Cavalier Corner

June 2015

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young. In certain spots, we didn't talk as well. We worried about the bigger picture so we didn't focus on smaller parts. "I knew I had to help out those guys as much as I could." Ironically, Barrett's UVa career almost was de- railed before he drove into Charlottesville. During his senior year at Malvern Prep, which is near Philadelphia, he blew out an ACL while playing on the offensive line for the school's football team. Starsia, who encouraged Barrett to play football in- stead of dropping out and focusing on lacrosse, had zero regrets about his decision. "I'm a big fan of the multi-sport thing," he said. "In Matt's case, going to football practice every day, where you're doing agility work and conditioning was going to be a benefit to him athletically. "I wince when a boy tells me he's giving up an- other sport just to play lacrosse. In Matt's case, hav- ing a big body [Barrett checks in at 6-0, 220 pounds] like his, staying in shape benefits him overall." That injury notwithstanding Barrett also felt play- ing football was more of a benefit than a hindrance. "It helped in terms of teamwork and leadership ability — being able to communicate with the guys you play with and being on the same page," he said. "I tried to get them moving together." The move Barrett made in terms of his play from his first-year campaign to this season was the la- crosse equivalent of the distance between the Earth and the moon. "He had flashes during his freshman year," said Starsia. "The first game he really played well was against Drexel in Philadelphia, his hometown. We won our first two games by one goal. "His numbers weren't great. and I was concerned about his confidence. We won another game [by one goal], and he played great. That was the first indica- tion of what he was capable of doing. "He had a good freshman year, but was incon- sistent like most freshmen are. But there was a big change from his freshman year to his sophomore, which is typical." A big change, both objectively and subjectively. "He's gotten a lot better now outside the goal, especially on loose balls," said Starsia. "He's devel- oped confidence to make plays outside the goal. We needed him to be more of a factor on the clearing game, which he was. "What surprised me is that he improved in that regard plus the leadership aspect. You look at him as the big teddy bear type, but he assumed more of a leadership role this year." Barrett's size also was a major factor in his im- provement. "I always hate when we play against big goalies," Starsia said. "They fill up a lot of the cage. What does not always show up in the scorebook when you play against a goalie like Matt are shots that miss the cage because other guys try to be too fine. "His strengths always have been between the pipes." ◆ "We assumed he would be better his second year than his first. We were so inexperienced he had to be consistent in order for us to be successful. He showed some things I didn't know he was capable of." HEAD LACROSSE COACH DOM STARSIA ON BARRETT

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