on WINA 1070 AM, which will be simulcast as an audio webcast on VirginiaSports.com through Virginia Sports Online Radio. John Freeman will bring the play-by-play and Doug Tarring will provide the analysis. ESPNU will televise the game live with Eamon McAnaney calling the play-by-play and Quint Kessenich providing analysis.
Saturday marks the 65th straight season the Cavaliers and the Blue Jays have clashed in an all-time series that began in 1904. Johns Hopkins holds the all-time advantage with a 54-28-1 mark, however Virginia has won the last six meetings, including last year’s 15-6 triumph at Klöckner Stadium. Virginia’s 83 all-time games against the Blue Jays equals the most games the Cavaliers have played against any opponent in their history. Virginia is 9-34-1 all-time at Johns Hopkins, but has won the past two trips to Homewood Field and a win on Saturday will mark the first three-game winning streak in UVa history at JHU.
The game is the sixth annual battle for the Doyle Smith Cup, a spoil since 2006 that goes to the regular season winner in the series. Virginia and Johns Hopkins joined together to honor E. Doyle Smith, Jr., for his lifetime of contributions to the lacrosse programs at both schools and on the national level with the annual regular season winner laying claim to the cup. Smith served as team manager and statistician for Johns Hopkins under coach Bob Scott from 1963-68.
He enrolled at UVa to pursue a doctorate in the fall of 1968, and became the University’s first full-time assistant sports information director, a position he held for 31 years until his retirement in 1999, serving as the lacrosse team’s publicist for four head coaches-Buddy Beardmore, Glenn Thiel, Jim Adams and Dom Starsia. In 2000, he was elected to the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame and is the only individual inducted who never played the game at some level.
In the battle for the cup in 2010, Shamel Bratton led the way with three goals and two assists for a game-high five points. Rhamel Bratton and Matt White each scored goals, and Brian Carroll matched Shamel Bratton with five points on three assists, helping UVa to the 15-6 triumph in Charlottesville. The win gave UVa the Doyle Smith Cup for the fifth-straight year.
The Cavaliers are led by Chris Bocklet’s 22 goals, while Steele Stanwick has a team-high 32 points and 15 assists. Shamel Bratton, No. 5 all-time among UVa midfielders with 84 career goals, is third on the team with 15 goals. Chris LaPierre leads the team with 46 ground balls, five away from his 2010 total and 16 away from Adam Ghitelman’s team high of 62 in 2010. Ghitelman is saving 58.1 percent of shots in between the pipes and posting a 8.36 goals against average. Ghitelman enters the game with 44 career goalie wins, placing him in a tie for No. 6 all-time in NCAA Division I history with UMBC’s Jeremy Blevins (2006-09).
JHU head coach Dave Pietramala is in his 11th season with the Blue Jays and returns 28 letterwinners and five starters off his 2010 squad that went 7-8. Johns Hopkins enters Saturday’s game looking to bounce back from a tough double overtime loss at No. 1 Syracuse.
Zach Palmer leads the way with 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points. Chris Boland also has 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points. Kyle Wharton rounds out the top scorers with 11 goals. Virginia boasts the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense this week at 14.5 goals per game, but waiting in the cage for Johns Hopkins is the nation’s most efficient goalie, Pierce Bassett. Posting a 5.01 goals against average and saving 68.3 percent of shots against him, Bassett leads the nation in both categories.
Virginia returns home on April 2, opening ACC play against the Maryland Terrapins, inside Scott Stadium. It will be UVa’s first men’s lacrosse game inside the football stadium since the 1995 season. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and the Orange-Blue spring football game will be free following the conclusion of the men’s lacrosse game.
Tickets for the men’s lacrosse game will be $7 for adults and $5 for youth, seniors, and UVa faculty and staff for General Admission seating. General Admission seating will be available on the east and west sides of the stadium in the lower level. Men’s lacrosse and all-Lacrosse Reserved Seat season ticket holders will be assigned Reserved Seating in section 125 at Scott Stadium. Tickets 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 2011 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 2011 season.