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Haldy (Haverford School) leads No. 1 Virginia men as they gear for opener Saturday against visiting Drexel

Wednesday, 16th February 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 2/16/11
From press Releases and Staff Reports

Senior captain John Haldy (Haverford School) will lead No. 1 Virginia when the Cavaliers open their men’s lacrosse season Saturday against No. 16 Drexel in a 5 p.m. start at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville.

This is the 10th year in a row UVa has opened up its season against Drexel. The Cavaliers bring a 9-1 all-time series record against the Dragons into Saturday’s contest, including a 4-0 mark at Klöckner Stadium. UVa’s lone loss in the series was a season-opening setback to the Dragons on the University Hall Turf Field in 2007, a contest moved out of Klöckner Stadium due to weather.

The 2011 campaign will include a season-long quest for head coach Dom Starisa as the Cavaliers try to put his name atop a list as the head coach with the most victories while coaching at an NCAA Division I school. Starsia enters the season with 316 lifetime wins, trailing coaching legend Jack Emmer’s 326 wins. Emmer coached at Cortland State and Washington & Lee when both participated as NCAA Division I lacrosse institutions, he concluded his storied career at Army.

The first step will be against a Drexel team that narrowly fell to UVa in Philadelphia to open the 2010 season, 11-8. After suffering a surprising loss to Drexel four years ago in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers got back on the winning track against the Dragons with an 11-7 win in the season opener three years ago. Making it three straight in the series last February, Virginia rode three goals and five points from Steele Stanwick as the Cavaliers’ triumph gave Starsia his 200th career win at Virginia.

Haldy will be a key at midfield for the Cavs. He had 11 goals in each of the past two seasons and figures to be even more of an offensive threat. Also from Philly, freshman midfielder Bobby Hill (Malvern Prep) hopes to contribute for Virginia.

Virginia enters 2011 after finishing with a 16-2 record last year and a No. 2 ranking in the final poll coaches and media polls. The season came to an abrupt end for the 2010 ACC champions with a heartbreaking 14-13 last-second loss to eventual national champions, the Duke Blue Devils, in the national semifinals.

With 28 returning lettermen, including seven starters returning, Starsia’s squad is viewed as one of the leading candidates to make it to Final Four weekend in Baltimore, Md., vying to play on Memorial Day for the first time since winning it all in 2006.

Virginia returns nine of its top 10 goal scorers in 2010, but they will have their work cut out for them going against Drexel’s goalie, Mark Manos (Salesianum School). The junior was a third-team All-American in 2010 and despite coming up on the short end against the Cavaliers in 2010, he still made 17 saves in the three goal loss. Manos was also the Colonial Athletic Association’s defensive player of the year.

Drexel’s head coach Brian Voelker enters his second season overseeing the Dragons’ program, finishing 10-5 in his inaugural campaign in Philadelphia. Voelker returns three of his top four goal scorers from 2010, including Robert Church, who led the squad as a freshman with 32 goals.

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