The No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers travel to No. 11 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays for the 65th consecutive season that these two titans have clashed. Hopkins is up big on the series, 54-28-1, but Virginia has won 12 of the past 15 meetings between the two.
On the line for these two teams is the sixth annual Doyle Smith Cup. Smith was a 1966 graduate from Johns Hopkins, serving as a lacrosse team manager under then coach Bob Scott. He later moved to Charlottesville, where he served as the media relations director for the Cavalier lacrosse team for 30 years. As Virginia has defeated Hopkins in the past six meetings between the two teams, the Cup has always resided in Charlottesville.
Today features the nation's stingiest defense against the nation's most prolific offense. Hopkins allows just an average of 5.43 goals per game, and has not allowed more than eight goals in a game this season. Princeton is the only team to have scored more than six. Hopkins' keeper Pierce Bassett leads the country with a goals-against average of 5.01 and a save percentage of .683.
On the other hand, Virginia has not scored fewer than ten goals this season, averaging a nation best 14.5 goals per game. The Cavaliers have scored 14 or more in four games, and 22 in two games.
Chris Bocklet. Steele Stanwick. Shamel Bratton. Rhamel Bratton. Who of these four leading scorers for Virginia is going to step up big time today to face the daunting task of getting past Bassett? All four of them have double-digit goals to their names this season, with Stanwick leading the points total (17-15-32) and Bocklet leading the goals total (22-3-25).
This should be a pretty good game, especially since Hopkins took Syracuse to double overtime before falling 4-5 to the Orange -- a much stronger showing than Virginia's trip to the Dome earlier this month.
The game will be on ESPNU at 2:00 p.m.