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UVa Women's Lacrosse has 'Something to Prove' Entering NCAA Tournament

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The Virginia women's lacrosse team will play Stanford in the NCAA Tournament The Virginia women's lacrosse team will play Stanford in the NCAA Tournament
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

For the first time ever, Virginia and Stanford will play in women's lacrosse.

The teams will play Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Harrisonburg.   UVA and Stanford did scrimmage each other in the fall.

The winner of Friday's game will play the No. 3 National Seed JMU on Sunday.

Virginia played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season, and finished the regular season with a record of 9-9.  Stanford is 15-4.

The Cavaliers won eight of their first ten games this season, but lost seven of their last eight.

Junior defender Sophie Alecce says, "There's a certain sense of motivation being the underdog heading into this tournament, we have something to prove.  We have people out for us, we have people thinking Virginia is going to be an easy win, but we've been working really hard in this postseason to make that not true because we have so much talent on this team.  We have five All-ACC players.  We can do this."

Head coach Julie Myers adds, "I think it's finishing our shots and making stops at the other end.  I know the girls have said it, it's letting one end kind of fuel and inspire the other end.  Clearly we have some great athletes, and some great players, and it's time for them to make some plays and to come up for us.  I think they've done it in many cases and throughout the course of a game, but not quite often enough or consistently enough."

Virginia's last game was almost two weeks ago, an 11-10 loss to Notre Dame in the ACC tournament.

"These past two weeks we've really come together and tried to figure out what was going on and what we needed to fix," says senior midfielder Kasey Behr.  "We went through two weeks of practice and I think we're really ready for Stanford and I think we're going to do great against them."

Aleece adds, "I think our team does well under pressure and under circumstances like this where we have something to prove.   There are a lot of highly competitive people on this team and so coming out and having to show that we are capable of winning these big games is motivating to us."

Virginia and Stanford face off at 6pm Friday.