No. 3 UVa Opens ACC Play in College Park Against No. 9 Maryland
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (8-1, 0-0 ACC), coming off their first setback of the season, are ranked No. 3 this week in the USILA coaches poll and No. 2 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and will open up ACC play on the road against the Maryland Terrapins (5-2, 1-1 ACC). Maryland enters the game No. 9 in both the coaches and media polls. Faceoff is set for noon, inside Byrd Stadium. Live stats will be available on VirginiaSports.com.
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 Cavaliers Live. John Freeman will bring the play-by-play and Doug Tarring will provide the analysis. ESPNU will televise the game live in HD with Joe Beninati bringing the play-by-play, and Matt Ward and Ryan Boyle providing color analysis.
The contest is the first meeting between these ACC foes since UVa topped the Terrapins for the 2011 NCAA title at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. There are 15 Cavaliers who appeared in that game and who will be with UVa on Saturday in College Park. The Cavaliers have won three-straight games inside the home venue for Maryland, including a neutral site game against Duke during UVa’s run to the 2010 ACC title.
The 2012 season marks the 64th-straight season the Cavaliers and Terrapins have clashed in a series that began in 1926. Maryland holds the all-time advantage with a 45-42 mark, however Virginia has won 10 of the last 12 meetings, including the NCAA title game, 9-7.
Steele Stanwick leads UVa with 28 assists and 39 points. His ratio of 3.11 assists per game ranks No. 1 in the nation. Chris Bocklet leads UVa with 22 goals, while six other Cavaliers are already in double figures. Rob Emery and Mark Cockerton are No. 2 and No. 3 on the team with 15 and 14 goals, respectively. Chris LaPierre leads UVa with 46 ground balls, which are the most by any player in the country who is not a faceoff specialist. Rob Fortunato is saving 59.9 percent of shots against him and posting a 7.57 goals against average in between the pipes.
Maryland head coach John Tillman is in his second season after a successful three-year run at Harvard and returns 26 letterwinners and five starters off last season’s national runner-up squad. The Terrapins enter Saturday’s contest with a 5-2 record and a 1-1 mark in ACC play. Joe Cummings, a former high school teammate of Stanwick at Loyola Blakefield, leads Maryland with 12 goals and 19 points. Owen Blye has a team-best eight assists. Jesse Bernhardt has a team-high 29 ground balls and Niko Amato is saving 61.5 percent of shots against him and posting a 6.61 goals against average in the goal for the Terrapins.
Virginia returns to action on April 7 when the Cavaliers travel to Tobacco Road to contest North Carolina. The contest will be televised live on ESPN in HD. Faceoff for the ACC tilt is slated for 1 p.m.