UVa Men's Lax Ready to Face Old Rival Maryland in NCAA Quarterfinals
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia men's lacrosse team will be taking on Maryland in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament this weekend.
The old rivals from the ACC are squaring off for the first time since the National Championship game in 2011.
UVa won that meeting 9-7. It's also the last time they made it this far in the tournament.
Head coach Lars Tiffany says, "You try not to talk about the history and the aura around that, and just zoom in on the really talented players that they have, and just gameplan like it's a normal week, but I get it. Maryland's different."
"They're athletic," says sophomore attack Ian Laviano. "They can run up and down the field. Their offense is great. Defense is great. But mainly we're focusing on ourselves, and what we can do better than them."
Saturday's game between the Wahoos and the Terps will be played at Hofstra University on Long Island, and it'll be a homecoming for many of the players on the Virginia roster.
Senior defender Logan Greco says. "I've always gone to those games as a kid. I've always been to Hofstra or Stony Brook, either one of those. It's always been a dream to play in those games, and it's going to be a surreal moment, playing in that environment. I've already had like 100 people text me for tickets. I said, 'I don't get that many tickets.' I have tickets for my parents, and that's about it. But I'm going to have a ton of people there."
"I've asked around to a couple people," says Laviano. "I'll have a good support group back home, and I'm excited to see everyone."
The University of Virginia has its graduation ceremony this weekend, so the seniors won't be able to take part in Saturday's recognition.
"For five years, every senior class has wanted to miss graduation," says Greco, "because you want to keep going in the tournament. It's great to walk The Lawn, but it's better to play another seven days with these guys, and play a game with these guys."
Tiffany adds, "It's a wonderful conflict to have. We have a pseudo-graduation ceremony Friday night, back at the hotel, that we're going to run ourselves. I told the guys, 'Have some fun with it. This doesn't have to be the traditional Pomp & Circumstance. We can play the music that you usually hear, but we can have valedictorian speeches, and the highest GPA on the team, and have some fun with this."
Virginia and Maryland are scheduled to faceoff on Saturday at noon on the campus of Hofstra University.