CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany announced that midfielder Ryan Conrad, attackman Michael Kraus and midfielder Dave Smith have been selected as captains for the 2019 season, as voted on by their peers.
“The men of our program were tasked to select our captains based on the human characteristics we cherish most and the commitment to maintaining the priority of team first, then teammates and finally personal needs,” said Tiffany. “Virginia Lacrosse has dedicated significant time and resources in our quest to realize the evolution of such a mindset. While we have witnessed progress throughout our roster, the three men chosen to serve as captains this year best epitomize such ideals.”
Conrad (Sr., Timonium, Md.) is a captain for the second year in a row. Conrad missed most of 2018 after suffering a season-ending injury in the Syracuse game. As a sophomore in 2017, Conrad was a third-team USILA All-American and an All-ACC honoree after he led all non-defensive/faceoff specialists with 63 ground balls. Conrad finished with 17 goals and 28 total points for the Cavaliers.
“Returning for a second year as a captain, Ryan Conrad has taken responsibility for the role without a nudge,” said Tiffany. “Ryan’s experience last season was tremendously valuable as he unfortunately was put to task to lead as both a major contributor and as an injured man relegated to the sideline. Our younger athletes have immediately been drawn to Ryan and his commanding presence.”
Kraus (Jr., New Canaan, Conn.) was a third-team All-American and an All-ACC honoree after leading UVA with 44 goals, 39 assists and 83 points. He was only the third Cavalier to score 80 points in a season, following in the footsteps of Doug Knight and Steele Stanwick. Kraus’ 83 points are No. 2 all-time at UVA for a season, three points away from Knight’s 86 in 1996.
“Earning the role as a captain during his third year on Grounds, Michael has garnered immense respect from his teammates as a man who leads by example both on the lacrosse field and off of it,” said Tiffany. “His actions for two years at Virginia have spoken volumes. Today, Michael grows more and more comfortable with sharing his words, providing advice and serving as a source of inspiration in a multitude of ways.”
Smith (Sr., Medford, N.J.) has been a durable short-stick defensive midfielder during his time on Grounds, appearing in 32 of UVA’s last 33 games, missing only the season-opener in 2018 due to injury. He picked up 31 ground balls and caused five turnovers in 2018.
“There is not a straighter shooter than David Smith, both literally with his shot mechanics and figuratively as a speaker and teammate,” said Tiffany. “David shies away from nothing as he addresses issues and shares his opinion for remedying them. While not afraid to express his viewpoints, David also recognizes when the team’s needs are different from his own and he will carry out the larger group’s agenda.”
Fall ball for the men’s lacrosse team begins on Monday.