In the world of collegiate lacrosse, few teams have achieved perfection quite like the 2006 University of Virginia Men’s Lacrosse team. After a heartbreaking end to the 2005 season, the 2006 squad was on a mission of redemption. Undefeated throughout the season, they culminated their remarkable journey by clinching the national championship.
The Road to Perfection
The 2006 Virginia Cavaliers, led by head coach Dom Starsia, embarked on a remarkable journey that would culminate in an undefeated season and a national championship. Their path to perfection was marked by a combination of talent, determination, and a relentless work ethic.
Through the non-conference portion of its schedule, the team went 10-0, including wins over Syracuse, Denver, and Johns Hopkins at home and Towson and Princeton on the road. Princeton was the only team to put a scare into the Cavaliers, taking them to the limit in a 7-6 loss.
With an undefeated regular season the Cavaliers were awarded the 1 seed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament with a 13-0 record. UVA had an impressive resume with wins over tournament participants No. 2 seed Maryland, No. 4 seed Johns Hopkins, No. 5 seed Syracuse, No. 7 seed Princeton and Denver.
One of the cornerstones of the 2006 Cavaliers’ success was their remarkable talent pool. The team was graced with exceptional players who would go on to have illustrious careers in professional lacrosse and the national team. Standout names included Matt Ward, Kyle Dixon, and Ben Rubeor, to name a few.
- Matt Ward: Ward was the team’s star attacker and an offensive juggernaut. He was awarded the Tewaaraton Trophy as the best player in college lacrosse that season. Ward’s vision, precision passing, and knack for scoring made him a force to be reckoned with.
- Kyle Dixon: Dixon was a versatile midfielder who contributed both offensively and defensively. His ability to dominate the face-off X and his scoring prowess were pivotal to the team’s success.
Team Chemistry and Depth
What set the 2006 Virginia Cavaliers apart was not just their individual talent but their exceptional chemistry as a team. The players had an uncanny ability to read each other on the field, resulting in fluid ball movement and a dynamic, unselfish style of play. Their depth was another key factor, with contributions coming from both starters and bench players alike.
The Cavaliers’ offensive prowess was the stuff of legends. They averaged a staggering 14 goals per game during the 2006 season, making them a constant scoring threat. The team’s unselfish play and remarkable ball movement left opponents scrambling to defend against their multifaceted attack. Their scoring margin was an astonishing 8.2 goals per game.
While the offense grabbed headlines, the Cavaliers’ defense was equally impressive. Led by standout goalie Kip Turner, the defense consistently stifled opposing teams, allowing an average of just 7.5 goals per game. Their ability to create turnovers and transition the ball to the offense played a pivotal role in the team’s success.
The National Championship
The crowning achievement of the 2006 University of Virginia Men’s Lacrosse team was undoubtedly their national championship victory. In the title game, they faced off against the University of Massachusetts and emerged victorious with a score of 15-7. This victory cemented their place in history as one of the greatest college lacrosse teams of all time.
Legacy and Impact
The 2006 Virginia Cavaliers left an indelible mark on the sport of lacrosse. Their undefeated season and national championship serve as a testament to their skill, teamwork, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Many players from that team went on to have successful careers in professional lacrosse, further solidifying their legacy.
The 2006 Virginia Men’s Lacrosse team’s greatness was a culmination of exceptional talent, teamwork, and coaching. Their undefeated season and national championship victory will forever be remembered as one of the shining moments in the history of collegiate lacrosse, serving as an inspiration to future generations of players and fans alike.