Oct. 30, 2006
Charlottesville, Va. -
The University of Virginia men's lacrosse team received its 2006 national championship rings at its annual awards banquet at the Abbott Center at the Darden Graduate School of Business Friday night (Oct. 27). All 39 team members attended.
"We have certainly been looking forward to this weekend since the conclusion of the 2006 season. It was our first opportunity to have the team together and to reflect on an undefeated season and a national championship," said head coach Dom Starsia.
In addition to celebrating the team's national title, Starsia announced the team's award winners for the season.
Senior attackman Matt Ward received the Dr. Allen Voshell Award as the team's most valuable player for the second year in a row. He was the leader of the Cavaliers this season, particularly in the postseason. He received the Tewaaraton Trophy as the top player in the nation, was named the USILA Player of the Year and a first-team All-American. He scored five goals against Massachusetts in the championship game of the NCAA tournament and was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championships; he set a tourney record with 16 goals. Ward was the leading scorer for Virginia this season for the third year in a row with 42 goals and 67 total points. He received his degree in commerce in May.
Senior defenseman Michael Culver received the Harry Gaver Award for leadership. A team captain this season, he continued the tradition of outstanding defensive players at Virginia and was selected the USILA Defenseman of the Year. Assigned to the opposition's best attackman, he held some of the most dangerous scorers in check all season as Virginia allowed fewer than eight goals per game.
Goalie Doug Brody received the E. Doyle Smith Award for having the team's highest grade point average for the third year in a row. A studio art major, he graduated in May with a 3.8 GPA. He played in six games and recorded four saves during the season.
Senior defenseman Patrick Buchanan won the Lawrie Riggs Award for commitment and citizenship. One of the steadiest players on the team, his experience enabled him to fill a variety of roles on a stingy Cavalier defense throughout the season. A May graduate with a degree in sociology, he played in all 17 games during the championship season.
Senior midfielder Kyle Dixon was named the team's offensive MVP. On a team loaded with offensive firepower, he was the one who created the most match-up problems for opposing defenses. He was selected the USILA Midfielder of the Year and a first-team All-American after scoring 20 goals and adding 21 assists. Dixon finished second in the nation in assists by a midfielder and was one of only two middies to score 20 goals and add 20 assists. He received his degree in sociology during the summer.
Seniors Charlie Glazer and Chris Ourisman shared the team's Most Improved Player Award. Glazer won more than 58 percent of his faceoffs in his role as the team's primary faceoff specialist and finished second in the ACC in faceoff percentage. He also ranked second in the league with 69 ground balls. One of the most vocal players on the team, Ourisman was the team's starting longstick midfielder and proved to be a tremendous asset with his experience and knowledge of the game. He snagged 37 ground balls, second among ACC LSMs. They received their degrees in May, in history and sociology, respectively.
Senior midfielder J.J. Morrissey received the Class of '99 Unsung Hero Award. A short-stick defensive midfielder early in his career, Morrissey was undoubtedly the team's most underrated player this season. A force on the defensive end with his aggressive play, he frequently sparked the offense with his ability in transition. He was fifth in the ACC in ground balls this spring, while scoring five goals and adding six assists. He received his degree in history in May.
Senior defenseman Matt Paquet received the Tom Rixey Award for spirit and inspiration. After being away from school two years ago, he returned in 2005 and proved to be a tireless worker. He played in a career-high nine games this past season. Paquet was chosen to give to be the team's graduation speaker at its graduation ceremony following the playoff win over Georgetown and received his degree in government.
Junior goalie Kip Turner received the team's defensive MVP award. One of the nation's most underrated goalies, he finished eighth in the country in goals allowed with an average of 7.14 goals per game and earned third-team All-America accolades. He finished with a 58.0 save percentage and made at least 10 saves on eight occasions.
Assistant coach Hannon Wright received the Tommy Compton Award for alumni contributions to the program. A veteran of UVa's last three national champions as either a player or coach, Wright completed his first season of his second stint on Starsia's staff this spring. He handles many of the team's administrative responsibilities as well as coaching the goalies and faceoff men.
Following the announcement of the team awards, Starsia announced that Marc Van Arsdale has been promoted to associate head coach. One of the outstanding teachers in the college game, Van Arsdale is heavily involved in all aspects of the program and serves as the team's offensive coordinator. This season Virginia led the nation in offense and scoring margin and became the first team to go 17-0 in a season. Under his tutelage this season, Matt Ward was named the USILA Player of the Year and was awarded the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation's top player, while Kyle Dixon was named the USILA Midfielder of the Year.
Van Arsdale is in his 12th year as an assistant coach at UVa. He spent five years as the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001 before rejoining the Cavaliers in 2002. Under his lead, the Virginia offense has led the country in scoring twice (1996 and 2006).
"It is rare situation where a head coach can draw on the experience and expertise of someone like Marc," said Starsia. "He is a colleague, a friend, and an invaluable resource for this program. This change simply reflects more accurately his role for Virginia lacrosse. I would certainly like to take this moment to thank Marc publicly and let him know how much we appreciate his contribution."