By Jeff White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CHARLOTTESVILLE — At some point next season, Dom Starsia hopes to see freshman Mark Cockerton on the field for the UVa men’s lacrosse team. For now, though, the heralded attackman from Ontario is sidelined.
Cockerton, whom Inside Lacrosse ranked No. 3 among recruits in the 2010 class, had surgery Friday to repair a dislocated shoulder, Starsia said Monday morning, and faces “probably four to five months” of rehabilitation.
“His best chance to play in 2011 was to have the surgery right now,” Starsia said. “He’s had a shoulder that has popped our four or five times in the last two years, the last 18 months, and it was clearly going to come out again, and only going to get worse.”
Once a shoulder has been dislocated, Starsia said, it’s easier for it “pop out again, with more damage each time it pops out, and harder to repair. There was the thought of trying to let him be and get through the spring if we could, but that shoulder was coming out again.
“He only got kind of checked on the arm when it popped out this time, and there was no question that was going to happen again, and this is his best chance to have a productive 2011: to have the surgery now and work hard in his rehab.
“I think that there’s a fair chance he’s not going to be ready on the first day, but whether it’s early March or even early April, I still think he can give us a boost when he’s ready.”
Cockerton, a 5-10, 175-pound left-hander, was named MVP of the Under Armour All-American game in July at Towson, Md., after scoring 4 goals to lead the North to a 17-12 victory.
In 2008, he was the youngest player at the under-19 world championships. With 18 goals, he was fourth in scoring for Team Canada at that tournament.
“Very slick,” Starsia said of Cockerton, who’s from an athletic family.
Cockerton’s brother, Matt, is a sophomore attackman for the Wahoos. Their father, Stan, scored 193 goals and was a three-time first-team All-American at N.C. State.
UVa, along with Army, Princeton and Georgetown, took part Saturday in the first Play for Parkinson’s fall tournament at Episcopal High in Alexandria.
“Beautiful day, great venue, really nice event,” Starsia said. “We were glad to do a small part to help a great cause” — the fight against Parkinson’s disease. “It was really, really well done.”
At Episcopal, Virginia scrimmaged Army and then Princeton. The ‘Hoos beat the Black Knights and tied the Tigers.
“I have found that there’s actually very little correlation between performance in the fall and results in the spring,” said Starsia, whose team lost in the NCAA semifinals to eventual champion Duke last season.
“I would take no fall results and a good set of practices leading up to it over the other way around.
“I thought we walked away Saturday feeling like there were some things to feel OK about, but we weren’t as sharp as we would have liked. And so the little bit of feeling like, ‘Well, we’re not that great yet,’ is not the worst thing that ever happened.”
Connor English, a sophomore who’s coming off knee surgery, spent considerable time on the first-team attack with juniors Steele Stanwick and Chris Bocklet.
“He was pretty good,” Starsia said of English. “He probably played more than anybody, because we’re kind of holding out Owen, and Cockerton had surgery on Friday, so we didn’t have any other lefty to really put out there.”
The Cavaliers are loaded on attack, and rather than have Owen Van Arsdale waste a year of eligibility, the freshman from nearby St. Anne’s-Belfield may redshirt in 2011. If he were to play in the fall scrimmages, Van Arsdale, whose father is Starsia’s top assistant, Marc Van Arsdale, would not be able to redshirt in 2011.
“If we knew that Cockerton was not going to play this spring, we might play Owen, but I don’t think we’re ready to decide that,” Starsia said. “I think right now there’s no sense playing Owen in these fall scrimmages. This way we can at least wait until February before we have to wait the decision. We’ll know a little better where we stand at that point.”
UVa’s final fall scrimmage is Friday against Navy. The scrimmage is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. in Annapolis, Md.