The Virginia Cavaliers' men's lacrosse team is ranked No. 1 in the nation across the board. The Hoos are the only undefeated team in the ACC, and they have the country's top lacrosse player in Steele Stanwick. So why are Virginia fans so nervous about today's tilt against Duke, at home no less (free live streaming online at ESPNU!)?
Because Virginia has lost 11 of the past 12 to Duke. The Cavaliers have beaten the Blue Devils in the regular season since 2004, and during the almost eight years since, have only beaten them once, in the 2010 ACC semifinals. Even that year, Virginia was only 1-2 against the Devils, who topped Virginia both in the regular season and in the Final Four matchup.
But this year will be different. This year, Virginia is armed with the reigning Tewaaraton Trophy winner, one of only three players in the history of the award to have won it and returned to the college game as the reigning winner. He's also the only player in the history of the ACC to have earned Player of the Week honors three times in a single season.
Have you voted for Steele Stanwick for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award yet?
There's also Chris Bocklet, who is proving to be one of the program's all-time best scorers. As a freshman, Bocklet only had four goals on the season, but as a sophomore and in his first year as a starter, he led Virginia with 53 goals, following it up with another 44 last year. This year he's amassed just 28 goals so far, ranked 16th in the country in goals per game. Stanwick has found Bocklet in 44 of Bocklet's 129 goals, a feat Stanwick told VirginiaSports.com's Jeff White could be attributed to their chemistry and knowing each other's tendencies.
Here's a comparison of the numbers between the two teams:
|Goals Scored Average||13.09||11.62|
|Faceoff W-L Pct.||0.564||0.574|
Oh and also, it's senior day. And I hate it when we lose on senior day.
"I've loved it [here at Virginia]," Bocklet told Jeff White. "It stinks that it's winding down, but this was the best place I could have gone to school."
A win for the Hoos will give Virginia the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament. A loss means Virginia will drown to a two-seed, though either way, the Hoos will be playing North Carolina in the ACC Tournament.