UVA Men's Lacrosse Confident Heading into NCAA Semifinal Showdown with Duke
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The players on the UVa men's lacrosse team say their confident heading into the NCAA tournament semifinals showdown with Duke, despite their recent history with the Blue Devils
The Cardiac Cavs advanced to Saturday's semis with an amazing come-from-behind win over Maryland.
The 'Hoos rallied from five goals down in the fourth quarter, scoring the final six of the game, giving the 'Hoos a 13-12 overtime win.
The game-tying goal was controversial. Replayed showed it wasn't a goal, but there is no official video replay in college men's lacrosse.
On Wednesday, coach Lars Tiffany spoke about the controversial goal.
"I hate instant replay when I'm watching professional sports," says Tiffany. "I'm watching sports to be entertained. As much as we want to get the call right, I'm not looking for perfection. I hate sitting on my couch and watching five minutes of replay. I think you open up Pandora's box you get into problems so I'm for no instant replay."
Regardless of how the "Hoos got here, Virginia is back in the national semifinals for the first time in eight years, when the won the national championship in 2011.
"It's really something that enforces all the hard work and culture changes and things we've done in the past," says UVa senior midfielder Ryan Conrad. "It reinforces that. We're just really excited that all this hard work has paid off."
The Cavaliers lost to the Blue Devils earlier this season in Durham 12-7.
"We played a little bit too much 5-on-5," says UVa sophomore attack Matt Moore. "We got to attack them and not play into their strengths and make them uncomfortable."
UVa coach Lars Tiffany said Duke's aggressive play with ground balls was one of the reason the Blue Devils won that regular season matchup.
"In the second half they dominated those extra possessions," says Tiffany. "They were willing to get down and pick up those extra Gbs and since then we've been working on that and now we have a chance to show our opponent we can do this just as well as you."
If Virginia falls behind, the 'Hoos know they can rally. Four times this season the 'Hoos have rallied from fourth quarter deficits to win.
"We're pretty use to playing three, four, five behind so I think we have to start the game off with a down by three, four or five mentality," says UVA midfielder Dox Aitken.
The 'Hoos haven't beaten Duke in nine years, losing ten straight to the Blue Devils.
"It's been the story of our year, things we haven't been able to accomplish in the past, we have this year," says Conrad. "I think that's something that we're trying not to focus on as much and take it one game at a time and not look at the history of the matchup and just focus on the team we're playing."
Virginia and Duke play at Noon Saturday in the first national semifinal. Yale and Penn State will play in the second game at 2:30pm. The games are being held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.