​No. 7 men’s lacrosse looks to build off last weekend’s win over No. 9 Loyola

Virginia prepares for first home game under Lars Tiffany

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Senior defender Tanner Scales earned ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his play against No. 9 Loyola last week. 

Katie Johnsen | Cavalier Daily

The No. 7 Virginia men’s lacrosse team started off their season with a bang, defeating No. 9 Loyola in a thrilling, closely-fought 16-15 win.

Coach Lars Tiffany said he was impressed with the way the Cavaliers (1-0) handled the environment and situations they faced throughout their season opener on the road last weekend.

“That was a stressful where we’ve given up a big lead, and they’ve got over four thousand fans hollering,” Tiffany said. “Yet, what I felt for the most part was the guys stayed the course, just worried about the next play [and] kept having fun.”

Tiffany said the fact that his team was able to pull out a victory in its season opener against such a quality team will help it moving forward.

“I think it is fortunate to win a close game early in the year and build on that … confidence it can bring,” Tiffany said.

However, though the Cavaliers earned a win last weekend, there is still of plenty to improve on. Tiffany said they put a huge emphasis on the facets of the game they felt needed further refinement and improvement.

“We listed 14 different items that we needed to get better at after the Loyola game,” Tiffany said, “and so, hopefully, we are taking those steps forward.”

In their first collegiate game, many Virginia freshmen stepped up and delivered. One of these young stars was midfielder Dox Aitken, who had four goals.

Tiffany said he believes the freshmen have immense talent, and he hopes to see them continue to play a significant role in the success the team is striving for.

“There’s some young talent here that we’re really excited about, especially the first-year class,” Tiffany said.

As the Cavaliers prepare to face off against Drexel Saturday afternoon, they know they can’t overlook their opponent.

“They’re a team we don’t know a ton about,” Tiffany said. “We’ve watched some film from last year, but certainly they can change. They are definitely a dangerous team.”

Even after Virginia had an impressive win over one of the top teams in the nation last weekend, Tiffany knows Drexel (0-0) presents a host of challenges — including a talented goalie.

“I think they are very well-coached and [their] strength is their goalie,” Tiffany said. “They play some good defense in front of him … so we’re going to have to shoot well like we did this past Saturday.”

Saturday’s game will be Virginia’s home opener and Drexel’s season opener.

Regardless of the experience both teams have gained in this young season, Virginia is excited to play its first home game in the Lars Tiffany era in Charlottesville. With the forecast predicting warm weather, the Cavaliers are looking to start their two-game home stand the right way.

“We’re ecstatic — we just heard the band’s coming — and there could potentially be a good turnout because of some great weather here,” Tiffany said.

The game against Drexel is scheduled to start Saturday at 1 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium. Virginia will then have a quick turnaround, as it takes on Sienna Tuesday night at home. 

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