The Cavalier seniors look back on their careers at the University.
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No. 4 Virginia (10-2/2-1 ACC) vs. Dartmouth (4-6/1-3 Ivy)
April 23, 2007 1 pm
Klöckner Stadium Charlottesville, Va.
The fourth-ranked Cavaliers conclude the regular season with a Senior Day match-up against the Dartmouth Big Green Saturday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium.
Seven Cavaliers are playing their final home game including All-Americans Ricky Smith, Drew Thompson and Kip Turner, as well as Adam Fassnacht, Foster Gilbert, James King and Drew Jordan.
Virginia had its 10-game winning streak snapped with last week's 7-6 overtime loss at Duke, but the Cavaliers come into this game with a 10-2 record.
Dartmouth's season has been one of streaks. The Big Green lost its first three games before rebounding to win four straight. The come into this contest on a three-game losing streak and stand 4-6 overall.
Radio: WINA AM 1070 in Charlottesville is providing live play-by-play coverage of this game. Mac McDonald calls all the action. He is joined by Doug Tarring, a member of UVa's 1972 national championship team.
The Series vs. the Big Green
After a 39-year hiatus, the Cavaliers and Big Green meet for the sixth time; Virginia leads the all-time series 4-1.
Dartmouth pitched a shutout in the first meeting 14-0 in 1938, but the Cavaliers have won the last four match-ups (1963, 64, 65, 68).
In three of the four games (1963, 65, 68) played in the 1960s, Virginia was able to get off to fast starts and hold off the Big Green for the win. The Cavaliers scored first and got off to early 5-1 leads in all three games and rolled to victory.
The only close game during this time--or in the entire series for that matter--was UVa's 9-8 win in 1964. That game was a back-and-forth affair in which Dartmouth scored three goals in the third quarter to turn a 6-5 halftime deficit into an 8-6 lead going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth Richie Solter scored once and Rusty Beers scored the tying and winning goals (at 4:50 and 4:01 remaining) to send the Cavaliers to the win.
In the last four games, the only time Dartmouth led was for approximately 20 minutes in the 1964 contest, including a span of 18:53 in the third and fourth quarters before UVa staged its comeback.
Long Time, No See
Virginia and Dartmouth are playing for the first time since 1968, 39 years or more precisely 14,274 days.
The 39-year difference between meetings is just the sixth-longest in the history of the UVa program.
The Cavaliers went 55 years between games against Drexel--from 1947 to 2002. Now the teams meet every year, but after this year's game, perhaps the Cavaliers won't want to play the Dragons anymore.
Curiously, the series with Dartmouth is characterized by two long spans between games. The teams first met in 1938 and then didn't play again until 1963, a period of 25 years. They played four times from 1963-68 and then didn't meet again until this year.
None of the current Cavaliers was anywhere near being born--Foster Gilbert, the oldest player on the team, was born in 1983. Head coach Dom Starsia was a 10th grader in high school on Long Island and was two years away from even seeing his first lacrosse game!
Since the teams last met this country has seen a man land on the moon (several times), a President resign and another be impeached, the Mets win the World Series, the Beatles disband, a pullout from Vietnam and a war in Iraq, the breakup of Communism, the rise and influence of the Internet and many other events.
The list of the longest time between meetings is shown below.
Span, Opponent 1st mtg. next mtg.
1. 55, Drexel 1947 2002
2. 49, Harvard 1905 1954
3. 44, Mt. Washington 1905 1949
4. 43, Swarthmore 1904 1947
5. 41, Harvard 1955 1996
6. 39, Dartmouth 1968 2007
Big Green No Stranger to Starsia
Although Virginia and Dartmouth have not met in 39 years, Cavalier head coach Dom Starsia has a history against the Big Green going back more than 30 years to his playing and coaching days at Ivy League rival Brown.
Playing collegiately on the varsity at Brown from 1972-74 he faced Dartmouth each season, winning all three games.
As Brown's head coach from 1983-92, his squad lost to Dartmouth in his first meeting against the Big Green and then won the last nine years before he left to come to UVa.
In 13 games against Dartmouth as a player or head coach at Brown, Starsia was 12-1.
Happy Birthday to the Head Coach
Head coach Dom Starsia is celebrating his 55th birthday during Saturday's game against Dartmouth. Playing on his birthday is nothing unusual for Starsia. However, the results have frequently thrown a damper on what would otherwise be a festive day.
As a defenseman at Brown, he played on his birthday once--a loss to Johns Hopkins in 1973. Eleven years later his Brown squad lost to Penn on his birthday.
Since coming to UVa in 1993, he has played four ACC Tournament games on his birthday with limited success. His Cavalier squads lost to Duke in the 1995 and 2002 tournaments, and to North Carolina in the 1996 tournament. In the 2000 tournament the Cavaliers defeated North Carolina but it took two overtimes to do so.
Virginia Offense Fourth 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).
Despite the loss of three of the top-six scorers from a year ago, the offense has remained productive throughout most of this spring. Virginia is currently fourth in the nation in scoring with an average of 12.0 goals per game. Cornell leads at 14.9, while Albany is second at 13.6. Syracuse has picked up lately and is ranked third at 12.1.
There have been nine games nationwide this year when a team has scored at least 20 goals and both Virginia and Delaware have done it twice to lead the way.
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 fourth in the nation with an average of 12.0 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 eighth-leading defense. The Cavaliers relinquish an average of 6.9 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 Syracuse scored its second-lowest output of the season against the Cavaliers.
Of Virginia's 12 opponents this season, only Drexel has 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.
Since the Drexel game Virginia has shot 30-percent or better five times (and just missed with 29 percent vs. Towson). In their wins this season the Cavaliers are shooting 30.1 percent, while in their losses they shoot 21.3 percent. Two of their four worst performances have come in losses this spring.
The shooting has fallen off a bit recently as Virginia has not shot 30+ percent since the Maryland game, four games ago. In the last three games the Cavaliers are shooting 25.9 percent (30 of 116). The last time the Cavaliers had a longer run of sub-30 percent shooting was a five-game span in 2004 (Princeton-North Carolina).
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).
Sharing Common Opponents
Virginia and Dartmouth have two opponents in common this season--Duke and North Carolina.
The Big Green opened the season against the two Tobacco Road schools--losing to Duke 11-7 in the season opener and 12-6 to North Carolina the following day.
Virginia defeated North Carolina 10-9 in overtime two weeks ago, but lost to Duke 7-6 in overtime last Saturday.
Seniors Make Final Klöckner Appearance
The Dartmouth game marks the final regular season Klöckner Stadium appearance for several Cavaliers. Those playing in their final home game include captains Ricky Smith and Drew Thompson, as well as FO Adam Fassnacht, M Foster Gilbert, D Drew Jordan, D James King and G Kip Turner. G Bud Petit has a year of eligibility remaining and is expected to return next season.
This group of players have played key roles in leading the Cavaliers to two final four berths, including a national championship last season on a team that finished with a perfect 17-0 record. In Gilbert's case as a fifth-year player, he was a member of the 2003 national title squad, too.
They have also won an ACC championship in 2006 and have been invited to the NCAA Tournament twice (and expect to receive a bid this season).
Rubeor Leads Nation in Scoring, Goals
Junior attackman Ben Rubeor has been an offensive machine throughout the season, beginning with a 4-goal, 4-assist performance against Drexel in the opener.
He has scored at least one goal in every game this season, to run his streak to 15 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. He scored a game-high five goals--including the game-winner-- and had one assist.
Rubeor leads the nation with 56 points (39g, 17a) and sits atop the goals list as well. His 17 assists are tied for 18th nationally.
His 39 goals are tied for ninth most in a season in school history, while his 56 points are tied for 21.
Rubeor has recorded 146 points in his career (91g, 57a) and ranks 18th in Virginia history.
Among active players, Rubeor stands seventh in total points, eighth in assists and ninth in goals.
Turner, Defense Highlight Wins
Goalie Kip Turner and his defensive mates have turned in tremendous defensive efforts this season to help offset the offensive losses from last year as the Cavaliers have built a 10-2 record.
Turner has been exceptional the last two weeks and was named ACC Player of the Week for his performance in the 10-9 overtime win over North Carolina two weeks ago. He made 14 saves and consistently turned aside excellent scoring opportunities in a game that featured seven ties and five lead changes.
Last week in the 7-6 overtime loss to Duke, Turner was again spectacular with a career-high 20 saves, while holding the Blue Devils more than five goals under their season average. Duke also shot a season-low 18.4 percent. His 71.4 save percentage is the best for a full game in his career. On the offensive end, he even aided his own cause with an assist on Ben Rubeor's goal in the fourth quarter.
Turner leads the ACC in goals against average at 6.83 goals per game and has a .600 save percentage that ranks 10th nationally. He has had a save percentage of at least 61 percent in eight of the last 11 games. During the 10-game winning streak that ended last week, he had a save percentage of 59.9 percent and a very low 6.47 goals allowed average. In addition, the opponents shot just 22.0 percent.