No. 6 UVa and Penn Square Off in Showdown at the Mile High Classic
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (10-3) are ranked No. 6 in this week’s USILA coaches poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll after falling in the opening round of the ACC Championship. UVa travels to Denver, Colo., for the Whitman’s Sampler Mile High Classic rendezvous with the Penn Quakers (3-9) on Friday evening, inside Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
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 Vincent Briedis will provide the analysis. ESPN3 will webcast the game live with Quint Kessenich bringing the play-by-play and Jamie Munro providing color analysis.
The trip to Colorado is the second in UVa program history and the first since the 2004 season. In 2004 the Cavaliers played a road game at Denver and a neutral site game against the Air Force Academy at Denver University, dropping both games by a combined three goals. It’s a homecoming of sorts for two Cavaliers, first-years Rhody Heller (Denver) and Tanner Ottenbreit (Parker), who both hail from the state and were high school teammates at Regis Jesuit.
Friday marks the sixth all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and the Quakers, and the first neutral site meeting. UVa owns a narrow 3-2 advantage in a series that dates back to 1929, but has never been contested outside of Charlottesville until this season. UVa dropped the first two contests (1929 & 1931), before winning the past three (1997, 1998 and 2011) under Virginia head coach Dom Starsia.
Stanwick, named ACC Player of the Year for the second year in a row, leads UVa with 44 assists and 64 points. His ratio of 3.4 assists per game ranks No. 1 in the nation. Ranking No. 27 all-time at the NCAA Division I level with 253 career points, Stanwick passed former UVa All-American Doug Knight (249) for career points last time out. Knight will be on the field Friday in Denver as a volunteer assistant coach for the Penn Quakers. Chris Bocklet leads UVa with 30 goals, while six other Cavaliers are in double figures. Rob Emery and Stanwick are No. 2 and No. 3 on the team with 21 and 20 goals, respectively. Chris LaPierre leads UVa with 55 ground balls, which is the second-most by any player in the country who is not a faceoff specialist. Rob Fortunato is saving 58.5 percent of shots against him and posting a 8.54 goals against average in between the pipes.
Penn head coach Mike Murphy is in his third season as the head coach of the Quakers and he returns 16 letterwinners and 10 starters off a 2011 team that went 8-7 and made the NCAA Tournament. Murphy served as an assistant on Starsia’s final Brown team in 1992 and his first five UVa teams from 1993-97. Penn boasts the No. 1 strength of schedule in the country according to LaxPower.com. John Conneely leads the way for the Quakers with 19 goals, 13 assists and 32 points, all team highs. Tim Schwalje has 17 goals and 11 assists, while Dan Savage, Ryan Parietti and Anthony Adler have tallied 15, 14 and 11 goals respectively. Brian Feeney is saving 48.6 percent of shots against him and posting a 9.39 goals against average.
Friday’s game concludes the regular season for the Cavaliers. The NCAA Selection Show for the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship is on May 6. The show will be televised live on ESPNU at 9 p.m.