UVa men's lacrosse team prepares for must-win home finale - The Daily Progress: Sports

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UVa men's lacrosse team prepares for must-win home finale

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Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 8:42 pm | Updated: 4:11 pm, Tue Apr 16, 2013.

Virginia men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia says the severity of Ryan Tucker’s shoulder injury is still unknown.

"I talked to him [Sunday] and he was in good spirits – he was sore," said Starsia on Monday. "He clearly is going to need a couple of days to figure it out, but I don’t know exactly what his status is."

Tucker fell awkwardly on his shoulder during UVa’s 19-16 loss at Duke on Friday night.

Before the injury, the sophomore midfielder had a goal, an assist and three groundballs.

"He had played very well right before getting hurt," Starsia said, "and was a kid who was really stepping up for us in that game."

For the season, Tucker, a Towson, Md. native, has 14 goals and four assists.

Bellarmine no cupcake

Many Virginia lacrosse fans have been expecting Saturday’s final regular-season game against Bellarmine to be an automatic win.

Not so fast.

The school, located in Louisville, Ky., has a respectable 7-4 record, including a pair of double-overtime losses in its last two games against Denver and Hobart.

Earlier this season, Bellarmine also played Ohio State tough, losing by just two goals. The Cavaliers lost to the Buckeyes back in March.

Virginia (5-7, 0-3) needs to beat Bellarmine and then win both its games in the ACC Tournament in order to be considered for the NCAA Tournament.

Goalie situation

Starsia said that sophomore Rhody Heller remains his starting goalie, with no immediate plans to switch to freshman Dan Marino.

"He’s still our guy right now," said Starsia, referring to Heller. "We have a full week here. We have two young guys and we’re trying to do what’s right by them. We’ll look at things over the next couple of days, but he battled and is still our guy right now."

Against Duke, Heller surrendered all 19 goals, though he did have 16 saves.

In six starts this season, Heller is 0-5 with a goals-against-average of 12.57 and 67 saves. Marino is 5-2 with a goals-against average of 9.09 and 46 saves.

Heller’s starts have come against the better competition.

Ground woes

Whether the ball was on the ground for a faceoff or was rolling around in an unsettled situation, Virginia had major problems gaining possession of it against Duke.

In the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers lost all nine faceoffs, as well as the groundball battle, 13-3.

For the game, Duke won 23 of 38 faceoffs and had a 44-37 edge on the ground.

Surprisingly, Virginia remains No. 1 in the nation in groundballs per game. The Cavaliers are ranked 20th in faceoff percentage.

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