Cavalier Corner

June 2012

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BACK TO BACK? A lot of coaches will try and pooh-pooh the whole concept of "repeating" as champions. But as his team takes aim at its second straight NCAA title this spring, Virginia head coach Dom Starsia has been a little bit different in his approach. "I said, 'Let's try and embrace this a little bit, Starsia said. "I've heard some coaches duck away from it. They say, 'It's not the same team, we're not defending. "I said, 'We earned the right to bear this bur- den so to speak,' and so we've tried to embrace ' it a little. I've told the kids to try and enjoy this some and at least engage the process with a smile on your face — not look at it as a burden. Before winning last year's title with a victory over Maryland — a shocking run that led to an ESPYs nomination later that summer — Starsia had led Virginia to three NCAA titles, the first of which came in 1999. It was the following season that Starsia feels represented his best chance at winning back- to-back titles. That season, UVa went 13-2 be- fore getting upended by Princeton, 12-11, in the semifinals. "I think everybody felt like we didn't play our best that day," Starsia recalled. "That was the next season, UVa went just 5-8. Then came one of the best seasons that any school had ever had in the history of the sport. In 2006, Virginia went 17-0 en route to the championship. After losing star players like Matt Ward and In 2003, Virginia won the title again. But the " '" and a lot of positive energy. Everyone's always there to help you out and give you positive support. That's the one thing I've found that is pretty amazing." Starsia said Bocklet, a sociology major, has taken full advantage of his Virginia education. "For him, the world extends beyond a lacrosse field," Starsia said. "He's taken some interesting classes and has done some things just a little more nerdy than lacrosse players generally are. And he's really fun to be around — a great guy and a great person- ality. For me, it's a great joy to have him and his family in our program." Owen, who is majoring in history and mi- " noring in media studies, has been a standout in the classroom. Last season, she was named to the All-ACC Academic Team, as well as the IWLCA Division I Academic Honor Roll. "She's super smart," Myers said. "She does great in the classroom, she does great off the field. She's our hardest worker. So when she's your leader and she's smart on top of that, good things usually follow." Owen, like Bocklet, has also tried to take advantage of all the opportunities that UVa has offered her. one team that was maybe almost as talented as the one that won the championship the year before. "I really do love UVa," she said. "I love my academic schedule, my major, my mi- nor. And it's been an honor to play at Klock- ner for the Virginia women's lacrosse team. I think it's a combination anybody would be jealous of." Owen added: "The town is amazing and I love the university, but the teams that I've been a part of is what has made it really special. "All four years here, every team has had a different dynamic, but I've always had a great experience here. These girls — they're the kind of friends I'm going to have for the rest of my life." After graduation, Owen plans on pursu- ing her master's in strategic communication at the University of Denver. She also hopes to work part-time as a volunteer lacrosse coach for the school's team. Coincidentally, Bocklet will also be in Denver. He'll be playing for the Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse. "I don't know what I'm going to do af- ter that, which is kind of nerve-wracking," Bocklet said, "but I'm just going to enjoy the moment of it and not stress about those types of things." ◆ Matt Poskay, UVa went 12-4 the following sea- son before getting upset by Delaware at home in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. One of the biggest factors in the truncated run were injuries to stars Ben Rubeor and Kip Turner. "We just couldn't get over the hump there, Starsia said. "Ben was only a shell of himself … "We kind of limped into the playoffs that " year and got beat by a Delaware team that was much better than they had played in the regular season." So what about Virginia's chances of "repeat- ing" this season? "We benefitted last year for one of the few times by laying in the weeds — I think we snuck up on some people, year it's just the opposite. We get everybody's full attention." Starsia isn't complaining, though. "Nobody wants to hear me moan that it's hard," said Starsia, with a laugh. "All of my peers wish that they had the same issue." " Starsia said. "This — Whitelaw Reid Bocklet led the men's squad with 32 goals and was second in points with 40 heading into the NCAA Tournament in mid-May. PHOTO BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA JUNE 2012 ◆ 15

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