Cavaliers and Dragons are meeting for the 14th straight season
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s lacrosse team returns to action on Saturday as the Cavaliers (1-0) host Drexel in the Dragons’ season opener. Faceoff is set for 5:30 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. UVa owns preseason rankings of No. 9 in the USILA coaches poll and the Cascade/Maverick media poll. Drexel is No. 16 in the coaches poll and No. 18 in the media poll. The next poll from both outlets will be released on Monday.
Because of Saturday’s Virginia home men’s basketball game against Wake Forest (Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m.), fans attending Saturday’s Virginia men’s lacrosse game should be aware of traffic exiting the men’s basketball game. Fans attending the men’s lacrosse game will be able to park in open spaces in the University Hall and John Paul Jones Arena surface lots. Parking for the men’s lacrosse game will also be available in the Emmet/Ivy Garage.
Ticket holders for Saturday’s UVa men’s basketball game will be able to show their ticket stub at the gate for free general admission into the men’s lacrosse game.
Live stats of the game will be available at VirginiaSports.com. There will be a live video webcast available through Cavaliers Live at VirginiaSports.com for a subscription fee. Zealand Shannon will bring the play-by-play and Doug Tarring will provide the analysis.
The Cavaliers bring a 13-1 all-time record against the Dragons into Saturday’s contest, including a 6-1 mark in Charlottesville. UVa’s lone loss in the series was a season-opening setback to the Dragons on the University Hall Turf Field in 2007, a contest moved out of Klöckner Stadium due to weather.
Despite UVa’s dominant series record, all of the recent matchups against Drexel have been strongly contested beginning with Drexel’s surprising victory in Charlottesville to open the 2007 season. UVa has won the last three meetings by a goal apiece, including 13-12 in overtime the last time these teams met at Klöckner Stadium in 2013. In last year’s meeting, UVa used a game-winning goal by Mark Cockerton with 15 seconds left to elevate the Cavaliers over Drexel, 11-10, at Vidas Field in Philadelphia. UVa goalie Matt Barrett made a big save for UVa and the Cavaliers were able to push the ball into a transition to setup the game-winning score. Owen Van Arsdale tried to feed Ryan Tucker in front of the crease, but his stick was hit on the pass. Cockerton picked up the ball off the turf and deposited it into the goal from the front of the crease.
UVa’s 20-5 win in 2002 was the first meeting with Drexel in more than 50 years. The first meeting of the two schools occurred in 1947, Virginia’s first season following World War II. The Cavaliers gained a 7-2 victory in Philadelphia. Barry Robertson was high man for UVa with four goals, while goalie Bob Catzen registered 12 saves.
Junior Greg Coholan leads the UVa offense with four goals and five points, while sophomore Zed Williams also has five points on three goals and two assists. Sophomore Ryan Lukacovic rounds out the top scorers with two goals and two assists. Barrett is posting a 12.00 goals against average and saving 42.9 percent of shots against him in between the pipes.
Drexel head coach Brian Voelker is in his sixth season in charge of the Dragons, and returns 29 letterwinners and five starters off last year’s 13-5 team that reached the NCAA quarterfinal round. Cole Shafer is the Dragons’ top returning scorer with 53 points, including 35 goals. Ryan Belka (25 goals, 21 assists) and Jules Raucci (16 goals, eight assists) also return.
Ben McIntosh is the Dragons’ top returning scorer with 56 total points, including leading the team with 38 goals. Ryan Belka (27 goals, 17 assists) and Frank Fusco (23 goals, 9 assists) also return. Nick Saputo returns at the faceoff X, where he finished No. 7 in faceoff win percentage (.620).
The Cavaliers return to action on Feb. 21 when UVa travels to Rutgers. Faceoff against the Scarlet Knights is set for 1 p.m.
Tickets for Virginia home lacrosse games can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone at (800) 542-8821 or in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reserved seats for men’s home games are on sale for $10. Single-game general admission adult tickets for men’s home games are $8, while youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and over), and UVa faculty and staff tickets are $6 each. General admission tickets for groups of 20 or more are priced at $4.