Cavalier Corner

April 2014

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BY WHITELAW REID I F CHRIS LAPIERRE HAD GONE IN the other direction, he might very well be pre- paring for the NFL Draft right now instead of trying to lead the Virginia lacrosse team to another NCAA title. Coming out of high school in New Jersey, LaPi- erre was recruited for both lacrosse and football. His final choices came to playing football at Penn State or lacrosse at UVa. In the end, LaPierre said his love for lacrosse won out. "I miss football," he said, "but I think if I had chosen football I would have missed lacrosse a little more." LaPierre most certainly missed lacrosse last season. LaPierre was unable to play due to a knee injury and had to watch from the sidelines while Virginia missed the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in the last 21 years. "Last year was tough not getting to play as a captain because my leadership has always been by leading by example on the field," LaPierre said. "I'm not one of those big talker guys." The bright side, if there was one, was that LaPi- erre was granted a redshirt, which allowed him to return for one more season. Now back and healthy, the redshirt fourth-year is one of the big reasons UVa is expected to be back in the hunt for another run to the Final Four this spring. "He's always been one of my favorite guys," Virginia head coach Dom Starsia said. "There's just an element of toughness in the middle of the field that we didn't quite have last year. His pres- ence, even in practice, is quite remarkable. He's a special kind of athlete." LaPierre's teammates are overjoyed to have him back. "It's definitely huge," fourth-year defender Scott McWilliams said. "He's such an animal for us in the middle of the field … "He's just an instant clear. You get him the ball and he automatically gets it over the line. It definitely hurt us last year not having him on the wings with groundballs because he's such an animal over there." "He's such a force out there," fourth-year mid- fielder Bobby Hill added. You better be with a nickname like "Shocker." As the story goes, LaPierre picked it up while playing youth football. LaPierre laid such a big hit THE PATH TAKEN Chris LaPierre Is Glad He Chose Lacrosse Over Football i18-19.Chris LaPierre.indd 1 4/2/14 9:29 AM

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