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At Virginia, Pehlke passes attack mantle to Whiteley


Kevin Pehlke is winding down a career as one of the most productive lacrosse players in Atlantic Coast Conference history, but Tim Whiteley has shown Virginia fans that the future is in good hands.

The Cavaliers must keep up with Johns Hopkins' high-powered attack in today's NCAA quarterfinal at Homewood Field, hence the need for big games from Pehlke and Whiteley, who won the Kelly Award that goes to the top player in the Maryland Scholastic Association in 1989 and 1992, respectively.

A senior from Calvert Hall, Pehlke has team highs of 34 goals and 24 assists, raising his career marks to 138 and 98. He has the Virginia career records for goals and points (236). With 16 goals and 19 assists, Whiteley isn't having the kind of freshman year Pehlke had in 1990, but his contribution has increased as the season has progressed.

"I've gotten more confident as the year's gone on," said Whiteley, who, with his father Mitch coaching, led St. Paul's to two MSA A Conference titles. "At the beginning of the year, I was basically getting the ball to Kevin and seeing what he could do. We're spreading the offense around more."

But Whiteley was no factor in Virginia's most significant victory, a 13-12 defeat of No. 1 North Carolina that kept the Tar Heels from a perfect season.

"We kind of won that without him," said Dom Starsia, Virginia's first-year coach. "Early on, Tim ran into some defensemen, like North Carolina's Greg Paradine, who were doing things he hadn't seen at St. Paul's. But you could tell back in the fall that he was going to be a key player for us."

Whiteley had four goals and three assists in last week's 19-9 first-round rout of Notre Dame, Virginia's first tournament victory since the Cavaliers' 1988 upset at Hopkins.

The Cavaliers led 7-0 after the first period and had a much easier game than they expected. Four sophomores, reserve attackman Sean Miller and midfield regulars David Jones (St. Mary's), Tony Nugent (Calvert Hall) and Michael Vaughan (Loyola), served one-game suspensions for violating a team rule.

"With those guys out, I didn't know what to expect," Starsia said. "But Ray Kamrath [a faceoff man from St. Mary's] and Tim stepped up. Last Saturday was the first time Tim began to emerge as a player. He doesn't look like a freshman anymore. Kevin has had a tremendous year, and all of a sudden Tim looks more mature."

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