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Inside Lacrosse All-Access UVa

Notes from the visit:

—#Analysis, but Virginia should have one of the most, if not the most, prolific first-line midfields in the nation in 2018. Junior co-captain Ryan Conrad should be on the shortlist for McLaughlin Award honors. At practice, he showcased his repertoire — powerful shot with range and accuracy, dodging ability, feeding ability, offensive IQ, groundballs and defensive ability. Sophomore Dox Aitken and freshman Matt Moore are also versatile, though Aitken’s strength is his shooting ability, while Moore is deft at feeding teammates. It’s just a tremendous amount of talent on one line, and it's a fun group for offensive coordinator Sean Kirwan to work with. The second unit won’t be as prolific, but expect it to be both sizable and athletic. Early candidates include sophomore Milan Murray (6-2, 210 pounds), sophomore Wade Maloney (6-0, 215 pounds) and senior Rob Emery (6-3, 200 pounds).

—Senior Mike D’Amario, sophomore Mike Kraus and freshman Ian Laviano have the early grip on the starting attack. D’Amario is the veteran leader, who has the chops and command to decide for the offense when to strike early and when to settle into 6-v-6. Tiffany expects Kraus to continue to do “Mike Kraus things” attacking the net and piling up points. Laviano is smart, tough on the ride and groundballs and has a strong first step to cage. Junior attackman Mikey Herring is also pushing for minutes.

—At this point, if Virginia had to play a game tomorrow, freshman Alex Rode would be the starting goalie in cage (Read his Recruiting Evaluation here). There’s a lot of time between now and the 2018 season opener though. It wasn’t one of the better days of practice for either goalie, though you can see the potential in both Rode and sophomore Griffin Thompson. Rode is a bigger body, a little more explosive to the ball and, at least when we saw him, hit his outlets quickly. Thompson seemed more a steady hand in cage, not doing too much but making solid stops and staying calm under pressure. Regardless, this is an important competition for Virginia, and it's one that should play well into late January. They have a tremendous mentor in assistant coach Kip Turner, a goalie guru.

—It’s a veteran defensive crew, featuring senior co-captain Scott Hooper, junior Zach Ambrosino and senior Logan Greco. Sophomore Jared Conners will continue to be important as a pole and on the wings. Also, Will Rock has impressed in the fall, and he could find a role quickly among the longpoles.

—Face-off is a concern. Last year’s top face-off midfielder, Jason Murphy, is gone, leaving sophomore Luke Brugel as the only real returner with experience. Sophomores Justin Schwenk (a Monmouth transfer) and Sam Offutt will also rotate in, but expect the team’s poles, SSDMs and two-way middies to all play increasingly important roles on face-offs.

—A few highlights from the team’s 2018 schedule include a spring break to trip to New York, which will include games against Manhattan and Stony Brook, as well as a business development component. They’ll also play Vermont at a neutral site. The return of the Princeton series was announced previously.

Link: IL Hoos

Posted: 10/30/2017 at 11:30AM


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Inside Lacrosse All-Access UVa -- HOOLAXFAN 10/30/2017 11:30AM

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