Close Wins Fueling Cavs' Perfect Start

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

After seeing his team lose numerous one-goal games in 2013, Dom Starsia isn't exactly going to apologize for his team's start to the 2014 season.

The Cavaliers are up to No. 5 in the national rankings thanks to a perfect 3-0 start to the year. But that record isn't as pristine as it may appear.

The 'Hoos have held on for dear life in winning all three, with each game being decided by just one goal.

"(We're) 3-0 right now but we're harboring no illusions," Starsia said at practice Thursday. "We've got to play better, play more complete lacrosse games. But in a profession recognized for its results, to be 3-0 at this point certainly puts us in good position."

Virginia needed overtime to beat Loyola-Maryland in its season opener, then went on the road and pulled out one-goal wins over Richmond and Drexel.

Last year, the team was 1-3 in those kind of games, a big reason they missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.

"Last year that's where we struggled a lot was the one-goal games so to right that aspect has been nice," senior midfielder Rob Emery said.

While 3-0, the team also realizes it could very easily be on the other end of that record.

"I would say it's definitely character-building," junior midfielder Ryan Tucker added. "Obviously with those one-goal games it could go the other way, which happened last year, but I think this year it's really different."

Virginia will host Rutgers Saturday at Klöckner Stadium and Starsia hopes his team's start has given the 'Hoos momentum heading into the matchup with the Scarlet Knights.

"Certainly for college students, confidence can be a fragile commodity and having won some of these games I think gives us some genuine confidence that we'll be able to draw on as the season goes on."

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