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Virginia Men’s Lacrosse faces six top-10 teams in the regular season

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This doesn’t include the rematches in the ACC Tournament.

Hoos ready for 2017.
Inside Lacrosse Photo: Jaclyn Borowski

When you’re in the ACC, there’s no such thing as an easy lacrosse regular season. For Virginia’s first year head coach Lars Tiffany, his inaugural 14-game regular season features six of the preseason top 10, according to both the Inside Lacrosse and USILA Coaches Polls.

“Our program embraces opportunities to challenge ourselves against the nation’s best and our 2017 schedule exemplifies that philosophy,” Tiffany said in a statement last year announcing the schedule. “Our men, captains and staff know we have a significant amount of individual and team preparation before we are in a position to be successful against this year’s lineup. We understand there is no substitute for exertion and toil during the preseason.”

Virginia’s season opens on the road on Saturday at No. 5/6 Loyola Maryland in Baltimore, a game that fans will be able to stream live via Twitter as the first college men’s lacrosse game ever to be streamed on Twitter. Loyola rattled off 10 straight wins last season to reach the NCAA Semifinals on Memorial Day weekend before being eliminated by eventual national champions North Carolina.

From there, the Hoos will play their home opener on February 18 against Drexel, and follow it up with a mid-week game against Siena. Drexel finished with a 6-9 record last season, while Siena finished 3-10 overall. After the tune-up games, the Hoos travel to Philadelphia to visit Penn, who is picked to finish third in the Ivy League. Though the Quakers failed to make the NCAA Tournament last year, they finished the season 8-7 overall and are receiving votes in both the coaches and media poll.

The Cavaliers get one more tune-up game before ACC play starts as they play host to High Point, who finished 9-6 overall last year, but did not make the tournament. Virginia’s ACC gauntlet opens up on the road against No. 6/5 Syracuse, a team that lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year to eventual finalist Maryland (boo Maryland). Syracuse boasts four Inside Lacrosse preseason all-Americans, including first-team midfielder Sergio Salcido, who finished last year with 53 points in his breakout redshirt junior season. The Orange are picked to finish third in the conference.

In a change of pace, the Hoos will then travel to Costa Mesa, California for the Pacific Coast Shootout, a “grow the game” effort that pits Virginia up against Cornell. Big Red, which received votes in both polls, defeated Virginia 14-10 last year, but finished the season 6-7 without an NCAA Tourney bid.

The gauntlet continues at Klockner Stadium as Virginia plays host to No. 4/5 Notre Dame. The third-seeded Irish had an early quarterfinals exist last year at the hands of Carolina, but are armed with three first-team preseason All-Americans this year in senior midfielder Sergio Perkovic, senior goalie Shane Doss, and senior defenseman Garrett Epple.

Virginia then gets a three-game break from ACC play, but it’s no walk in the park for the Cavaliers. They next travel back to Baltimore, this time to face No. 9/8 Johns Hopkins. Another road game against No. 20/RV Richmond, and then they return home game against Cleveland State, a team in their inaugural season of their lacrosse program. (Cleveland State sold out their first game! Unfortunately it was a 13-8 loss to Michigan.)

Virginia will get home field advantage against the top-ranked and reigning national champion North Carolina Tar Heels. Carolina has a preseason All-American in senior attackman Luke Goldstock. Carolina routed UMBC to open the season, 17-6, en route to sweeping the ACC’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week for Week 1.

One final tuneup game against Robert Morris, then the Hoos close out the regular season at No. 10/7 Duke, a team that has beaten the Hoos in 16 of the past 17 meetings, including the last eight straight.

A hefty schedule for a team picked to finish last in the ACC. Here’s the full schedule:

2017 Virginia Men’s Lacrosse Schedule

Date Inside Lacrosse USILA Coaches Opponent Location
Date Inside Lacrosse USILA Coaches Opponent Location
02/11/17 5 6 at Loyola Maryland Baltimore, Md.
02/18/17 vs. Drexel Charlottesville
02/21/17 vs. Siena Charlottesville
02/25/17 RV RV at Penn Philadelphia, Pa.
03/01/17 vs. High Point Charlottesville
03/05/17 6 5 at Syracuse * Syracuse, N.Y.
03/11/17 RV RV vs. Cornell Costa Mesa, Calif. (Pacific Coast College)
03/18/17 4 5 vs. Notre Dame * Charlottesville
03/25/17 9 8 at Johns Hopkins Baltimore, Md.
04/01/17 20 RV at Richmond Richmond, Va.
04/04/17 vs. Cleveland State Charlottesville
04/09/17 1 1 vs. North Carolina * Charlottesville
04/11/17 vs. Robert Morris Charlottesville
04/15/17 10 7 at Duke * Durham, N.C.