March 7, 2011

Virginia Hosts Vermont in Final Mid-Week Game of Season

from press release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The Virginia Cavaliers (4-1) are ranked No. 2 this week in both the USILA coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse media polls after falling at No. 1 Syracuse last Friday. UVa hosts its final midweek contest Tuesday night when the Vermont Catamounts (3-1), out of the America East Conference, invade Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. This is the first week this season UVa has been ranked in the same slot in both polls, after spending the first three USILA polls ranked No. 1. Vermont is receiving votes in both polls.

Tuesday night marks the fourth-straight season the Cavaliers have hosted the Catamounts in a series where UVa holds the all-time 3-0 advantage. Vermont is coached by former UVa All-American Ryan Curtis. A four-year letterwinner under Virginia head coach Dom Starsia, Curtis won the Schmeisser Cup as the nation's outstanding defenseman in 1999 when the Cavaliers won their first national championship in 27 years. Starsia is 8-1 when facing his former players, including 4-1 vs. Jamie Munro (formerly of Denver) and 1-0 vs. Lars Tiffany (formerly of Stony Brook, but now at Brown). Curtis is Starsia's only former UVa player he has faced, while Munro and Tiffany played at Brown under Starsia.

Vermont is the second school out of the America East that Virginia has faced this season, a league the Cavaliers hold a 28-2 all-time mark against, including 20 wins in a row. Early this season Virginia topped Stony Brook in New York, 11-10, in overtime.

In the last meeting between Virginia and Vermont, Brian Carroll scored five goals and Chris LaPierre tallied three goals and two assists, topping the Catamounts, 18-7.

UVa enters the game on the heels of its first setback of the season, a 12-10 defeat at No. 1 Syracuse. Shamel Bratton shined for the Cavaliers with four goals, giving the senior eight career goals inside the Carrier Dome. Steele Stanwick added a goal and two assists, giving the junior at least one point in 40 of his 41 career games. Goalie Adam Ghitelman was impressive in defeat, saving 15 shots from an active Syracuse offense.

On the season, Stanwick's 26 total points and 14 assists lead the Cavaliers. Chris Bocklet is No. 2 nationally in goals per game, posting a total of 17 on the year, a rate of 3.4 per game. Shamel Bratton is third on the team with eight goals and 10 total points. Ghitelman is holding court inside the pipes, needing one victory to equal the ACC record set by Duke's Dan Loftus (42) over five seasons (2004-08). On the year, Ghitelman is saving 57.1 percent of shots against him and holds an 8.25 goals against average. LaPierre has done a little of everything, picking up a team-best 26 ground balls and going 13-of-16 on faceoffs.

Vermont comes into the contest with impressive wins over Air Force, Bryant and Colgate, dropping its only game to Denver, which is ranked No. 17 in this week's USILA coaches poll and No. 14 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. The Catamounts are led by Drew Phillie and his 11 points and team-best eight goals, while Geoff Worley is chipping in a team-high five assists for a total of eight points. David Barton is the man in goal for Vermont, saving .658 percent of shots against him and posting a 6.50 goals against average.

Virginia has a 25-game winning streak going back to 2001 in regular-season mid-week games, including dual 22-6 wins over Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 22 and VMI on Feb. 28. Virginia is also 26-2 all-time in night games at Klöckner Stadium, losing a 6 p.m. game to Duke in 2008, 19-9, and an 8:30 p.m. to Duke in 2010, 13-9.

Virginia hits the road again on Saturday for a neutral site game with the Cornell Big Red in the 2011 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. ESPNU will televise the contest in HD. The game is slated for a 1:30 p.m. faceoff.


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