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Feb. 17, 2007

Charlottesville, Va. –

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The quest for a second consecutive national championship for the Virginia men’s lacrosse team begins Sunday afternoon against the Drexel Dragons. The game, played at the UHall Turf Field, is scheduled to face off at 1 pm.

The top-ranked Cavaliers are riding a 17-game winning streak, as well as a 19-game home winning streak that stretches back to the 2004 season.

This is the sixth consecutive season Virginia has opened vs. Drexel. The Dragons finished 5-9 a year ago and suffered four one-goal losses. The Cavaliers won last year’s match-up by a 15-7 score in Philadelphia.

The Cavaliers have prepared with preseason scrimmages against Navy and Georgetown and are ready to start the season according to head coach Dom Starsia. “I’ve been really pleased with our preseason to date. We scrimmaged two very good teams and the quality of play was pretty good in both cases. I think we can gain some confidence based on the fact that we had two good scrimmages.”

Starsia concedes that he doesn’t know that much about this year’s Drexel squad and added that, “our emphasis will be mostly on our own play and the things that we’ve been emphasizing since the beginning of practice. We’ll be paying close attention to the details–moving our feet, opening our mouths–the basic priniciples that we consider important no matter what the situation is. The team has done a nice job of that this preseason and we’re encouraged by that.”

Drexel lost its top-four scorers from last year, but returns the heart of a defense that allowed an average of nine goals per game. Junior goalie Bruce Bickford made 22 saves in last season’s contest.

“We had a spirited game against Drexel last year–it was a one-goal game at the half,” said Starsia. “They graduated a lot of their offensive players, but I was most impressed with them at the defensive end of the field. This will be a stern test for a young Virginia offense.

“This will be a team that won’t generate as many opportunities as we had a year ago, so we have to make do with the ones that we get. I would like to see us shoot smartly and score some goals early which will speak to us having some confidence as the game goes on.

“In spite of the fact that we’re coming off a national championship, I have a sense that this team really wants to get to it. I think we all understand that we’re a vastly different team than a year ago, but I don’t think we’ve been daunted by that. We’re just anxious to find exactly who we are and make our own mark in the lacrosse world. It’s exciting that we’ll be putting on our uniforms for the first time on Sunday against a quality first-game opponent.”

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for youth 18-and-under and seniors 60-and-over. UVa faculty and staff members can buy two tickets at the $4 rate with their UVa ID. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the UHall Turf Field one hour prior to the game.

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