The No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers host a hot Princeton team Saturday at noon, welcoming one of the hottest players in the country in Michael Sowers.
“The trouble with Michael Sowers is one, he’s a fantastic player. And two, he’s got really good lacrosse players around him,” Coach Tiffany told media on Wednesday. “This is not a one man show, as they’ve proven with 40 goals in the first two games.”
With seven goals and 18 assists through two games, he’s a key piece in what Princeton and coach Matt Madalon want to do on offense.
“Michael certainly ignites the offense with a lot of what they do, but how they’re moving from defense to offense with their transition, how their midfielders are really athletic and attacking the goal, and how the other two attackmen with Brown and Robertson can finish,” Tiffany stated. “This is a really, really well-balanced offense and attack and and team so we can’t just focus on 22 [Sowers], but if you don’t give him enough focus, you know, watch out what he can do.”
Virginia’s defense is aware of the challenge. “I think going against a great player like that is always difficult,” fourth year defender Jared Conners said of Sowers. “You know, we’ve been spending a lot of time in the locker room and in the film room studying that.”
The Virginia defense — despite starting two first years at close D the first two games — has done a great job keeping nationally ranked teams Loyola and Lehigh in check. Opponents have averaged just 8.5 goals against the Hoos thus far, and the starting defense has amassed 10 caused turnovers in two games.
While the Hoos will be looking out for the Princeton attack, the Tigers should share a similar concern facing Matt Moore, Michael Kraus, Ian Laviano, Dox Aitken, Payton Cormier, and the Virginia attack. In their first two wins, the Virginia offense has gotten off to a hot start before stalling against zone defense. Continuing to prepare the Hoos for zone has been a point of emphasis for Coach Tiffany and Virginia.
Virginia vs. Princeton faces off at noon, and the game will be broadcast by the ACC Network.