No. 7 men’s lacrosse faces off against No. 20 Pennsylvania
Virginia hopes to continue hot start to season
The No. 7 Virginia men’s lacrosse team started the season on a strong note. The Lars Tiffany era in Charlottesville has begun with three-straight wins as the Cavaliers (3-0) remain undefeated.
However, they will be presented with a big challenge this weekend as they get ready to head up to Philadelphia, Pa. to take on one of the top teams in the country — No. 20 Pennsylvania.
There won’t be too many surprises this weekend, as Virginia knows Penn all too well, as Tiffany and his coaching staff having spent years playing against the Quakers while coaching at Brown.
In addition to that, many of Virginia’s players are familiar with Penn, having played them in each of the last two seasons.
“Well we know Penn well as a coaching staff, because we’ve been playing against them every year at Brown,” Tiffany said. “And certainly, this team has been playing Penn.”
Though the Cavaliers have been playing well, they know a match against a tough team on the road is never an easy task. However, senior defender Tanner Scales said Virginia is looking forward to the challenge and expects the team to play well.
“We expect a very talented team … obviously, an away environment is always tough to play in,” Scales said, “But when you come to Virginia, you want to play in games like that, and we expect to thrive.”
Senior attackman Joe French said there is a plethora of talent on the Quaker roster and the match will be tough and physical.
“They’re a terrific team,” French said. “Penn’s great and we’re expecting a dogfight up there.”
He said games on the road early in the season are something he looks forward to. He pointed to the bus trips and bonding experiences as important aspects of team building and improving as a unit.
“I look forward to it personally,” French said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to bond as a group — you got to stay away from the campus for a night just as a team and get to know each other better. Those bus trips, those are pivotal, especially early in the year.”
French said Penn plays a different kind of defense than Siena. Thus, the Cavaliers will have to move on from the win against Siena quickly and will start preparing for Penn before heading up to Philadelphia.
“I just want to make sure that as an offensive player … we’re going into this thing with a clean slate,” French said. “Penn’s a different sort of defense than Sienna, and we’re just going to have to go to the drawing board tomorrow morning and just make sure that we’re ready because they’re terrific.”
The match will be a challenge, but, like his players, Tiffany said he is excited about the opportunity of going on the road to face a tough opponent.
Tiffany said the talent on Penn’s roster and praised the coaching staff, pointing out how well-led the team is.
“What we see is a team that also will also push the ball and be aggressive and play fast and very athletic,” Tiffany said. “We’re expecting a back-and-forth battle against a really skilled and well-coached team.
The matchup is scheduled to take place Saturday with face off at 1 p.m. After the match against Penn, Virginia will come back home to Charlottesville to take on High Point for a midweek matchup Wednesday night.