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May 13, 2010
4:28 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Until now, Matt Kugler has had a low profile on the UVa men’s lacrosse team. In the aftermath of Yeardley Love’s tragic death, that’s about to change.

Kugler, a 6-0, 188-pound sophomore from Fairfax Station, has moved into the spot formerly occupied by George Huguely on Virginia’s second midfield line.

“We’ve been looking for opportunities to get him out there,” Cavaliers coach Dom Starsia said Thursday afternoon. “I think he’ll step into the lineup and do a really nice job.”

In the NCAA tournament’s first round, No. 1 seed Virginia (14-1) hosts Mount St. Mary’s (12-4) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Klöckner Stadium.

Kugler led Robinson High to Virginia High School League state titles in 2006 and ’07 and made The Washington Post’s All-Metro first team as a 12th-grader. Before enrolling at UVa, he spent a postgraduate year at Loomis Chaffee, a prep school in Connecticut.

As a Virginia freshman, Kugler was a reserve attackman. He moved to the midfield in the offseason and has totaled 7 points (on 5 goals and 2 assists) in his nine games this year.

“He’s begun to really step up,” Starsia said. “He’s just a great kid. Plays hard every minute. Next year you’re definitely going to see him out there. He’s going to make a mark here before he’s done.”

Jeff White

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