Cavs Focus on Themselves as They Await NCAA Opponent

It's been almost two weeks since the Virginia women's lacrosse team last played a game. And the Cavaliers don't take the field again until Sunday's second round of the NCAA Tournament.

So for now, the Wahoos are trying to make the most of this down time.

"Especially with school work, you kind of have a lot more free time with no games. So we're not really preparing for anything, just working really hard," junior midfielder Morgan Stephens said after Tuesday's practice.

"Kind of get back to fitness, doing things fast and the hard way," said coach Julie Myers. "And the girls, they've been pushed and challenged, and they've had to do things they didn't want to do. But they've all come through it really well, and I think they're getting confidence, and really excitement from all the challenges we've put at them."

The Cavaliers learned last Sunday that they'll be the No. 6 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. Now they await the winner of Friday's Princeton/Penn State game at Klöckner Stadium.

"Oh yeah, we're definitely so excited to get a bye," said junior Casey Bocklet. "So we can kind of relax our legs, watch who we're going to be playing on Sunday. And it's also just a great opportunity to get to play on Klöckner, which we're definitely excited about."

"That was really exciting to find out that we had the home seed. We've never really had that before, since I've been here," said Stephens. "So I think that's kind of our advantage, not having to play the Friday night game, too. So I think that's really nice."

"Really, the biggest advantage is that we have that Friday night game, and then we're going to be able to practice after the game ends on Friday night," said Myers. "So we'll have two true practices, knowing our exact opponent. So this week we can focus a lot more on Virginia."

UVa faced both of their potential opponents during the regular season. The Cavaliers beat Penn State 12-11 in Charlottesville on March 1. Two weeks later, they lost 15-13 at Princeton.

"I think it's definitely huge that we're familiar with both teams, so going into it we kind of know their personnel and how they play. So that's definitely going to work to our advantage," said Bocklet. "When it comes down to it, Sunday, it really doesn't matter who we play. We've just got to play the best lacrosse that we can. And if we do that, I think we can come up with the win."

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