Feb. 7, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 8 Virginia women's lacrosse teams opens the 2014 season facing No. 4 Northwestern on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. in a neutral-site game at Kennesaw State University's Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.
Northwestern holds an 8-5 edge in the series and has won each of the last seven meetings, including twice defeating the Cavaliers in the NCAA Championship game (2005 and 2007). Virginia's last win over the Wildcats was in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament when UVa earned a 15-11 victory en route to winning the National Championship.
Last season, Virginia fell 11-6 to the Wildcats, who held the same No. 4 ranking last season when they faced the Cavaliers. Virginia held a one-goal lead at the half, but Northwestern scored five unanswered goals in the second half to earn the victory.
Virginia, vying for its 19th-consecutive NCAA appearance, is ranked No. 8 in both the preseason IWLCA poll and the Inside Lacrosse Brine Media Poll, the second-straight season that Cavaliers will begin their campaign ranked eighth. Virginia finished the 2013 season with an 11-10 record, advancing to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals with wins over Penn and Georgetown before falling to eventual national champion North Carolina.
The Cavaliers return almost all of their offense from 2013. Of the 220 goals scored last year, 193 (87.7 percent) were scored by players on this year's roster. Third-team All-American Casey Bocklet (South Salem, N.Y.), All-ACC honoree Courtney Swan (Vero Beach, Fla.) and Ashlee Warner (Corning, N.Y.) combined to contribute 106 goals and 55 assists.
Swan will also be back taking draws for UVa. Last season Swan had 83 draw controls, the second-highest single-season total in Virginia program history. Her 4.05 draws-per-game average ranked third in the ACC and 21st in the NCAA.
IWLCA All-South Region second-team selection Morgan Stephens' (Olney, Md.) versatility will be a key element of Virginia's game plan this season. Stephens shifted between offense and defense last season, leading the team in ground balls (29) while also adding 24 goals and six assists. Stephens will also be key on the draw, finishing last season ranked sixth in the ACC in draw controls with 52, the seventh-highest single-season total in Virginia program history.
Liz Colgan (Cockeysville, Md.) will start in goal in her senior season. Colgan got some solid experience last year, starting seven games while filling in for the injured Kim Kolarik. Colgan posted a 45.8 percent save percentage in her nine appearances last season.
In season openers, the Cavaliers hold an overall record of 31-7. Under head coach Julie Myers, now in her 19th season, UVa is 14-4 in those games.
The Cavaliers' home opener will be on Saturday, Feb. 15 when they host No. 9 Loyola at 1 p.m. at Klockner Stadium.
Single-game reserved seats are available for all women's home games for $7. Single-game general admission adult tickets for women's home games are $5, while youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and over), and UVa faculty and staff tickets are $4 each.