- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 26, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Virginia lacrosse team found itself playing vastly different games as it navigated a difficult March schedule.

One thing remained the same: The Cavaliers kept on winning.

The Cavaliers produced a stingy defensive effort as they throttled No.10 Johns Hopkins 12-6 yesterday at Klockner Stadium, holding Jake Byrne, Kevin Huntley and Paul Rabil and the rest of the Blue Jays scoreless for 38 minutes in their first game since assuming the No.1 ranking.

Danny Glading and Ben Rubeor both scored two goals for the Cavaliers (9-0), who are well known for their offensive explosiveness. Yet with Michael Culver glued to Huntley, Ricky Smith shadowing Byrne and freshman Mike Timms marking Rabil, it was Virginia’s defense that was especially impressive.

“I told our guys yesterday we never get any credit for playing defense, to be honest,” Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. “I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning. We lead the country in scoring and that’s all anybody wants to talk about. But we’re playing good defense.”

Just three weeks ago, it seemed unlikely the Cavaliers’ defense would turn into a strength. Virginia defeated Syracuse 20-15 in a defense-optional game in Charlottesville, but came back more than a week later to grind out a 7-6 victory at Princeton.

The defense hasn’t disappeared the last two weeks. Virginia jumped to a 13-1 lead at Towson on March 19 before coasting to a 14-7 victory. It was much of the same yesterday as the Cavaliers led 7-2 after the third quarter and 11-3 with four minutes remaining before 7,440, a lacrosse record at Klockner.

Huntley scored five goals a week ago against Syracuse, but Culver limited him to just a goal on two shots. Byrne was never a factor, getting stuffed by Virginia goalie Kip Turner in the second quarter on his only shot.

Rabil managed four shots, but the 6-foot-5 Timms kept pace with him throughout. Fellow freshman Matt Kelly helped limit Hopkins’ Greg Peyser to two assists. Throw in a startling 40-22 groundball edge, and Virginia won with more than offense.

“We heard critics this week about our defense, and hopefully today will shut them up a little bit,” Turner said. “Our defense is a very athletic bunch and they get the ball off the ground and that’s the important part of defense.”

Hopkins (3-3), meanwhile, continued to struggle a year after winning the national championship. The Blue Jays lost only three regular-season games in the last four years, but their sloppy play helped doom them to their fourth straight loss at Klockner.

No.5 Georgetown 1, No.2 Duke 0

DURHAM, N.C. — The Blue Devils forfeited yesterday’s game against the Hoyas in the wake of a police investigation of a March 13 incident.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, a woman claimed she was raped at a party that night by three members of Duke’s lacrosse team.

“The players deny the criminal allegations,” Duke athletic director Joe Alleva said in a statement. “We understand that to date, no one has been charged with any crime. …

“Several players who were present acknowledge, however, that they did hire private party dancers and that underage drinking occurred. The judgment of the team members to host and participate in this even is inconsistent with the values of Duke athletics and Duke University and is unacceptable.”

Duke also will forfeit Tuesday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s.

No.4 Maryland 9, North Carolina 6

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Joe Walters scored five goals as the Terrapins (6-1, 2-0 ACC) rolled past the Tar Heels (2-7, 0-2) at Fetzer Field. Maryland ripped off five straight goals in the second half to send North Carolina to its seventh straight loss.

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