Kip Turner gives some insight into playing goalie.
A Full Recovery For Virginia's Attackman Ben Rubeor
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No. 3 Virginia (10-1/2-0 ACC) at No. 4 Duke (9-2/2-0 ACC)
April 14, 2007 1 pm
Koskinen Stadium Durham, N.C.
The Cavaliers travel to Durham, N.C., Saturday to face the Duke Blue Devils in a contest to determine the top seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament. The game is set for a 1 p.m. faceoff at Koskinen Stadium. The game will be televised by CSTV on a tape delay basis at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Virginia comes into the contest with a 10-game winning streak and a 10-1 overall record. Duke is 9-2 overall; both teams are undefeated in the ACC with 2-0 records.
Television: This game is being televised on a tape delay basis by CSTV. Jason Chandler calls the play-by-play, while Paul Carcaterra provides the color commentary. It will be rebroadast at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Radio: WINA AM 1070 in Charlottesville is providing live play-by-play coverage of this game. John Freeman calls all the action. He is joined by Doug Tarring, a member of UVa's 1972 national championship team.
The Series vs. the Blue Devils
Virginia leads the all-time series with Duke by a 48-16 margin. The Cavaliers have defeated Duke more than any other team in school history.
The men in orange and blue have lost four of the last five games against Duke in Durham, including a 17-2 drubbing two years ago in the most recent match-up of the two squads. Nonetheless, the Cavaliers have posted a 19-11 record on the Blue Devils' home turf through the years. The Cavaliers' 19 wins are the third-most wins on an opponent's home field. They have won 23 games at Washington Lee and 20 at North Carolina.
The game two years ago continued a recent series trend--lopsided games. Prior to Duke's 15-goal win in 2005, the Cavaliers won the previous two meetings by six (12-6 in 2003 ACC Tournament finals) and nine (13-4 in 2004 regular season) goals. For much of the last 10 years the games have been very close, but not so for the last several meetings. Three of Duke's four wins over UVa since 1996 were by one goal (1999, 2001, `02).
It is interesting to note that Duke (currently 11th nationally with an average of 7.4 goals allowed per game) has done an excellent job of containing Virginia's offense in recent years. The Cavaliers reached double figures in 34 of 35 meetings from 1962-98, but have scored 10+ in just seven of the last 11. UVa's offense has picked up somewhat recently as the Wahoos have reached double figures in five of the last six meetings.
Virginia Offense Third in Nation
The Cavaliers led the nation last season in scoring with an average of 15.8 goals per game. It marked the fourth time since 1996 they had the nation's leading offense (also led in 1996-97-99).
The offense is producing at a high rate once again this season (although not at last year's clip). Virginia is currently third in the nation with an average of 12.5 goals per game. Cornell leads at 14.7, while Albany is second at 13.8.
There have been eight games in the country this year when a team has scored at least 20 goals and both Virginia and Delaware have done it twice to lead the nation.
UVa's 23 goals against Mount St. Mary's last month are tied for the most in a game this season; Delaware scored 23 against St. Joseph's.
Defense Among Nation's Best
The Virginia offense has been very productive so far this season and ranks third in the nation with an average of 12.5 goals per game.
The defense is determined not to be outdone and has been particularly stingy this spring. The Cavalier defenders--led by close d-men Ricky Smith, Matt Kelly and Ken Clausen, and LSMs Mike Timms and Tim Shaw, as well as stopper Kip Turner-spearhead the nation's seventh-leading defense. The Cavaliers relinquish an average of 6.7 goals per game. Only Drexel (11) has scored more than nine goals vs. Virginia this season.
VMI and Johns Hopkins have scored their fewest goals of the season vs. Virginia, while Stony Brook, Syracuse and Princeton both have their second-lowest output of the season against the Cavaliers.
Of Virginia's 11 opponents this season, only Drexel and Mount St. Mary's have scored more against the Cavaliers than their season average.
Good Shooting Leads to Wins
The Cavaliers have done a much better job of shooting since dropping their season opener to Drexel in mid-February.
After finishing second in the nation in shooting a year ago, their season got off to a rocky start with the 11-10 loss at home to the Dragons. One of the key factors in the loss was subpar shooting. Virginia shot just 21.7 percent (10x46), their lowest in 12 games going back to last year's 7-6 win over Princeton when UVa shot 15.9 percent.
The Wahoos rebounded against Stony Brook the following week by shooting 35.7 percent (15x42). Midfielder Jack Riley led the way by scoring on four of his five shots, while Danny Glading connected on four of 10.
The shooting was even better on a sunny day in Baltimore in the win over Syracuse in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Classic when Virginia needed just 28 shots to score 11 goals against the Orange.
Since the Drexel game Virginia has shot 30-percent or better five times (and just missed with 29 percent vs. Towson).
When the Cavaliers shoot at least 30 percent they have had remarkable success recently. Since 1998 Virginia is 69-5 (.932) when shooting 30+ percent.
Since 2002 Virginia has shot better than 30 percent against Duke in five of the last six games (all except the 2005 game). Of those five games, the Cavaliers have won four (all but a loss in the 2002 ACC Tournament).
Rubeor Leads Nation in Scoring, Goals
Junior attackman Ben Rubeor has been tearing it up during the first half of the season. He opened the year with a 4-goal, 4-assist performance against Drexel and hasn't slowed since.
He has scored at least one goal in every game this season, to run his streak to 14 games in a row with at least one. In addition, he has tallied three goals on six occasions, including a career-high seven against Towson, the third-highest total in school history.
Not only has he been scoring goals at a high rate, he has helped his teammates score at a nearly similar pace. He has had an assist in nine games so far this spring with a high of four vs. Drexel.
Rubeor has been named the ACC Player of the Week twice this season, most recently after leading the Cavaliers to a 12-8 win over Maryland in their ACC opener two weeks ago. He scored a game-high five goals--including the game-winner-- and had one assist.
Rubeor leads the nation with 54 points (37g, 17a) and sits atop the goals list. His 17 assists are tied for 12th nationally.
For his career, Rubeor has registered at least one point by goal or assist in his last 29 games and 38 of 41 in his career.
UVa Has Nation's Longest Winning Streak
Virginia comes into this game riding a 10-game winning streak and has won 27 of its last 28 games overall.
This is the third time in the last five seasons the Cavaliers have put together a 10-game winning streak. They had long winning streaks during the national championship years in 2003 and 2006.
The longest current winning streaks are shown below.
1. Virginia 10
2. Albany, Cornell 9
4. Princeton 6
5. Drexel 5
6. Duke, Marist 4 (add Notre Dame if they beat Air Force Friday night)
Glading Leads the Way the Last Two
For most of the season Danny Glading has been overshadowed by Ben Rubeor, who has been on a roll all spring and leads the nation in scoring.
Glading, on the other hand, has been remarkably consistent as the team's second attackman. He trails Rubeor in goals with 24, just two away from his total last year, and points with 36.
The sophomore from Bethesda, Md., finally wrestled the team scoring lead away from Rubeor in the 10-7 win over Binghamton. He tallied three times to become the first player other than Rubeor to lead the team in eight games. It was the second time this season he was the team leader; he also shared the team lead with Jack Riley with four goals against Stony Brook.
He scored twice (both in the first quarter) last week against North Carolina to share team honors with Garrett Billings. It was the fourth multi-goal game in a row, the longest current streak on the team.
Glading has scored at least one goal in every game but one this season (Princeton) and has eight multi-goal efforts. He is currently tied for 10th in the country in goals and tied for 13th in total points.
Billings First-Time Starter on Attack
Sophomore Garrett Billings came to UVa last season with impressive credentials playing the indoor game in Western Canada. He had a tremendous rookie season with 30 goals, third among freshmen nationally, and 43 points, fourth among freshmen.
In his first season as a starter this year, he continues to score with regularity just like he did last year as the fourth attackman. He has scored 15 goals, third on the club, and dished out a team-leading 18 assists to rank sixth in the nation.
He scored a season-high three goals in the opener against Drexel and has had at least one assist in every game execept last week's game vs. North Carolina. He has led the team in assists in two of the last four contests--three against both Johns Hopkins and Maryland. Overall he has led the team in assists six times.
An accurate shooter, Billings puts 71 percent of his shots on goal, the best on the attack.
Clausen Vacuums Ground Balls
First-year defenseman Ken Clausen came to Virginia as the No. 1 defenseman in the country coming out of high school. A smart, athletic player, he had a very productive fall and worked his way into the starting line-up when preseason practice started in January.
Like many on the defense, he had a disappointing performance in the opener against Drexel as the Cavaliers gave up two goals in the final 10 seconds to lose.
Against Stony Brook in the second game, Clausen made a big step forward according to the coaching staff, and he continues to get better. He, along with Ricky Smith and Matt Kelly, held an attack that featured a senior and two juniors in check. The attack scored four goals but wasn't really a factor due to the defensive excellence of Clausen and his mates. Owner of an active stick, Clausen also scooped up a team-leading five ground balls in the game.
In the win over Syracuse, he held first-team All-America Mike Leveille without a goal for only the third time in his career. He also shared the team lead with six ground balls.
He was very active in the standout defensive effort against Princeton that resulted in a 7-6 win for the Cavaliers. He shared the team lead in ground balls with faceoff man Adam Fassnacht with five.
In the win over Johns Hopkins, Clausen turned attackman Kevin Huntley into a spectator, shutting him out and allowing him to take just one shot (which missed).
He had a terrific game last week against North Carolina. He led the team with a career-high seven ground balls. Perhaps his biggest was one he scooped at the defensive restraining line on the dead run. He carried the ball into the box and unable to find an open teammate, took a shot and scored his first goal to give UVa a 5-4 lead. The Cavaliers went on to win 10-9 in overtime.
Clausen has had at least three ground balls in every game since Drexel and led the team's close defensemen eight times in that span.
He leads the team (ranks fourth in the ACC) with 49 ground balls; he also leads ACC rookies in ground balls.
Turner, Defense Highlight Wins
Goalie Kip Turner and his defensive mates have turned in tremendous defensive efforts recently to help the Cavaliers win their last 10 games.
In the win over Syracuse that opened March, the Orange took a 6-5 lead into the second quarter and many in the crowd of 20,180 were thinking they were going to see a repeat of the wild 22-21 game the teams played in 1997.
However the Cavalier defenders had other ideas. Defensemen Ricky Smith, Matt Kelly, Ken Clausen and Mike Timms joined Turner to hold the Orange to just two goals in the final 45 minutes, including only one in the second half, to lift UVa to an 11-8 win. The Orange failed to score for the final 20:35 of the game.
In the tight win over Princeton, the visiting Tigers started quickly, scoring four of the game's first six goals. Virginia's offense clawed its way back in and tied the score at 5-all at halftime. In the second half the UVa defense was stellar, allowing only one goal. At one point the Wahoos pitched a shutout for 32:45.
During this time Turner was especially hot, making six of his 10 saves in the second half. Several of his stops were point blank stuffs, including a stuff of Mark Kovler with 1:39 left and the score tied at six.
Johns Hopkins came into the match-up fresh off a 17-9 thrashing of Syracuse at the Dome. The Blue Jays scored first, but the Cavaliers scored the next four, while holding Hopkins scoreless for nearly 21 minutes. The lead grew to 7-2 before the Blue Jays scored three late goals for the 7-5 final.
Turner played one of the best games of the season in the Cavaliers' 10-9 overtime victory over North Carolina last Saturday and was named ACC Player of the Week. He recorded a season-high 14 saves and consistently turned aside excellent scoring opportunities in a game that featured seven ties and five lead changes. In addition to his 14 saves, he had three ground balls and used his excellent outlet passing skills to start several fast breaks for the offense.
He made at least three saves in every quarter in regulation and had a big save in overtime. After the Tar Heels took an 8-7 lead early in the 4th quarter, he made two excellent saves as UVa chipped away to force overtime. In the overtime period, he made another tremendous save on a shot by Brian Connors with less than three minutes to play. Following a turnover by each team, Virginia won the game with 1:38 to play.
Turner leads the ACC in goals against average at 6.84 goals per game and has a .576 save percentage. He has had a save percentage of at least 61 percent in seven of the last 10 games (all wins). During the winning streak, he has a save percentage of 59.9 and a very low 6.47 goals allowed average. In addition, the opponents are shooting just 22.0 percent.
Timms is Disruptive Force
Sophomore longstick midfielder Mike Timms is a quiet, reserved player who doesn't say much off the field. It's much the same once he gets on the field. He doesn't say much, but his play this season has spoken loudly.
At 6-5 with a long frame, he uses his size and athleticism to almost ridiculous effect in neutralizing his man.
He could very easily have been named the player of the game in the win over Princeton (the honor instead went to Ben Rubeor who scored the game winning goal). Typically matched up against Mark Kovler, he held him scoreless and caused him to miss all eight shots. Overall the Virginia defense was outstanding, but Timms was a standout with his ability to contain the Princeton scorers. He caused two turnovers and snagged two ground balls and was effective in starting several transition opportunities. Head coach Dom Starsia called his effort "monstrous" and the best of Timms' career.
The lanky redhead was a force in the win over Johns Hopkins, holding Paul Rabil at bay. Rabil scored twice, but one goal came in the fourth quarter with the game basically decided. Rabil took eight shots, but only three on goal. Timms also snagged four ground balls and caused four turnovers, while leading several Cavalier fast breaks.
In the 12-8 win over Maryland, Timms fielded a career-high nine ground balls, while also causing three turnovers. He followed that three days later with seven grounders and caused a pair of turnovers against Binghamton in another outstanding game. His biggest play occurred early in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers had just tied the score at six. The Bearcats gained possession on the ensuing faceoff, but Timms knocked the ball free near the midline. Steve Giannone scooped up the loose ball, passed to Danny Glading at the restraining line. Glading found Ben Rubeor all alone in front for what proved to be the go-ahead goal as the Cavaliers went on to win 10-7.
Timms is third on the team with 43 ground balls and shares the team lead with Ricky Smith with 17 caused turnovers. He is second among ACC LSMs in ground balls behind Duke's Nick O'Hara.
Riley Picks up Scoring in the Midfield
Junior Jack Riley is one of several Cavaliers who the coaching staff has placed greater expectations on in the search for punch from the midfield. He had a very good fall while being moved around in various roles, including defensive midfield. Called on to be more aggressive on offense, Riley has responded to the call.
Riley played a big role in the win over Stony Brook. Coming off a tough loss to Drexel to open the season, the Cavaliers found themselves facing a feisty Seawolves team. Riley scored four goals (on just six shots) to equal his season total for each of his first two seasons. He scored twice in the first quarter, including what proved to be the game winner, as UVa opened a 5-2 lead. He scored twice more in the fourth quarter to extend the lead.
He notched another very important goal against Princeton at the 9:27 mark of the third quarter to give UVa a 6-5 lead.
With Steve Giannone struggling a little bit offensively, Riley moved to the first midfield against Johns Hopkins but did not score. However, he scored and had an assist against Maryland and Binghamton in each of the next two games.
He did not score last week against North Carolina, but found Garrett Billings all alone on the left side in overtime to set Billings up for the game-winning goal.
With nine goals, Riley has already scored more than in any season in his career and leads UVa's midfielders. He is tied for sixth among ACC midfielders in goals.
Thompson Sends North Carolina Game to OT
Senior Drew Thompson is perhaps the nation's leading all-around midfielder; he does it all like very few players--offense, defense and facing off. He is in his fourth year as a starter in the midfield and has pretty much seen it all in his career. His freshman season was 2004, the year following a national championship. The Cavaliers suffered through the only losing season under Dom Starsia. Compounding matters, Thompson injured his knee late in the season and had to undergo surgery.
The Cavaliers returned to the final four during his sophomore season as Thompson made a big step forward. He tallied 11 goals, including the game-winner against Navy in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
Last season he earned second-team All-America honors after scoring 17 goals and leading all midfielders in the country with 23 assists.
He has seen his role change this season as the draws the pole for the first time (Kyle Dixon had the honor the previous three years). He scored four goals in the first four games, but then scored just twice (both against Mount St. Mary's) in the next six games.
He sent last week's game against North Carolina to overtime with his first goal since the MSM game with 2:06 left.
Thompson leads UVa middies with five assists w/5 and is second with seven goals.