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Senior Todd Faiella is returning for his final season with the Cavaliers as an experienced close defender. The Marshfield, Mass. native recently sat down with to discuss the 2011 season, Mustache Madness, and his questionable eating choices.

Question: What is it like to be back on the field after two seasons away from it?
Faiella: It is unbelievable. I felt like I was playing in the national championship. For the past two years, I have been injured and in street clothes on the sidelines, so just being in practice and being healthy this year feels amazing. I felt like an eight year-old kid out there loving every second. I just feel pure excitement. At Brown I was a starter and played a lot, but I think I took it for granted. I now have a totally fresh perspective on everything. Whether I am in the game for the last five minutes or I start and play the whole game, I am going to try and enjoy every second of it and play my hardest. I just want to get the job done.

Question: What are some of the challenges facing this year’s team?
Faiella: We graduated a couple of very good defenders from last year, so we are very young on defense. I think we are further along right now, however, than we were at the same time last season. Now that we are younger, we have to support each other more defensively, which I think helps us. We are communicating more, and we play as a team on defense.

Question: Why do you like playing defense so much?
Faiella: Defenders are a lot tougher. Defense wins championships. I just love the idea of defending and protecting your goalie. I love the idea of holding your ground. I even like the idea of just being annoying to the offensive players. Trying to frustrate the other team’s offense is something I like to do. If you are doing a really good job they all start yelling at each other, and I like being that pest.

Question: How special would it be to win a national championship in your final year?
Faiella: It would be great. This year we have sacrificed a lot. We are putting our hearts into it. It would be great for the coaches and all the support staff. Everyone involved with the program is putting a lot of effort into this season, and it would be great not only for the players but for them as well.

Question: How do you like playing at Klockner Stadium?
Faiella: I love Klöckner. I cannot believe how nice that field is. There is great support from the community and from the school. It is always better to play in front of a nice, big crowd when we’re at home.

Question: You helped organize Mustache Madness, what is it exactly?
Faiella: You grow a mustache and get people to sponsor you. All of the money raised goes to cancer research. Prostate cancer affects an incredible amount of men, and it still flies under the radar in the public. It is our way of spreading the word about that, and we want to help in any way we can. We are in a very fortunate position being at a school like UVA where we can do something like that, have a lot of support, and put it towards a great cause.

Question: Quick hits time- What is your favorite style of mustache?
Faiella: I think original, Tom Selleck-style is the best. The bushier the better.

Question: Who grows the best mustache on the team?
Faiella: I grow the best mustache on the team, definitely. [laughing] Matt Cockerton grows a great one too. His is a little creepy, but it is still great.

Question: What is your favorite place on grounds?
Faiella: My favorite place is in the lacrosse locker room. I will come in a few hours before practice because I like to talk to the guys on the team and hang out for a while.

Question: What is your favorite meal?
Faiella: My favorite meal is called survivor soup, made by my roommate, volunteer assistant coach Steve Holmes. We were roommates last year, we didn’t have much money, so we combined everything in our refrigerator and made what we call survivor soup. It is delicious.

Question: What music do you listen to before a game?
Faiella: I listen to Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd a lot and Explosions in the Sky, the theme music from Friday Night Lights, before games. The instrumentals relax me and pump me up at the same time.

Question: Who is the ‘class clown’ of the team?
Faiella: I would say Chris Bocklet. He is always looking for some way to make you laugh or mess with you a little bit. I would definitely say him if I have to choose anyone besides myself.

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