No. 3 Virginia too much for UMBC, 20-9 Nation's top scorer Knight isn't missed in Cavs' rout

April 28, 1996|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

Third-ranked Virginia was minus Doug Knight, the nation's leading scorer, for its regular-season finale at UMBC.

Knight, a junior attackman who had accounted for 70 points in the first 12 games, was nursing a sore wrist, bruised ribs and a shoulder he separated in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship loss to North Carolina last Saturday.

But his absence was hardly felt yesterday by the potent Cavaliers' offense, ranked No. 1 in Division I, as they prepped for the NCAA tournament by routing the Retrievers, 20-9, before a homecoming crowd of 1,263.

Mark LaVerghetta, a junior from Boys' Latin, started in place of Knight, and accounted for four goals and an assist. He had a number of open shots, thanks to the deft passing of junior Michael Watson (four goals, two assists) and senior Tim Whiteley, a pair of St. Paul's School graduates.

Leading 11-6 in the second quarter, the Cavaliers (10-3) put it out of reach by scoring eight of the next nine goals, and coach Dom Starsia mercifully played his reserves most of the fourth quarter. With a tournament bye now guaranteed, Starsia said it would give Knight and "some other banged up players" a chance to heal.

"We missed Knight's physical play today," said Starsia, "but I felt we did an excellent job of creating movement.

"UMBC tried to slow the game switching its defense, and I understand that. They switched their defense and played a lot of zone, but we did a good job keeping our poles on the ball and staying in command."

Virginia controlled the Retrievers (3-8) from the outset, with midfielder David Curry and La- Verghetta beating freshman goalie R. J. Degenfelder with matching 10-foot rockets in the first 43 seconds.

The Cavaliers, in fact, won the first eight faceoffs, as the Retrievers could not compensate for the loss of their two best faceoff men -- Joe Farinetti, who quit the team last month, and Matt Shearer, who is injured.

Offensively, UMBC struggled to get a shot off against an enlivened Virginia defense, led by Dave Winegrad of Annapolis and Karl Zeller of Loyola.

Amazingly, sophomore goalie Chris Sanderson was not credited with a save until only 57 seconds remained in the first half.

But the Retrievers made the best of their few opportunities and gave cause for hope when sophomore John McDonnell scored an unassisted goal to close to 9-5 early in the second quarter.

But UMBC, which ends its season against Maryland Friday, could draw no closer.

"After losing to North Carolina last week, we wanted to play a complete game," said Watson, "and we came close to that today. It was a good way to prepare for the tournament."

Added Starsia: "It was important for us to end the season the way we started [six straight wins]. I believe we had the toughest schedule in Division I, and it took its toll. But we should be healthy for the tournament. Knight's a tough kid. He'll be ready to play by then."

UVA .8 6 4 2 -- 20

UMBC 2 4 1 2 -- 9

Goals: UVA-- LaVerghetta 4, Watson 4, Curry 3, Whiteley 2, Radebaugh 2, Melchionni, Baruch, Oakey, Bruce, Gendell; UMBC-- McDonnell 2, Sabo 2, Turner, Hernandez, Chance, Lloyd, Henry. Assists: UVA-- Oakey 3, Watson 2, Whiteley 2, LaVerghetta, Bruce, Curry, Mueller, Leahy; UMBC-- Turner 3, Chance. Saves: UVA-- Sanderson 2, D'Urso 3, Wright 0; UMBC-- Degenfelder 10, Hampson 15.

Pub Date: 4/28/96

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