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It was an exciting year for Virginia athletics. The men's lacrosse team won its second NCAA Championship in five years. Ranked No. 2 going into the finals, Coach Dom Starsia's Cavaliers beat top-ranked Johns Hopkins 9-7 to claim the title. Eight Virginia players earned All-America honors, and one of them, Chris Rotelli (College '03), became the first lacrosse player to win the Anthony J. McKevlin Award as ACC male athlete of the year.
 
The football team surprised the pundits by finishing second in the ACC. Quarterback Matt Schaub (College '03), a serious contender for the Heisman Trophy, won ACC Player of the Year honors, and Coach Al Groh was named ACC Coach of the Year. The team capped a great season with a decisive 48-22 victory over fifteenth-ranked West Virginia in the Continental Tire Bowl.

Strong Performance In Postseason Play
The women's lacrosse team, under Coach Julie Myers, advanced to the NCAA finals, only to lose in overtime to the Princeton Tigers, the defending national champions. Other teams that performed well in NCAA competition included the women rowers, who finished sixth, and the men's swimming and diving team, which took tenth place. Four teams-men's lacrosse, women's rowing, and men's and women's swimming-captured ACC championships.

The men's lacrosse team celebrates after winning the NCAA championship.

The men's soccer team turned in a 15-7 record, thanks in part to the aggressive play of Alecko Eskandarian (College '05), who earned the 2002 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, college soccer's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. He set a school record for the most goals scored in a single season.

Excellence Across the Board
All of these accomplishments helped the University place nineteenth in the 2002-2003 NACDA Directors' Cup standings, reflecting our commitment to achieving excellence in all twenty-five of our intercollegiate athletics programs. The University also placed 230 students on the ACC Academic Honor Roll, confirming that our student-athletes are excelling in the classroom as well as on the court and the playing field.
 
Placing nineteenth in the NACDA Directors' Cup, Virginia gave fans plenty of reasons to cheer.

Our athletics administrators also won national honors this past year. In June, Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage received the Black Coaches Association's Athletics Administrator of the Year award. The first African American athletics director in the ACC, he was also listed forty-sixth on Sports Illustrated's roster of the 101 most influential minorities in sports. Former women's lacrosse coach Jane Miller, now senior associate director of athletics for programs, was elected to the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Between 1984 and 1995, Ms. Miller coached the Cavaliers to six NCAA semifinal appearances and two national championships (1991 and 1993).

Head Coach Dennis Womack stepped down after leading the baseball team for twenty-three years. His Virginia squads posted an overall record of 594-605-7, won an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in 1996, and twice participated in the NCAA tournament. Brian O'Connor, former associate head coach at Notre Dame, was named his successor.

Expanding Opportunities
Our field of regular competitors will grow with the addition of Virginia Tech and the University of Miami to the ACC in 2004-05. Boston College also has accepted an invitation to join the conference. This expansion solidifies the ACC's position as one of the leading conferences in the nation, and it provides opportunities for significant academic as well as athletic collaborations among member institutions with generally similar programs. The inclusion of Virginia Tech is especially good news for all of us in the Commonwealth.
 

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