No. 12 men’s lacrosse looks to get back on track at No. 19 Princeton

Cavaliers hope to avenge heartbreaking loss to High Point against the Tigers

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After being held scoreless against High Point, junior attackman Michael Kraus will try to return to goalscoring form against Princeton. 

Dorothy Wang | Cavalier Daily

After back-to-back games at home, the No. 12 Virginia men’s lacrosse team will travel to New Jersey Saturday to face No. 19 Princeton. The two teams are set to face off in a ranked showdown at Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium. 

Virginia (1-2, 0-0 ACC) and Princeton (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League) will meet for just the second time in the regular season since 2008, with the Cavaliers having won the last six matchups. 

Last year, the two programs renewed their rivalry after a decade with an old-fashioned shootout at Klöckner Stadium. Virginia’s high-octane offense, strong face-off play and unwavering hustle helped the Cavaliers edge the Tigers 18-15.

The Cavaliers have had a difficult start to the season as all three of their previous opponents are either ranked or receiving votes in polls. After losing to No. 1 Loyola on the road, Virginia bounced back with a thrilling victory over Lehigh before dropping a nail-biter to No. 13 High Point last Monday. 

The Tigers, on the other hand, have only played one game so far, but they looked dominant in a 23-7 win over Monmouth in a game that was over well before halftime. While Virginia will be Princeton’s first real test this season, the home team looks ready for the challenge.

Both Princeton and Virginia rely on explosive offensive players to open up defenses and win games. For the Cavaliers, sophomore attackman Matt Moore and junior attackman Michael Kraus have 14 and 10 points, respectively, while sophomore attackman Ian Laviano and junior midfielder Dox Aitken have scored seven goals apiece this season. 

The Tigers are led by senior attackman Emmet Cordrey and sophomore attackman Chris Brown who combined for 11 goals in Princeton’s opener. Junior attackman Michael Sowers delivered five assists as well. 

While Virginia has a formidable offense, its defense will be critical to stopping Princeton’s attack and securing more possessions for Moore, Kraus and others. 

Virginia’s defense is highlighted by the team’s dedication and hustle, especially from individual standouts like junior defenseman Jared Conners, who leads the nation with 10 caused turnovers, and freshman defenseman Cade Saustad, who leads the team with 11 ground balls. The Cavaliers’ aggressive riding also places enormous pressure on their opponents, oftentimes forcing bad passes and turnovers. 

With both teams seeking their second win of the season, expect a high-powered clash in Princeton, N.J. Saturday. Face-off is set for noon. 

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