With just three games remaining on the schedule, Dom Starsia knows this is a crucial time for his team.
"It's crunch time in our season right now," Starsia said Thursday before practice. "With these games coming up it's going to require a more complete effort and probably our best lacrosse for us to come out on top of these games. So we have to get it done."
The No. 8 Cavaliers are 8-3 on the season --- but all three losses have come away from the friendly confines of Klöckner Stadium.
The 'Hoos will look to pick up that elusive signature road win Saturday when they travel to No. 5 North Carolina.
"Being able to go on the road and win a big game when you need to is something that we want to accomplish," senior midfielder Chris LaPierre said. "So I think this weekend is something we want to set our mind to and walk away with the 'W'."
"I think all the guys like to play on the road," fellow senior attack Rob Emery added. "It's always fun playing in a hostile environment and knowing the whole crowd is rooting against you and trying to prove them wrong."
Following Saturday's matchup, the Cavaliers finish out the regular season at home, with games against Duke and Bellarmine.
A win Saturday in Chapel Hill would go a long way toward helping the 'Hoos in the ACC. The Cavaliers are currently 1-2 in conference play, having dropped their last two on the road at Notre Dame and Maryland.
Starsia realizes how important the next two games are, but prefers to keep the season in perspective.
"We're 8-3. We're 3-3 against the Top 10 in the country. If we can get a couple of these games here in the end we're going to be in great shape going forward and then I'd like to think we will benefit from having gone through all this. Get through the regular season, you get a chance to take a deep breath and prepare for the playoffs in May. That's where we'd like to think we'll be and we have an opportunity to do that."