While a lot of attention has been placed on the top-ten matchup happening at John Paul Jones Arena tonight, there is another top-ten game featuring the Virginia Cavaliers as the Men's Lacrosse team travels to Loyola (Md.) to open their season.
The Greyhounds come in at No.7 and favorites in the Patriot League, while the Hoos sit at No.10 and are the fifth of five ACC teams that are in the top ten (no, seriously...the ACC is dirty).
On attack, the player to watch is Niko Pontrello. The 5'11" attackman from New Jersey contributed 51 goals and 12 assists for the Greyhounds last season, scoring two in the season opener at Virginia last season. He is a tricky player on the offensive end that can beat you in a number of ways. With the injury to Tanner Scales, Virginia's defense will start two first-years and one former-walk-on-turned-scholarship-player, so Niko and the 'Hounds have to be chomping at the bit to test their mettle.
Defensively, Virginia isn't the only team to lose their experienced players. Loyola graduated the combo Pat Laconi and Joe Fletcher, returning just Pat Frazier, a senior. In cage, senior Pat McEnerney will be making the start. McEnerney played significant minutes against the Hoos last year in the opener, helping spur the ridiculous comeback.
The Greyhounds finished last season 15-2, falling in the first round of the NCAAs to the offensively potent Albany Great Danes. The other loss? None other than the Hoos in the first game of the season. Check out the highlights here:
The game will be streamed for free on the Patriot League Network if you want to watch!