CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia Cavaliers (9-1, 1-0 ACC) regain the top spot in the nation, ranking No. 1 this week in the USILA coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse media polls. UVa travels south to continue ACC play, contesting the North Carolina Tar Heels (8-3, 1-1 ACC), who are ranked No. 9 in both the coaches and media polls after ousting top-ranked Johns Hopkins at the Big City Classic on Sunday. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m., at Fetzer Field. 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. ESPN will televise the game live in HD with Eamon McAnaney bringing the play-by-play, Quint Kessenich providing color analysis and Paul Carcaterra roaming the sidelines. There will be a webcast of the ESPN broadcast live on ESPN3.
The contest is the first in the series in Chapel Hill since UVa's 2008 overtime win, 12-11, at Fetzer Field. The 2009 and 2010 meetings were played in East Rutherford, N.J., as part of the Big City Classic. The 2009 meeting was part of an event that featured the first lacrosse games ever played in the Old Meadowlands, while the 2010 meeting served as the first event of any kind in the new MetLife Stadium. The series returned to home sites last year when UVa won in overtime at Klöckner Stadium, 11-10.
Saturday marks the 73rd all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and the Tar Heels, a series the Cavaliers own a 48-24 advantage in since 1938. Facing the Tar Heels every year since 1964, UVa earned the overtime victory on Stanwick's game-winning goal in the 2011 meeting. It was the first game of the series played in Charlottesville since the 2007 season.
Stanwick, the reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week, leads UVa with 33 assists and 47 points. His ratio of 3.3 assists per game ranks No. 1 in the nation. Chris Bocklet leads UVa with 25 goals, while six other Cavaliers are already in double figures. Rob Emery and Colin Briggs are No. 2 and No. 3 on the team with 17 and 15 goals, respectively. Chris LaPierre leads UVa with 47 ground balls, which are the second-most by any player in the country who is not a faceoff specialist. Rob Fortunato is saving 60.6 percent of shots against him and posting a 7.62 goals against average in between the pipes.
North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi is in his fourth season at North Carolina and returns 31 letterwinners from last year's 10-6 squad. Marcus Holman is leading UNC with 23 goals and 39 points, while freshman Joe Sankey has a team-high 18 goals. R.G. Keenan has been a force at the faceoff X, winning 63.3 percent (133-of-210) of his draws and picking up a team-best 67 ground balls. Steven Rastivo is saving 53.1 percent of shots and posting a 9.44 goals against average inside the cage.
Virginia returns home on April 13 when the Duke Blue Devils invade Klöckner Stadium. The Friday night game will be televised live on ESPNU in HD and faceoff is set for 6 p.m.