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Men’s lacrosse: No. 7 UVA hosts Drexel in home opener on Saturday

uva lacrosseThe UVA men’s lacrosse team returns to action on Saturday as the Cavaliers (1-0) host Drexel (0-0) in the Dragons’ season opener. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. in UVA’s home opener at Klöckner Stadium. UVA is ranked No. 7 this week in the USILA coaches poll and No. 8 in the Inside Lacrosse/Maverick media poll.

Live stats will be available at VirginiaSports.com. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which can be viewed on the WatchESPN app, or by logging onto ESPN3.com. Luke Neer will bring the play-by-play and Doug Tarring will provide the analysis.

The Cavaliers bring a 15-1 all-time record against the Dragons into Saturday’s contest, including a 7-1 mark in Charlottesville. 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.

Despite UVA’s dominant series record, all of the recent matchups against Drexel have been strongly contested beginning with Drexel’s surprising victory in Charlottesville to open the 2007 season. Between 2012 and 2014 UVA won each contest by one goal, including a thrilling 13-12 overtime win at Klöckner Stadium in 2013. UVA won the 2015 game in falling snow at Klöckner Stadium on Valentine’s Day night, 14-10, while winning by seven goals (14-7) in Philadelphia last year.

UVA’s 20-5 win in 2002 was the first meeting with Drexel in more than 50 years. The first meeting of the two schools occurred in 1947, Virginia’s first season following World War II. The Cavaliers gained a 7-2 victory in Philadelphia. Barry Robertson was high man for UVA with four goals, while goalie Bob Catzen registered 12 saves.

Michael Kraus leads UVA with five points on two goals and three assists. Kraus and Zed Williams lead the team with three assists. Reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week Dox Aitken leads UVA with four goals, while Ryan Conrad is second on the team with three goals. Reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Week Tanner Scales shares the team lead with six ground balls with Williams and Conrad.

Drexel head coach Brian Voelker is in his eighth season in charge of the Dragons, and returns 26 letterwinners and seven starters off last year’s 6-9 team.

Matthew Varian is Drexel’s leading returning scorer from 2016 with 11 assists and 29 points. Robert Frazee is the next leading returning scorer with 28 points and 24 goals. Jimmy Joe Granito returns in the cage for Drexel. He started 11 games and went 7-4 in between the pipes in 2015. Granito posted a 9.58 goals against average and saved 54.8 percent of the shots he saw in 2016.

The Cavaliers return to Klöckner Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 21 when Siena comes to Charlottesville for a mid-week tilt. Faceoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.

Tickets for Virginia home lacrosse games can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone at (800) 542-8821 or in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reserved seats for men’s home games are on sale for $10. Single-game general admission adult tickets for men’s home games are $8, while youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and over), and UVA faculty and staff tickets are $6 each. General admission tickets for groups of 20 or more are priced at $4.

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