Feb. 13, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE - The No. 8 Virginia women's lacrosse team will open up the 2013 season taking on No. 6 Loyola on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. in Baltimore, Md.
The contest is the season-opener for both teams and is the second year in a row that the Cavaliers' schedule begins with a game against the Greyhounds. Last year, the No. 10 Cavaliers upset the No. 7 Greyhounds, 14-9, at Klöckner Stadium, the first of three victories to start 2012.
Virginia dominates the all-time series with Loyola, 22-8-1, but has dropped two of the last three games to the Greyhounds. Virginia is 10-4 in games played at Loyola.
Loyola has been picked to finish third in the preseason All-BIG EAST poll, with Syracuse, the 2012 NCAA runners-up, the unanimous first-place selection. Syracuse, ranked No. 2 in the preseason IWLCA poll, will host the Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m.
The Cavaliers will play five preseason top-10 ranked teams in their first six games, opening the home slate by hosting No. 4 Maryland on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. and No 10 Penn State on Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m. before traveling to No. 5 North Carolina for a game on Saturday, March 9 at 3:30 p.m.
UVa finished the 2012 campaign with an 11-8 record (2-3 ACC). In its 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, Virginia ended the 2012 season with an 11-9 loss to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Virginia is ranked No. 8 in the 2013 IWLCA preseason Division I poll and No. 11 in the preseason Inside Lacrosse/deBeer Media Poll.
The Greyhounds are coming off their second-straight BIG EAST title and return nine starters from a squad that finished the regular season with a program-best 7-1 BIG EAST record. Loyola then knocked off its highest-ranked opponent under head coach Jen Adams, No. 2 Syracuse, 13-7, in the championship game of the BIG EAST Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight year.
Virginia will be led by senior captains Megan Dunleavy (Fairfax Station, Va.) and Caroline McTiernan (Garden City, N.J.). Dunleavy will anchor a defense that ranked 25th among all NCAA Division I teams last season, allowing 10.0 goals per game. McTiernan, who scored four goals in seven games last season, will lead the offense.
The Cavalier attack will have a new look this season with the top-five goal scorers from 2012 absent from the 2013 roster. Sophomore Liza Blue (Butler, Md.), who scored 17 goals with two assists in her rookie season, is the top returner for the Cavalier attack.
The Cavalier defense remains almost fully in tact from last season, including the return of senior goalkeeper Kim Kolarik (Ria, Md.) who played in 18 of Virginia's 19 games last season, registering a .405 save percentage.
In addition to adding seven freshmen, the Cavaliers also have three players who have transferred in as sophomores. Midfielder Caroline Seats played at Georgetown last season. Midfielder Sally Jentis (Ridgewood, N.J.) joins the Cavaliers spending a year at Florida and attacker Casey Bocklet (South Salem, N.Y.) comes to UVa from the 2013 National Champions, Northwestern.
In season-openers, the Cavaliers hold an overall record of 30-7. Under head coach Julie Myers, now in her 18th season, UVa is 13-4 in those games.
The Cavaliers' first home game will be on Friday, March 1 when they host No. 4 Maryland at Klöckner Stadium. Single-game tickets are on sale now on Friday, Feb. 8.