No. 6 Virginia Hosts No. 12 Syracuse Sunday At Noon
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The sixth-ranked Virginia women’s lacrosse team will face its second ranked opponent of the season in No. 12 Syracuse on Sunday (Feb. 26) at Klöckner Stadium. The contest will begin at noon and live video and audio will be available through Cavaliers Live, UVa’s live streaming offering. Live statistics will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
There will be halftime ceremony to retire the No. 24, worn by former Cavalier Robyn Nye Wood, at Sunday’s contest. Nye played for UVa from 1988-91 and was a member of the 1991 NCAA Champion squad. That season she was named the National Defensive Player of the Year, an All-American, the team’s Most Valuable Player and a member of the NCAA All-Tournament team in addition to serving as the Cavaliers’ team captain. Nye’s first All-America nod came in 1990. In addition, Nye made the ACC Academic Honor Roll all four of her years at UVa. She was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1990-97 and competed with that team in Wales, Australia, and England, culminating with a World Cup Championship in 1997. In 2003, Nye was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary Lacrosse Team.
Current senior Julie Gardner (Severna Park, Md.) wears No. 24 so it will be retired at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
The Cavaliers (2-0) opened the 2012 season with a pair of victories, defeating then-No. 7 Loyola, 14-9 on Feb. 18, and in-state foe Richmond, 12-9 on Feb. 22. UVa is looking to begin the season 3-0 for the first time since 2009, when the Cavaliers strung together four-consecutive victories to open that season.
Virginia is led offensively by senior Ainsley Baker’s (Corning, N.Y.) six goals. The senior attacker was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Week after matching a career high with five goals vs. Loyola in the season-opener.
A trio of Cavaliers have scored four goals this season, rookie Jess Loizeuax (Mullica Hill, N.J.), senior Charlie Finnigan (Twickenham, Middlesex, England) and redshirt freshman Liza Blue (Butler, Md.). Blue was named WomensLax.com’s Rookie of the Week after having an all-around effort vs. Loyola with two goals, one assist, two ground balls and five draw controls.
Senior attacker Josie Owen (Gibson Island, Md.) has continued to distribute the ball, tallying a team-high seven assists in addition to her three goals.
On the defensive end of the field, junior goalkeeper Kim Kolarik (Riva, Md.) has earned both starts between the pipes for UVa and has allowed 18 goals for a 9.00 goals-against average. She has made 19 saves, meaning she is saving 51.4 percent of the shots she faces.
A pair of freshmen, Daniela Eppler (Baltimore, Md.) and Kelsey Gahan (Cockeysville, Md.) have been part of the defensive starting line-up and have performed well in their first two collegiate outings. Megan Dunleavy (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Lelan Bailey (Millersville, Md.) round out the defensive unit for UVa.
Syracuse (1-0) is coming off a 23-12 season-opening win against Boston College in which Alyssa Murray scored a school record eight goals. The Orange also got five goals from Kailah Kempney and three apiece from Michelle Tumolo and Devon Collins in that match-up.
Syracuse head coach Gary Gait is in his fourth season and has the Orange ranked No. 12 in both polls.
Virginia leads the all-time series with Syracuse, 10-3, including seven-consecutive victories vs. the Orange. Last season in New York, Virginia prevailed 21-11. Finnigan scored five goals and added three assists to lead UVa.
In all-time games vs. Syracuse in Charlottesville, UVa holds a 4-2 record. The last home loss against Syracuse came during the 2004 season.
Following Sunday’s game, Virginia hits the road for two contests – Friday (March 2) at Maryland at 7 p.m., and Sunday (March 4) at Penn State at 1 p.m.