Stage is Set for Saturday Rendezvous Between No. 8 UVa and No. 3 Cornell

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia Cavaliers (5-1) are ranked No. 8 in this week’s USILA coaches poll and No. 9 in this week’s Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, and are coming off a home win on Tuesday over Vermont. Next up for the Cavaliers is the Cornell Big Red (4-0), ranked No. 3 in both the coaches and media polls. The 2013 edition of the series returns the matchup to campus sites after the last two regular-season meetings were played in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium as part of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m.

There will be a live radio broadcast in the Charlottesville area on WINA 1070 AM. John Freeman will bring the play-by-play, Doug Tarring will provide the analysis and Jack Bird will roam the sidelines. There will also be a live video stream of the contest for a subscription cost on through Cavaliers Live.

The 2013 season marks the fifth-straight season the Cavaliers and Big Red have faced each other in a series in which UVa holds a 9-3 all-time advantage. The series began during the regular season in 1971, a game contested in Charlottesville. The next five meetings took place in the NCAA Tournament before the next regular season matchup, a 2009 contest at Klöckner Stadium.

Mark Cockerton entered the week leading the nation in goals and currently has 20, while also leading UVa with 22 points. Nick O’Reilly leads the team with 14 assists, while tallying 21 points. Matt White and Rob Emery have 12 and 10 goals respectively to help pace UVa. Scott McWilliams has caused 17 turnovers and entered the week No. 2 in the nation in that category. The defenseman also has 26 ground balls and three points, courtesy of a goal and two assists. Dan Marino is posting an 8.55 goals against average between the pipes and saving 46.9 percent of shots against him.

Ben DeLuca is in his third season as the Big Red’s head coach, taking over a program in 2011 that he spent 16 years with as a player and assistant coach. DeLuca is 27-7 so far as a collegiate head coach, guiding the Big Red to the 2011 Ivy League title. Of his seven career losses, three have come at the hands of the Cavaliers. Rob Pannell, the older brother of UVa attackman James Pannell, leads Cornell with 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points. Steve Mock has 12 goals, while Connor Buczek has nine goals and six assists to help lead the Big Red. Doug Tesoriero is winning 69.4 percent of his faceoffs and has picked up a team-best 26 ground balls. AJ Fiore is posting a 6.16 goals against average in the cage and saving 64.1 percent of shots against him.

Next on the UVa slate is No. 11 Ohio State, who comes to Klöckner Stadium on March 16. Faceoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be part of a doubleheader with the UVa women’s lacrosse team, who hosts Princeton at noon.
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