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Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Preview: Virginia

The NCAA D1 season is now well underway, and it’s only February. Instead of previewing these last few teams, we’ll talk about their 2014 seasons so far, assuming they’ve played games… We narrow down the alphabetical list with the Virginia Cavaliers, located in Charlottesville, VA. The Cavs are 3-0 right now, and each of their games have been decided by one goal. It’s clearly going to be a tight year for UVA.

UVA took down Loyola 14-13 in OT to open the year. Then they barely beat Richmond, 13-12. The third game of the season was against Drexel, and UVA won 11-10. It’s good news that UVA is winning close games. It could be bad news that they seem to be playing to the level of their competition. We’ll have to wait and see if they can win games comfortably later in the year… but I do like a battle tested team!

loyola virginia lacrosse 2014
Photo Credit: Craig Chase

James Pannell has stepped up in a big way and is leading the Cavs on offense. Mark Cockerton returned this year as well and has ten points in 3 games. Owen Van Arsdale occupies the third attack spot and he has 8 points so far, with a team leading 6 assists. Greg Coholan, Rob Emery, Tyler German, and Ryan Tucker are leading the midfield on O and producing well. Virginia doesn’t look like they’ve missed a beat offensively. Mick Parks has been doing well at face offs, but was dominated by Drexel’s Nick Saputo (Saputo won 13 of 19). Against strong face off men, UVA could struggle.

Scott McWilliams, Greg Danseglio, Tanner Scales, and Joe Lisicky are the top poles right now, and they stand in front of Matt Barrett, who has played every minute in cage so far for UVA. Barrett is a big body and can be a good player for UVA for years to come. His numbers aren’t great right now, but he is making a difference where it counts because Virginia is winning. Drexel may have been a coming out game for Barrett as well. He made 16 saves and kept UVA in the game.

It’s amazing what a difference three early wins can make! UVA had lots of question marks heading in to the year, and it’s obvious that they’ve found some answers. As Barrett and his surround D begin to gel, and the offense continues to improve, UVA should only get more dangerous. The only real remaining area for concern is face offs. To make a deep run late in the year, a great FoGo is a huge asset. Right now Virginia seems to lack that. That’s pretty much my only concern for the Wahoos in 2014.

UVA will win some more tight games, and they will also lose some. At the end of the year they’re going to be well positioned and tested. If they’re healthy and have improved, UVA can be a contender.

For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse team coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air_ForceAlbanyArmyBellarmineBinghamtonBostonBrownBryantBucknellCanisius,
GeorgetownHartfordHarvardHigh PointHobartHofstraHoly CrossJacksonvilleJohns_HopkinsLafayetteLehighLoyolaManhattanMaristMarquette,
Robert_MorrisRutgersSacred_HeartSaint_Joseph’sSienaSt. John’sStony_BrookSyracuseTowsonUMBCVermont, and Villanova.