The Washington Times - April 2, 2011, 03:27PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Virginia midfielder Shamel Bratton missed Saturday’s 12-7 loss to Maryland and it is uncertain when the senior will return to the Cavaliers.

Coach Dom Starsia said Bratton’s absence, which was described before the game by a team spokesman as a coach’s decision, was anticipated throughout the week.

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“He didn’t practice with us this week,” Starsia said. “I spent time with him probably every day. The team has a set of guidlines and rules and I do treat everybody individually, but the rules need to be applied equally. We’ll continue to stay in touch and sort this out.”

Bratton ranked third on the Cavaliers (7-3) with 17 goals entering Saturday. He was previously suspended for Virginia’s Feb. 26 game at Stony Brook.

Bratton, a first team all-America selection the last two seasons, ranks third all-time among Virginia midfielders in points (125), fourth in goals (86) and fifth in assists (39). His return is uncertain for a team that has dropped consecutive games for the first time since the end of the 2007 season and will face North Carolina and Duke in the next two weeks before playing in the ACC tournament.

“I would call it indefinite right now,” Starsia said.

Patrick Stevens