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Streaking Virginia looks to stay hot

Cavs take on Stony Brook in rematch of last year's OT-thriller

The No. 1 Virginia men's lacrosse team faces off against visiting Stony Brook tomorrow. A victory for the Cavaliers would give them eight straight wins against the Seawolves in the last seven seasons.

Virginia (2-0, 0-0 ACC) comes off a strong 19-5 victory at home against VMI. During the win, senior attacker Steele Stanwick tallied his first points of the season with two goals and a career-high five assists.

"I definitely think this is a little bit of a confidence-builder," Stanwick said.

When the Cavaliers and Seawolves (0-1, America East 0-0) battled last year, it took an extra period to decide a winner. Virginia prevailed 11-10 against then-No. 5 Stony Brook thanks to an overtime goal by Stanwick. The Seawolves subsequently failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament, finishing the season ranked No. 17 after a season finale upset by Hartford.

Stony Brook arrives in town in search of its first victory after dropping its season opener 13-10 to Fairfield.

Although Stony Brook has received less national acclaim coming into this year's game, they still offer a serious threat to the Cavaliers' chances of success.

"We'll have our hands full [with Stony Brook]," Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. "Things are going to get tougher."

Neither the importance of the game nor the determination of the Seawolves is lost on the Virginia players, many of whom were a part of last year's taut affair.

"They're always a tough team," Stanwick said. "They're a team that likes to bring it every time that we play them."

This season, however, the Cavaliers bring fresh blood to the field in the form of redshirt freshman attacker Owen Van Arsdale. In the season opener against Drexel, the Charlottesville native's two goals proved to be the deciding factor in a 9-8 Virginia triumph.

"With Owen in the starting lineup, you've got some young players there that have had a good couple of weeks," Starsia said. "We need him to be dangerous."

The leadership of the more experienced Cavaliers is just as important as the infusion of new talent. Older players such as Stanwick, senior attacker Chris Bocklet and redshirt senior midfielder Colin Briggs have been tasked with helping to guide and develop the squad's young talent as the season progresses.

"It always helps to have some leaders out on the field," Stanwick said. "We just try to lead by example every day in practice and on the field here."

Bocklet and Stanwick already have seven points each under their belt this season, while Briggs has five.

The Cavaliers hope to maintain their offensive success on the heels of Tuesday's goal-scoring frenzy. A vital part of Virginia's potent offense has been its effectiveness in clearing the ball from the defensive end while preventing the other team from doing the same, reaching 33-of-35 clears - 94.3 percent - and limiting their opponents to 24-of-30, or 80 percent. Those numbers translate into more offensive possessions and shooting opportunities for the Cavaliers.

Virginia's 19 tallies against VMI were the most the team had scored since Feb. 28, 2011, the last time the Keydets came to town. Virginia netted 22 goals to earn that previous win.

The Cavaliers look to pick up where they left off when they face Stony Brook tomorrow. Face-off is set for noon at Kl

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