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Another go-around

Virginia Cavaliers M Rhamel Bratton (3) is defended by Drexel Dragson M Andrew Collins (10).  The #2 ranked Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Drexel Dragons 13-7 at the University of Virginia's Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, VA on February 14, 2009.
Virginia Cavaliers M Rhamel Bratton (3) is defended by Drexel Dragson M Andrew Collins (10). The #2 ranked Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Drexel Dragons 13-7 at the University of Virginia's Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, VA on February 14, 2009.

I recently interviewed Craig Littlepage, the University's athletic director. Following our conversation, he asked me what my two favorite moments of Virginia sports had been during my four years here. Without having to think very much, I knew the number one moment was the seven-overtime game the Virginia men's lacrosse team won against Maryland in 2009. As I searched my memories for my next most favorite moment, I realized that the team's entire 2009 season was packed with great games, plays and athletes. It seemed like the entire 15-3 season was full of narrow, but exciting, one-goal and overtime wins. If it wasn't the seven-overtime Maryland game, it was the one goal win against Johns Hopkins on the road. Or the 11-10 victory against North Carolina in Giants Stadium.\nAnd then there's also the 13-12 nail-biter the Cavaliers stole from then-No. 1 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.

Granted, the end of the season was a bit disappointing, but interestingly, I remember my biggest fear was that I may never see another season as exciting as that one I had seen for Virginia lacrosse.\nI'm starting to think, though, that my fear may have been in vain.

Virginia started out this season ranked No. 3 in the nation - and even that was a tenuous ranking.

I have spent just about every article about men's lacrosse talking about Virginia's attack line - or lack thereof. The Cavaliers lost two of the best attackmen in the country and replaced them with a freshman and a sophomore.

Their defense - though it consisted of high caliber individual talent - had trouble working as a team for much of the season.

On faceoffs, Chad Gaudet preformed well throughout 2009. But he was in his fifth year and so would have to be replaced by several relatively untested underclassmen.

I was skeptical of a No. 3 ranking. And with games against Syracuse, Cornell, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Johns Hopkins, I was expecting an up-and-down season, peppered with tough games.

Spring Break changed my mind. Virginia simply got it done. Just like last season.

From the time Spring Break started until yesterday night's game, Virginia notched four wins. Two of them against top-10 teams.

Then-No. 1 Syracuse was, of course, the biggest test of the season for the Cavaliers, and - just like last season - it was a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup. Just like last season, it came down to one goal. Just like last season, Virginia found itself up several goals in the waning second of regulation and had to hold on for a win. Good enough for a shiny new No. 1 ranking. Just like last season.

As impressive as the win against the Orange at Kl

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