No. 10 UVa and No. 2 Cornell Set to Clash Saturday on Long Island
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (10-5) enter the quarterfinal round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament as the No. 7 seed, the program’s lowest seed since 2001 when UVa was the No. 8 seed. It is the program’s fourth-straight quarterfinal appearance after topping unseeded Bucknell in overtime on Sunday, 13-12. In the final regular season polls, UVa was ranked No. 10 in the USILA coaches poll and No. 9 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. UVa will face the No. 2 seeded Cornell Big Red (14-2) on Saturday in a rematch of a March 12 Cavalier victory in Baltimore. Winners of 11 straight after falling to UVa, Cornell was ranked No. 2 in both final regular season polls. The neutral site game will be contested at James M. Shuart Stadium, on the campus of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y. The game is set to face off at noon. Live stats will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
The victor will advance to the NCAA semifinal round at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on May 28 and face the winner of No. 3 seed Johns Hopkins vs. No. 6 seed Denver.
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.
The game will be televised on ESPN2 in HD. Eamon McAnaney will provide the play-by-play, Quint Kessenich will add analysis and Mark Dixon will patrol the sidelines.
This is Virginia’s 34th tournament appearance overall, second all-time behind Johns Hopkins (40). Virginia won the national championship five years ago (2006) and has received a bid in 18 of the last 19 seasons. UVa has made it to the semifinal round in each of the past three seasons.
Virginia head coach Dom Starsia brings 326 career victories into the contest, needing one more triumph to pass Jack Emmer (326) for most victories by a head coach while at a NCAA Division I school.
The 2011 season marks the third-straight season the Cavaliers and Big Red have faced each other in a series in which UVa holds a 7-3 all-time advantage. The series began during the regular season in 1971, a game contested in Charlottesville. The next five meetings took place in the NCAA Tournament before the next regular season matchup, the 2009 contest at Klöckner Stadium. Virginia has won all four regular season matchups in the series, including an 11-9 triumph on March 12 in the 2011 Konica-Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
ACC Player of the Year and Tewaaraton finalist Steele Stanwick leads UVa with 57 points and 31 assists, while scoring 26 goals. Chris Bocklet is tops on the team with 38 goals and has 43 points. Bocklet enters the week tied for the nation’s longest consecutive game goal streak at 33 games. All-ACC pick Colin Briggs is next on the team with 23 goals. All-ACC honoree Chris LaPierre leads the team with 82 ground balls through the first 15 games, and through 11 games (65) bested UVa goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman’s 2010 team-best of 62 in 18 games.
Ghitelman has 47 career wins in the cage and is tied for No. 4 all-time at the NCAA Division I level with Syracuse’s Jay Pfeifer (2002-05). Ghitelman is saving 52.7 percent of shots against him and registering a 9.87 goals against average this season.
Ben DeLuca is in his first season as the Big Red’s head coach, taking over a program that he has spent 16 years with as a player and assistant coach. DeLuca is 14-2 during his first season as a collegiate head coach, guiding the Big Red to the 2011 Ivy League title. Tewaaraton finalist Rob Pannell leads the nation with a 5.38 points per game average, while posting Cornell bests with 39 goals and 47 assists. David Lau is next with 18 assists and 46 points. Steve Mock and Roy Lang round out the top scorers with 36 and 26 goals, respectively. AJ Fiore is saving 51.6 percent of shots and posting a 7.96 goals against average in between the pipes.
Fans may purchase tickets through the Hofstra Ticket Office by calling (516) 463-8499, or by logging onto GoHofstra.com. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for youth (5-12) and seniors. All tickets for the NCAA quarterfinals are general admission.