From media releases; Photo:

  Photo copyright (c) 2007 Tom McCrystal  

ACC Freshman of the Year Brittany Kalkstein (17) completes a clear against Princeton in the first round of the 2007 NCAA tournament, Sunday, May 7, 2007. (Click for a larger image: 98K) Kalkstein holds the UVa record for draw controls in a season with 57.


The Virginia Cavaliers will host the UNC Tar Heels on Saturday, May 19 at 2 pm with a berth in the NCAA Semifinals on the line. Third-seeded Virginia (17-3) and sixth-seeded UNC (16-4) have met twice in 2007, with the Tar Heels taking the first game 16-7 before Virginia won the ACC Championship with a 12-6 win over UNC a month later.

The rivalry between these two southern schools is a heated one, with the series tied at 9-9 since UNC elevated the team to varsity status in 1996. This year will mark the second time that the two have met three times in a season; in 1997 the Tar Heels won the first matchup with a 5-4 victory in Chapel Hill before Virginia defeated UNC 9-7 for the ACC title. UNC advanced to the semifinals that season with a 13-12 sudden victory triumph over Virginia in the quarterfinal, held in Charlottesville. Two of Carolina’s victories in the series have come in NCAA action, with the other win in 2002 (14-13, ot).

Virginia and North Carolina are two of the top defensive teams in the nation; UVa ranks fifth nationally with a 7.89 GAA while the Tar Heels check in at 6.92 GAA (3rd). Virginia is led by US team members Jessy Morgan and Jen Holden, who rank 1-2 in minutes played by field players. Holden ranks second on the team in ground balls while Morgan ranks second on the team in caused turnovers. Kendall McBrearty ranks sixth in the nation in goals against average, while her counterpart for UNC, Kristen Hordy, ranks third nationally.

Virginia’s midfield is led by All-ACC member Jess Wasilewski and USA team member Megan O’Malley; the Cavaliers rank ninth nationally in scoring margin. A pair of first-years, Brittany Kalkstein and Kaitlin Duff, have made a phenomenal impact on the team as Kalkstein was named the ACC Freshman of the Year and Duff was named the National Rookie of the Week in March. Kalkstein set the school record for draw controls in a season with 57; she ranks 22nd nationally with 2.85 dc per game; Duff leads the team in both ground balls (42) and caused turnovers (26).

Offensively the Cavaliers are led by fourth-year Kate Breslin, who has 60 goals and 25 assists on the season. Her 85 points ranks seventh all-time for a single season in Virginia history; she ranks 10th all-time in school history with 172 points. One of the semifinalists for the prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy, Breslin ranks 20th nationally in points per game (4.20) and 18th in goals per game (3.00). Classmates Ashley McCulloch and Blair Weymouth form an impressive second-year duo. Weymouth ranks second on the team in points (77), goals (51) and assists (26); all three totals place her in the top-four all-time as a second-year. McCulloch’s fourth assist in the ACC title game against UNC was the 29th of the season and allowed her to set a new record for assists as a second year; she ranks 28th nationally with 1.45 apg. Virginia as a team ranks 15th nationally in scoring offense, averaging 12.90 goals per game; the Tar Heels rank 12th and average 12.94 goals per game.

The team that advances from this game will face the winner of the Duke-Johns Hopkins game at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday, May 25 at approximately 8 pm; the game will take place 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first semifinal.