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No. 1 Virginia Men's Lacrosse ekes out a win over No. 20 Drexel

Top-ranked Virginia men's lacrosse escaped on the road from No. 20 Drexel on Saturday, coming out with a 9-8 victory to start 1-0 on their quest to defend their 2011 national championship.

The Dragons used a string of runs in the back-and-forth game between the two, including a 4-1 run in the first half and a 3-0 run in the second, each time to come back to take the lead.

Redshirt freshman Owen Van Arsdale and sophomore Rob Emery led the team in scoring with two goals apiece, with Van Arsdale adding an assist. Senior middie Colin Briggs had one goal and two assists as well.

"I felt pretty good coming out," Van Arsdale said after the game. "I knew that I had some other guys to defer to. I didn't need to do too much by myself, but when I had the chance, I was glad that my teammates had the confidence in me to put the ball in my hands a couple of times. I just got lucky, I was in the right spots at the right times."

"It's definitely going to only get cleaner from here," Emery, who gave Virginia its winning goal, added. "Knowing that this is what we're working from is a good start, given the effort and the quality of play."

Between the pipes was senior Rob Fortunato, who earned just his second collegiate start (the other also coming against Drexel). Fortunato finished the day with eight goals allowed, 11 saves and five ground balls.

Senior face-off specialist Ryan Benincasa, who won 50% of his face-offs last season, won nine of 14 against Drexel, including seven of nine in the second half. The Cavaliers won 12 face-offs to Drexel's nine.

Virginia faces a suspect VMI squad on Tuesday in the Hoos' home opener at 7:00 p.m. In the meantime, you can enjoy video highlights of the win over Drexel on VirginiaSportsTV.