No. 1 Virginia’s 9-8 overtime win against No. 3 Cornell at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore wrapped up a three-week stretch during which the Cavaliers won all seven contests.
In addition to four Saturday games, the team also played three Tuesday contests. Senior attackman Steele Stanwick acknowledged that the schedule can be tough on the players and tests their physical conditioning.
“It’s definitely a bit of a grind, but it’s kind of a fun time for the players to have those midweek games,” the Baltimore native and Loyola graduate said. “It kind of beats you up a little bit, but at the same time, it’s always fun to play a game. It’s probably more fun than practice for us. So it was fun. Coach said this was going to be the toughest game of the stretch, and it definitely was. So we’re just happy to get out of here with a win.”
Virginia has strengthened its grip as the consensus top-ranked team in the country with victories over Drexel, No. 11 Syracuse and now Cornell. But coach Dom Starsia said he made the players well aware that they could not blame the schedule if they had stumbled.
“We played a lot of lacrosse over the last two weeks. I would not have allowed that to be used as an excuse,” he said. “But we also talked about the fact that this was going to be the toughest game of this stretch that we’ve just gone through, and it played out like that.”