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The Cavalier women’s lacrosse team will wrap up its non-traditional season with a series of games at Georgetown this weekend as Virginia will take on the US Elite team as well as the host Hoyas and the Blue Devils of Duke. Virginia, the 2007 ACC Champions and the 2007 NCAA Runners-up, has participated in four events thus far in the fall, including a game against Northwestern, the school the Cavaliers faced in the 2007 NCAA finals.

The Cavaliers opened the fall season with a home contest against one of their traditional rivals, the Tribe from the College of William & Mary. After a couple weeks of practicing systems in intersquad play, the Hoos used the evening as an opportunity to put into a game situation the efforts from practice. In addition, the first-years participated in an intercollegiate lacrosse contest for the first time, giving them valuable minutes for what promises to be an exciting season in the spring.

Two weeks later the Cavaliers hosted alumnae as part of the annual alumnae game, and the 2007 version was one of the largest ever, with over 37 years of Virginia lacrosse represented in the participants. There were enough players to field two full teams, which meant the current team had the opportunity to see the student-athletes who paved the way for them to participate in a great game among friends. Former National Players of the Year, members of US teams, All-Americans, and many of their teammates returned to Charlottesville to support the 2008 Cavaliers and share their experiences with the squad. After a rousing game, the past and present Cavaliers gathered to watch the football game where they rooted the Hoos on to a victory.

The next Wednesday, the squad traveled to Harrisonburg to take on another traditional rival in James Madison. With a full month of practice as well as two games worth of experience behind them, the squad did not look as jittery and was less worried about making mistakes. The coaching staff noticed progress across the field, a good sign for a game well into the fall season! The Cavaliers closed out the week with a trip to Baltimore to face the Northwestern Wildcats. Virginia and Northwestern last met in the 2007 NCAA finals, the second time in three years that the two had meet in the national championship game.

The Cavaliers close out the non-traditional season with the trip to Georgetown on October 27. After facing off against the US Elite team and the Hoyas, the Cavaliers will face Duke. Virginia met the Blue Devils in the NCAA semifinals in 2007, a game in which the Hoos scored the final ten goals of the game to roar back from a nine-goal deficit with 20 minutes to play, the largest comeback in NCAA Championships history.

With two more games against preseason top-10 teams, the Hoos will have faced one of the toughest fall ball schedules in the nation, a solid lead-in to the 2008 season. Virginia will open up its traditional spring season with a game in Blacksburg on Feb. 20 against ACC-rival Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers will open up at home on March 1 with a contest against Syracuse. Game time against the Orange is slated for 1 p.m.

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