For the better part of the past three years, Virginia enjoyed the rare luxury of knowing that the net on the defensive side of the field was filled by Adam Ghitelman.
Ghitelman’s nine-save performance in the national title game allowed him to ride off into the sunset with a NCAA crown – and left the Cavaliers with a decision to make regarding his successor.
Coach Dom Starsia thinks he has found the right man in senior Rob Fortunato.
“We feel like Rob Fortunato is the likely starter,” Starsia said. “He’s a senior this year, and he’s waited his turn. He’s really improved over the last couple years. He started last year in the Drexel game, and we won that game. So he’s been around the block with us.”
Starsia also said that redshirt freshman Owen Van Arsdale – the son of associate head coach Marc Van Arsdale – is the leading candidate to join seniors Steele Stanwick and Chris Bocklet as starting attackmen. Junior Matt White, who was a starter in 2010, and sophomore Mark Cockerton have been running with senior Colin Briggs and sophomore Rob Emery in the first midfield.
“[W]e like them in the midfield right now, and so we have seven guys that we’re sort of playing in that first offensive group,” Starsia said. “You kind of leave in Steele and Bocklet and Briggs and Emery out there and put those other three guys in two spots. Hopefully, we can create some problems with putting different combinations of personnel out there.”
Finally, senior Ryan Benincasa will get the nod to succeed Garett Ince at faceoffs. But Benincasa has been bothered by a sore hamstring, which means that the coaches have been mulling over other options like freshmen Mick Parks and Ryan Tucker and junior Chris LaPierre.
“It’s sort of going to continue what we’ve done the last couple of years,” Starsia said. “We’re hopeful that Benincasa can come back healthy and have a great senior year, but chances are he wouldn’t take every faceoff anyway. So I definitely think we’ll be a faceoff-by-committee group for a while.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun