The UVA men’s lacrosse season ended in disappointment with a water-logged 14-12 defeat at Loyola. But there was a silver lining to the storm clouds that hung over the program on Saturday night: 70 percent of the team’s goals return in 2019, as well as the starting goaltender and face-off man.
Two of those young stars were honored together with a fourth-year teammate on Sunday, with Inside Lacrosse naming Dox Aitken, Michael Kraus, and Scott Hooper to its 2018 All-America teams.
Aitken was a first-team selection, while Kraus was on the third team and Hooper was named among the honorable mentions.
A sophomore midfielder, Aitken was the Cavaliers’ second-leading goal scorer, tallying 39 goals for the year. Adding in his 12 assists gave Aitken 51 points for the year—the most ever for a Virginia midfielder. Aitken also picked up much of the two-way mantle left behind when a knee injury ended junior midfielder Ryan Conrad’s season prematurely. His first-team selection this season adds to his honorable mention distinction in 2017.
Fellow sophomore Michael Kraus also entered the Cavalier record books this season with 82 points, second only to Doug Knight’s 86-point season in 1996. With 43 goals and 39 assists, Kraus finished just one helper off of recording the first-ever 40/40 season at Virginia. (Sorry, Caroline.)
Hooper was the shut-down close defender for the Hoos in 2018, routinely drawing the opponent’s toughest offensive force. He started all 17 games and led Virginia with 26 caused turnovers, six better than second place. Hooper also led the close defense in groundballs, with 39, and tallied an assist against Johns Hopkins. He was selected in the fourth round of the Major League Lacrosse draft by the Charlotte Hounds.
Hooper is one of only five graduating Cavaliers who started a game in 2018. The others are attackmen Mike D’Amario (32g, 3a) and Cameron Stafford (7g, 4a), midfielder Matt Emery (3g, 3a), and defender Chase Campbell (3 groundballs, 3 caused turnovers).