Familiarity Between Coaches in NCAA Lacrosse Championship Game
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WVIR) - The Virginia men's lacrosse team will be playing on Memorial Day for the first time in eight years when they take on Yale in the NCAA Championship Game on Monday.
UVa will be looking for its sixth title, which would move them into a tie with Princeton for the third-most all-time.
The 'Hoos are in the championship game for the 10th time in program history, and the first time since winning the trophy in 2011.
Yale won its first-ever national championship last season.
Bulldogs head coach Andy Shay has a lot of experience against a Lars Tiffany-coached team. Tiffany coached at Brown for a decade, before leaving for UVa after the 2016 season, and the coaches matched-up every year in Ivy League play.
"I know a great deal of his coaching style, and how he coaches his teams," says Shay. "That's one hand. On the other hand, you have one day to prepare for it. I think they're playing a little bit differently than when he was at Brown. It's going to be a challenge."
Yale sophomore midfielder Brian Tevlin says, "We kind of get out there and focus on our process, and our challenge, each and every day. Especially on offense, we try to get out there and put up as many goals as we need to."
Yale scored ten goals in the first quarter of its semifinal win over Penn State, and the Bulldogs put up 21 goals against the top-seed Nittany Lions.
Junior attackman Jackson Morrill says, "When we're in the game I don't think anyone's really thinking about what we've done. For me, the last two years in playoffs or Ivy League playoffs, we really just take it one possession at a time. One play at a time."
"Looking at the first quarters in their last three playoff games, they scored 26 goals in the first quarter," says Tiffany. "They're almost averaging nine goals in the first quarter, so our job as coaches is to ensure that our men recognize it, how fast Yale is individually, and how fast their tempo is."
UVa senior midfielder Ryan Conrad says, "It's definitely going to be an interesting challenge. It's something that's really exciting to see, a brand-new team that we haven't seen this year, if ever."
Virginia and Yale are playing for the first time since March 19th, 1991 in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers won that meeting 13-6.
UVa beat the Bulldogs 10-9 in double overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 1988, but Yale owns a 4-3 record all-time against the Wahoos.
The NCAA Championship Game is scheduled to faceoff on Monday at one o'clock in Philadelphia.