No. 8 UVa and No. 5 Notre Dame Meet in a NCAA Quarterfinal Quarrel
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (12-3) enter the quarterfinal round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament as the No. 5 seed, the fifth time in program history they have had the fifth seed. UVa will face the No. 4 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-2) on Sunday. The neutral-site game will be contested at PPL Park, in Chester, Pa. The game is set to face off at noon. Live stats will be available at VirginiaSports.com. In the final regular season polls, UVa was ranked No. 8 in the USILA coaches poll and No. 6 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. Notre Dame was ranked No. 5 in the final regular season coaches poll and No. 4 in the final regular season media poll.
The victor will advance to the NCAA semifinal round at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on May 26 and face Saturday’s winner of No. 1 seed Loyola vs. unseeded 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 ESPNU in HD. Eamon McAnaney will provide the play-by-play, Quint Kessenich will add analysis and Paul Carcaterra will patrol the sidelines.
This is Virginia’s 35th tournament appearance overall, second all-time behind Johns Hopkins (41). Virginia won the national championship last season and has received an NCAA bid in 19 of the last 20 seasons. UVa has made it to the semifinal round in each of the past four seasons.
Sunday marks the seventh all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and Fighting Irish, and the first since the 2006 NCAA Tournament. UVa leads the all-time series 5-1, with all previous games being contested in Charlottesville, three of which were NCAA Tournament games (1993, 1994 and 2006). Notre Dame’s lone win came in the first regular-season meeting between the two schools in 2001, an 11-8 triumph for the Fighting Irish.
ACC Offensive Player of the Year and recently named Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Steele Stanwick leads UVa with 73 points and 46 assists, while scoring 27 goals. Stanwick leads the nation in assists and his 4.87 points per game ranks No. 2 nationally. Chris Bocklet leads the team with 34 goals, while Rob Emery has 22 tallies. All-ACC pick Colin Briggs has 20 goals and 14 assists, while All-ACC honoree Chris LaPierre leads UVa with 58 ground balls. Rob Fortunato is saving 57.8 percent of shots against him and registering an 8.25 goals against average this season between the pipes.
Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan, a UVa alum, is in his 24th season with the Fighting Irish after spending two seasons as an assistant coach for the Cavaliers under former head coaching legend Jim Adams. Corrigan has led Notre Dame to 17 NCAA Tournaments while in South Bend and won the 2012 regular season BIG EAST title with the return of 18 ND monogram winners from last year’s squad. The Fighting Irish enter the contest winners of 11 of their last 12 games. Sean Rogers leads Notre Dame with 19 goals. Jim Marlatt leads the Irish with 11 assists and 29 points, while Liam O’Connor has a team-best 38 ground balls. John Kemp leads the nation with a 5.95 goals against average, while his 64.1 percent save percentage in between the pipes also is tops in the country.
Fans may purchase tickets through the Philadelphia Union by calling 1-800-298-4200, or by logging onto Comcasttix.com. Reserved and club seats sold out in advance. General admission tickets are available for $22.