Know Your Enemy - UVA

Know Your Enemy - UVA

Pulitzer Prize Winner Mike Avato breaks down the Dragons opponent this weekend - the Wahoos of UVA.

 

Know Your Enemy: Virginia Cavaliers

You can all start to freak out in your cubicles now, people. Chug some Mountain Dew and get all jacked up because it’s here. The 2013 Drexel Men’s Lacrosse season kicks off this Saturday at 1pm when the Dragons travel to Charlottesville, VA to open up against the #9 Virginia Cavaliers. For the 12th year in a row, these two teams will open up against each other in what recent history precludes will be a hell of a game.

The Wahoos are coming off a 12-4 season and a NCAA Quarterfinals appearance. UVA returns 27 lettermen and 5 starters from the 2012 campaign. The Hoo’s also graduated 5 All-Americans in 2012, which are some big shoes to fill. So far, the team has scrimmaged Navy but as we all know, there is not a ton of merit to take from these besides a good look at who will be getting PT and contributing. UVA is a little banged up right now, but it looks like everyone will be cleared to go with the exception of Inside Lacrosse’s No. 3 overall recruit, local product Will McNamara who will redshirt this season. I heard the doctors found some sand in his…yeah, that.

The Cav’s attack looks to fill some gaping holes (insert Stanwick lady parts joke here). But in all seriousness, the kid was damn good. Along with the graduation of Stanwick, they also lost Bocklet and Briggs, a trio that put up 160 points last season. Starsia is looking to a combo unit of Matt White, Mark Cockerton, Nick O’Relly, and Freshmen James Pannell, younger brother of Tewarraton Favorite, Rob. White started all 16 games last year, 14 of which at the midfield position and has goals in 18 of his last 23 games. He was also drafted by the Charlotte Hounds in this year’s MLL draft. Cockerton comes in as a senior with only 13 game appearances in 3 years, tallying 8 goals so far at UVA. Coming off of a redshirt in 2012, O’Reilly has had a little more burn, appearing in 22 games with 11g, 6a in his career.

The midfield will likely have a more solid foundation this year with key contributors Ryan Tucker (13g, 2a in 2012), Rob Emery 9 (24g, 2a), and senior captain Chris LaPierre (1g, 1a, 63gbs) all returning.  LaPierre was selected No. 2 overall by the Hamilton Nationals this year and is a 1st Team Preseason All-American. Emery and Tucker were also given Preseason AA nods as 3rd team and Honorable Mention picks, respectively. Also, look out for 5th year Transfer Charlie Streep, who sat out in 2012 for Bucknell due to an injury. Streep had 29g, 9a for the Bisons in 2011. As expected, there is a lot of young talent working their way into the midfield as they gain some more experience. A big advantage that we could capitalize on is at the Face-Off X. Virginia’s #1 guy graduated last year, leaving them with a sophomore, Mick Parks, who only averaged 53% in 2012. Look for a big day from DT and co.

The ‘Hoo’s defensive unit is anchored by Harry Prevas, Scott McWilliams, and Greg Danseglio, who all saw significant time in 2012. McWilliams is a Preseason 3rd Team AA pick ending last year with 29gb’s and 11 caused turnovers. Look for freshman Tanner Scales to crack the line up at some point this weekend, the kid apparently had a solid fall and is pushing for PT. Tanner Ottenbreit returns as the go to guy at LSM, coming off a solid freshman season. As for the last line of defense, the starting goalie situation is a little shaky, with Rhody Heller and Conor McGee playing most of the fall and the return of freshmen and highly touted recruit, Dan Marino.

In years past, outsiders have referred to this game as a “benchmark” game. People don’t really expect the Dragons to repeat their 2007 upset.  They just think it’s there to see how we measure up to one of the nation’s top programs. For anyone who has never been in our locker room reading this, you have no idea. Each and every kid is looking at this as an opportunity, not a way to see where we may end up. Make no mistake about it…there will be a battle at Klockner Stadium this weekend.

Now you know, and knowing is half that battle.

-Mavato

 

Follow @WPFLACROSSE during the game as we'll be tweeting out live updates throughout the game.  To all of the WPF heading down to the game, be safe and get loud.