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May 12, 1997

Men's Lacrosse Opens NCAA Play vs. Maryland

IN ITS LAST GAME, UVa played Bucknell (won 24-4) April 26 to conclude the regular season. MarylAnd defeated Georgetown (14-10) in the NCAA first round last Sunday.

IN THE SERIES, UVa trails Maryland 35-24 (including 10-18 at College Park). UVa is 0-2 vs. Maryland in NCAA play (0-1 at home in 1983, 0-1 at College Park (turf field) in 1978. UVa has won two in a row and four of the last five. In overtime UVa is 3-2, including three of the last four.

IN THE NEXT GAME, the winner of today's game plays in the NCAA semifinals May 24, at Maryland.

IN NCAA PLAY, UVa has been chosen for the 21st time fifth straight (third, JHU 26, Maryland 22). UVa's record in NCAA play is 21-19 (semifinals 12 times; finals five times; at Maryland 3-4 overall). UVa is 5-2 vs. the 1997 field (W over Duke twice, UMass, JHU, Maryland; L to Princeton, Syracuse). In NCAA play, career, UVa is 10-13 (W over Brown, Hofstra, JHU (3), UMass, Notre Dame (2), and Syracuse (2); L to JHU (7), Maryland (2), Princeton (2), and Syracuse). Georgetown is the only team in the tournament which UVa has never faced at any time.

THE COACH: UVa's head coach Dom Starsia hails from Brown University, where he had coached for ten years. He now has a 159-64 (71.3%) career record, including 58-18 (76.3%) at UVa. Ironically, his first college foe as a head coach here was a team whose name began with the letter V--Virginia (a 10-6 loss at Hofstra), and his first game at UVa was against another V-team, Villanova (21-6 win). Starsia is 18-16 vs. the ACC (1-6 vs. UVa, 6-2 vs. Duke, 6-5 vs. UNC, and 5-3 vs. Maryland). He is 6-5 vs. the Ivy League since coming to UVa (2-5 vs. Princeton, 2-0 vs. Brown, and 1-0 vs. Harvard), including 3-0 last year; 1-0 vs. Penn). Starsia is twice a winner of the Morris Touchstone award (Division I Coach of the Year, 1985 and 1991). His 100th win came in 1992, when his Bruins topped Cornell to wrap up an NCAA bid. His Brown teams were Ivy League champions twice (1985 and 1991) and went to the NCAA's five of his last six seasons (he is 8-8 overall in NCAA play). He has a 48-23 record vs. Ivy league teams, including 6-5 at UVa. He had never played lacrosse prior to attending Brown. In 1992, Starsia was honored by the Rhode Island Organization of Sportswriters and Sportscasters with the Frank Lanning Award (lifetime achievement of overall contribution to the Rhode Island sports community). Starsia was named ACC co-Coach of the year for 1995, and he is the 1997 ACC Coach of the Year. His first three UVa squads (and his fifth) finished the regular season in first place in the ACC.

RANKINGS: The polls put UVa in second this week (now 11-2, 3-0 ACC), while Maryland is ranked 10th (9-4, 1-2 ACC).

UVA vs. NUMBER ONE: UVa has often played the number one ranked team in the ratings. Syracuse in 1996 was number one. The last number one team that UVa played prior to 1996 was in 1995 (Syracuse on March 14, 1995, when UVA won at Syracuse 15-7). The last time a number one team played UVA at home was UNC in 1993, when UVa rallied from a four-goal deficit to beat the top-ranked Tar Heels on April 10, 1993, 13-12 on a Kevin Pehlke goal 1:13 in overtime at Scott Stadium. Princeton was ranked number one before the finals in 1996. Princeton was ranked first in 1997.

UVA AS NUMBER ONE: UVa has been number one on a number of occasions, the last of which was much of March in 1996 (March 23, after the Johns Hopkins game) . In 1996, UVa defended its top spot with a 12-9 win over Princeton, followed by a 16-15 overtime win at Hofstra with Brown and a 15-9 win over UMass. Plus JHU, 14-9, then Radford 23-3, and then lost it after bowing to Maryland (13-11 loss).

THE STARTING LINEUP looks like the following--- Doug Knight (38+32=70), Michael Watson (28+30=58), and Drew McKnight (22+20=42 ) on attack; David Curry (31+ 5=36) David Wren (25+5=30), and Tucker Radebaugh (23+8=31) on midfield; and Tommy Smith (0), Karl Zeller (0 ), and Darren Mahoney (0) on defense. The goalie will be Chris Sanderson (131 saves and 108 goals allowed). The faceoff man expected to perform the most often should be Jason Hard (167 of 265. 63.0%).

NEW FACES for 1997 are Ryan Curtis (D, Landon School, and Potomac, MD; Jason Hard (M, Cicero/N. Syracuse, and Bridgeport, NY, 167 of 265 faceoffs), Jay Jalbert (M, Cold Spring Harbor, and Lloyd Harbor, NY, 19+4=23), Drew McKnight (A, Norfolk Academy, and Virginia Beach, 22+20=42), Ben O'Neil (G, St. Anne's/Belfield, and Charlottesville, 19/12), Will Quayle (M, Western Albemarle, and Charlottesville), Peter Ragosa (D, Deerfield, and Milton, MA, 1+0=1, the first defenseman to score this season), Richard Reid (D, St. Paul's (MD), Towson, MD, 0+1=1), Will Silverman (G, Collegiate, and Richmond, 7/4), Bruce Townsend (M, Loomis/Chaffee, and Greenwich, CT 2+0=2) and Doug Worthen (D, Middlesex, and North Andover, MA).

SEASON OPENERS have been good to UVa until this year. UVa had won its last 14 season openers, before bowing to Syracuse 22-21. UVa has won 15 of its last 16 home openers (Princeton 1994 14-6 loss).

Where HOME WAS A BIT OF HEAVEN for UVa in 1993 (9-0 at home), UVa only posted a 4-3 mark at home in 1994. In 1993 UVa was 1-5 on the road. BUT, in 1994, the reverse was true. UVa played ten games away from home and won nine of them. UVa had not done anything like that since 1952 (that year, UVa won its first national championship). In 1994, UVa was 4-3 at home and 9-1 away from Charlottesville. In 1995, UVa won all eight home games. UVa had won 15 straight games at home (UNC, ACC finals in 1994, 15-7). The record was 13 ( 4 games in 1992, all nine games in 1993). UNC's 13-11 win snapped the win streak April 21. UVa finished with a 6-1 home record in 1996. UVA finished 7-0 at home in 1997. Starsia is 34-4 at home at UVa (Princeton, Duke, North Carolina twice).

FINAL 1996 NATIONAL STATS showed UVa players prominently. At season end, Chris Sanderson had an 11.18 goals against average (23rd). Doug Knight was first in points per game (5.73) and second in goals per game (3.73), plus 13th in assists per game (2.00). Tim Whiteley was ninth in points per game (4.56) and second in assists per game (3.06). Michael Watson was sixth in points per game (4.69) and sixth in goals per game (3.06). In team stats, UVa finished second to Princeton in scoring margin (6.36pg), sixth in winning percent (75.0%), and first in scoring average (17.2). UVa also scored the most goals in one game (38, 38-5 VMI). UVa had not had a national stat leader since 1977 (Kris Snider, first in points and assists).

IN 1997 NCAA STATS: UVa has some entries. Doug Knight is third in points per game (5.38), 16th in goals per game (2.92),and eighth in assists per game (2.46). Michael Watson is 18th in points per game (4.46) and 11th in assists per game (2.31). GoalieChris Sanderson is 20th in goals against average (10.29). The team is first in scoring offense (18.92), 15th in scoring defense (9.69), and first in scoring margin (9.23).

In current ACC STATISTICS: UVa has players as follows: Doug Knight is first in scoring per game (5.38), second in goals per game (2.92), and first in assists per game (2.48). Michael Watson is second in points per game (4.46), fifth in goals per game (2.15), and second in assists per game (2.31). David Curry is third in goals per game (2.38). Chris Sanderson is fourth in save % (54.8%) and third in goals/against average (10.29). As a team, UVa is first in scoring (18.92), third in scoring defense (9.68), and first in scoring margin (9.23)

MICHAEL WATSON had a banner year as a rookie at Virginia. The attackman from St. Paul's and Towson, MD, was named ACC Rookie of the Year, third-team All American, and finished the season with the second highest UVa rookie scoring mark, 31+19=50 (56, Kevin Pehlke 1990). He was also an All ACC and All ACC Tournament selection in 1994. His best scoring days were 3+2=5 vs. Massachusetts, 4+1=5 vs. UNC (game one), and 2+3=5 vs. Duke (game two). He had 30 goals and 23 assists. He had 5+2=7 vs. Navy in 1995, 5+2 vs. Penn State. In the second Syracuse game, he had 3+2=5. In the Duke game, he had his fourth game in 1995 with four or more points. SU made it five. He was third team All American in 1994 and second team in 1995. He has been All ACC twice. In 1996, Watson had 1+5=6 against Syracuse (five assists is a career mark for him). He was 3+2=5 vs. Princeton. He notched a career high with 6+0=6 vs. Brown, adding 2+1=3 vs. UMass. He was named ACC co-player of the week (Mar. 18). He was 5+1=6 vs. Duke and was named ACC player of the week. His 49 goals in 1996 put him third (UVa) and 75 points make him third. He was a first team All American in 1996, and he was chosen to win the Jack Turnbull award as top attackman in Division I and the Brine award as the NCAA tournament MVP. Watson has been picked by College Lacrosse USA as the preseason MVP in Division I. Watson had 2+5=7 vs. Syracuse (the five assists ties his career high). He added 4+3=7 vs. Mercyhurst. He notched a 1+5=6 game vs. Penn. He was 4+0=4 vs. UMass. He was named ACC co-player of the week, March 17, 1997. He had 2+4=6 vs. VMI. He was 3+2=5 vs. North Carolina (I). He was a career high 3+5=8 vs. Bucknell. His 138 career goals put him tied for second on that UVa list. His 98 career assists put him sixth on UVa's list. His 236 career points put him fourth at UVa and sixth in the ACC. He made All ACC for the fourth straight time, and he was named as the ACC Player of the Year. Two more assists would make him only the fifth ACC player to get 100 career goals and 100 career assists. DOUG KNIGHT had a career day against Navy, in 1995. His 5+4=9 day was his best all around. For his exploits he was named ACC player of the week, dated March 6. He added six more goals against Penn St., plus three assists. Against JHU he had four goals. Against Duke in the ACC, he had six goals. He scored six goals again in the Brown game. His season total was 52+14=66. Knight had 18+7=25 in 1994. His goals put both the semifinal and final NCAA games into overtime in 1994 against Syracuse and Princeton. He was named ACC player of the week after he scored four goals vs. UNC. In 1996, his 56 goals gave him the new scoring record for UVa (setting the ACC season mark). In 1995, his 52 goals came on just 106 shots. His 66 points put him fourth. He was named All ACC tournament, also All ACC and second team All American in 1995. In 1996, vs. Syracuse, Knight scored a career high eight goals (tied the school record) and added two assists for ten points (career high). Kevin Pehlke (vs. Loyola) and Steve Wilt (vs. VMI) scored ten points in 1991 games. His 86 points in 1996 is tops in UVa history. In 1996, Knight was named ACC Player of the Week for the Syracuse game (March 2). He had 4-0 vs. Princeton. He scored 3+4=7 vs. Brown and added 4+1=5 vs. UMass. He had 4+2=6 vs. JHU. He scored 2+5=7 vs. Radford. He was named first team All American and he won the Ray Enners Award (top player in Division I). He also was picked as Player of the Year by College Sports magazine. Knight has been voted fourth in the preseason voting by College Lacrosse USA for Division I players. Knight had 5+2=7 vs. Syracuse. Knight has now moved up to second in the ACC career goal list. He scored 3+3=6 vs. JHU and was named ACC player of the week. One ironic footnote, Knight has led the ACC in goals the last two seasons, but this year, he leads the conference in assists. His 247 points are first in UVA lists and third in the ACC. His career mark of 164 goals put him in the top spot, career, and second in ACC career goals. He was 4+3=7 vs. UNC in the ACC Tournament. He was named to the All ACC and All ACC Tournament teams this season, as well as MVP for the Tournament. He has scored a goal in 47 straight games (a UVa mark), and he has scored in 58 games in his career (UVa mark also).

In NCAA play, KNIGHT, and WATSON have career figures as follows: Knight 21+11=32 and Watson 24+9=33. CURRY also has 11+3=14 (in just one year as a Cavalier.

SCORING the last three years is up. In 1994 five games saw UVa offense at or over the 20-goal mark, a UVa record. The team figure of 255 goals had not previously been topped (1972, 213 was the old mark). The per-game average was 15 goals per game, and the UVa mark was 16.1 (1982). UVa averaged 17.5 goals per game in 1995 (another school mark and the top figure in Division I in the NCAA). In 1994, UVa scored 51 goals 30 seconds or less following a faceoff. In 1995, UVa scored 57 goals in the first 30 seconds following faceoffs. In 1996, UVa scored 42 goals in the first 30 seconds after faceoffs. UVa also had team scoring streaks of five goals or more in 1994: 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 9, 10, 10, 13, and 18 (vs. Roanoke). In 1995, UVa had runs of 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 15, and 24 (against Radford, a UVa record). In 1996, UVa had runs of 5, 5, 5 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9 10, 10, 11,11, 22 (vs. Radford). In 1997, UVa has had runs of 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 8, 9, 9, 9, 12, 13, and 16 (Mercyhurst and Bucknell), and UVa has scored 34 goals within 30 seconds of a faceoff. UVa opened its 1995 and 1996 seasons with two straight 20-goal games, a school record. UVa scored more than 20 goals in five games in 1995 and 1997. UVa did not score fewer than 10 goals in a game in 1995 or 1996 (a record). UVa's 273 goals in 1996 was a new team mark. UVA has scored 10 goals or more in 44 straight games (current), a new school standard.

DAVID CURRY got his shot at a starting role in 1996, when Doug Knight was hurt. The then third-year transfer from Gettysburg racked up 30 goals and 11 assists in 1996. He also saw a lot of action at midfield. His 44.1 shooting accuracy was the best of any of the Cavalier scoring leaders in 1996. His best game of 1997 is 3+2=5 vs. JHU. He had 4+1=5 vs. North Carolina (I) and 4+0=4 (UNC II) He was named All ACC and All ACC Tournament for 1997.

DAVID WREN had a career day vs. Maryland. The third-year midfielder scored three times and added two assists. He was named ACC co-player of the week for those exploits. His assist set up the game-tieing goal (14-14) in the Maryland game. He was named All ACC and All ACC Tournament for 1997.

MORE FIRSTS: UVa played its first men's lacrosse games under the Kloeckner lights in 1996. The first time was a 14-9 win over Johns Hopkins. UVa has frequently played night games at home, but this was the first such occasion at Kloeckner. UVa's 23 goals vs. Harvard ties UVa for the NCAA highest score in that NCAA round (round of eight). The 16 goals vs. JHU ties a series high (1996). UVa scored nine straight goals vs. JHU. It was UVa's third straight win over the Blue Jays. It was UVa's first win against JHU in Baltimore since 1988. It was UVA's second straight win at Homewood (23-12 over Harvard last May). UVa's 17-14 win at Duke was the 400th for the program (64th season, 400-268-6, 59.8%) (now 403-268-6, 59.97) It was UVa's first win over UNC in ACC tournament play. It was the first ACC Tournament title for UVa. The last ACC crown for UVa was in 1986.

RECORDS: UVa set school marks of 38 goals vs. VMI in 1996 and for record margin of victory (33, 38-5). In that game, 25 assists and 105 ground balls were records also. The 31 goals in the VMI game in 1997 is UVa's third best of all time. The 12 goals in the first period duplicates last year's record of 12 in the first period of the VMI game. UVa's 20 goals vs. UNC is a series high and the biggest margin in ACC play.

DREW MELCHIONNI has started the 1997 season with a powerful scooping stick. He has 65 ground balls already (10 vs. Syracuse, 7 vs. Mercyhurst, 9 vs. UMass). His 82 ground balls tied him for the team lead in 1996 with Michael Watson. The third year midfielder from Garden City was an HM All American in 1996, and both his father and uncle played college basketball. Melchionni is the top Cavalier defensive middie.

DAVID BRUCE and JAMIE LEACHMAN set personal marks last year. Bruce (4+3=7) and Leachman (1+7=8) set those standards vs. VMI. Bruce had four goals vs. Mercyhurst in 1997. Bruce had 4+2=6 vs. VMI this spring.

MARK MURPHY and JOSH BRADSTREET scored the first goals of their UVa careers against VMI in 1996. Each had three. Murphy added three scores vs. Mercyhurst, 1997. Murphy set personal career marks vs. VMI in 1997, 4+4=8.

KURT MUELLER rattled the nets for five goals against Radford in 1995, his career best.

JASON HARD had a record-caliber faceoff day against his hometown rivals at Syracuse. He took 29 of 40 faceoffs. The first year middie is from Cicero/North Syracuse High School and Bridgeport, NY. He now has 167 wins and only 98 losses. He was named ACC Rookie of the Year for 1997.

TUCKER RADEBAUGH set a new career standard for himself with a four goal performance against UMass in 1997. He also had one assist in that game. He scored 2=2=4 in the Duke (II) game, all four points coming in the last six goals of the game.

DREW McKNIGHT also had a fine rookie opening day vs. Syracuse. The first year attackman from Norfolk Academy notched 2+4=6 vs. the Orangemen. He duplicated those numbers against Mercyhurst. He had a personal high of three goals vs. Penn. He scored the game-winner in the second overtime of the Maryland game. He had 3+3=6 vs. Bucknell.

JAY JALBERT also put up some good numbers in his first game. He scored four goals against Syracuse. Jalbert's step-brother Steve Anderson was a Cavalier midfielder in 1986-89. His career high is 3+3=6 vs. Duke (I), for which he was named ACC player of the week.

GOALIE CHRIS SANDERSON started each game in 1996 (and all but one, JHU, in 1997). The third-year goalie is the first Canadian to play for UVa since Paul French in 1984. Sanderson hails from Orangeville, Ontario. His two big games with stats last year were Radford (five saves, no goals allowed) and VMI (6/0). He played in five games in 1995. Against Syracuse he had 10 stops and gave up 15 goals. Vs. Princeton he was 13/9. Vs. Brown he was 13/15. Against UMass he was 15/9. He set a career mark of 20 v. Maryland (I) in 1996. His best 1997 marks are (11/4) vs. JHU (second half) and 12/3 (80.0% ) vs. UNC (I). He had 16 saves and gave up six goals in the Duke (II) ACC game. He was 6/1 vs. Bucknell. He received All ACC Tournament honors in 1997.

BEN O'NEIL had his first start in goal vs. JHU. The rookie from St. Anne's/Belfield is from Charlottesville. He had seven saves/gave up eight goals in one half of play. His father is a former President of the University of Virginia.

BEN JOHNSON prospered while Tony Nugent was hurt in 1995. His faceoffs helped a great deal. He also snared a UVa-single game high 15 ground balls vs. Duke (II). He won 126 of 251 faceoffs last year (50.2 %).

HOME GROWN ???, HENRY OAKEY, scored with abandon last spring. He whistled a career high of three goals past Princeton goalies. He followed that hat trick with a four goal effort vs. Brown. Oakey hails from Charlottesville, but he prepped a year at Deerfield in 1994. He had his first career assists vs. JHU. He had 23 goals in 1996. Although his rehabilitation has been successful, he is unlikely to play this season .

MORE HOME GROWN, first-year goalie Ben O'Neil hails from Charlottesville, where he prepped at St. Anne's/Belfield. He has now played in seven games at UVa ( Mercyhurst, Penn, Hopkins, VMI, North Carolina (I)), and Bucknell. In his first two games he took three saves and allowed one goal. The Johns Hopkins game was his first start.

BRIAN BIRCH made a super play for his first career assist. With UVa tied at 10 (12:48 to play in the fourth period vs. JHU), Birch watched Drew McKnight score on a pass from David Curry, to make it 11-10 UVa. On his faceoff attempt after that goal, he made a clean scoop, went straight into a classic four on three, fed the ball to Michael Watson, who slammed the ball home, making it 12-10 (UVa's sixth straight goal) just six seconds after the previous goal (UVa's quickest this spring). He took five of eight during the game. He is 115 of 219 in his career. He is from Schreiber HS and Port Washington, NY.

TOMMY SMITH was named All ACC (third time) and All ACC Tournament (second time) in 1997.

ALL ACC HONORS for 1997 inlcude All ACC notice for Michael Watson (A) (fourth time), Doug Knight (A) (third time), David Wren (M), David Curry (M), and Tommy Smith (D) (third time). All ACC Tournament honors went to Knight, Wren, Curry, Smith, and Chris Sanderson (G).

FURTHER ACC HONORS include player of the year (MICHAEL WATSON, A), rookie of the year (JASON HARD, M), coach of the year (DOM STARSIA).

CAPTAINS FOR 1997 ARE Doug Knight (fourth year , attack), Darren Mahoney (fourth year, defense); Tommy Smith (fourth year, defense), and Michael Watson (fourth year, attack).

at Brown:          101-46; at Virginia 58-18
Overall:           101-46 (.643) + 58-18
Ivy:                42-18 (.700) + 6-5
Ivy Overall:        42-18 (.700)  + 6-5
Virginia Schools:   1-6 (.143)  + 9-0
ACC:                2-9 (.182) + 16-7
One-Goal  games:    8-12 (.400)  + 7-8
In Overtime:        3-4 (.428)  + 5-4
When Brown scores more than 10 goals:       88-13 (.872) + 56-10
When Opponents score more than 10 goals:    21-33 (.389) + 22-13
When Brown scores fewer than 10 goals:      13-33 (.283) + 2-8
When both teams score more than 10 goals:   21-13 (.618) + 24-10
When neither team  scores 10 goals:         12-13 (.480) + 2-5
NCAA play:           2-5  +6-4
NCAA First Round:    2-3  +2-0
NCAA Quarter-finals: 0-2  +3-1
NCAA Semi-finals     0-0 + 2-1
NCAA Finals          0-0 + 0-2
At home (UVa):      34-4
Away (UVa)          18-9
Neutral (UVa):       6-5


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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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