The Virginia Cavaliers and High Point Panthers are set to faceoff in a Monday evening top 20 matchup. The Cavaliers come into this game after defeating Lehigh on Friday while High Point escaped Drexel in overtime on Saturday.
Virginia comes into this game hot off a good win against Lehigh on Friday. In that win the Cavaliers defense really showed much prowess in leading Virginia to victory after getting down in the first half. This defense will have a bigger challenge on Monday then a shorthanded Lehigh.
High point is in the top 25 in offensive efficiency and are in the top 20 in offensive pace, according to Lacrosse Reference’s stats. The Panthers offense is led by Asher Nolting and Chris Young who have been deadly early in this season. Nolting has a total of 17 points (7G,10A) while Young has 14 points (10G,4A). Those two aren’t the only weapons that High Point has on that offensive side of the ball.
When the Panthers upset Duke they utilized a ton of different weapons to bury the Blue Devils defense. High Point is able to draw out an opposing defense and get the ball inside to a cutter on the crease for a goal. The Virginia defense will especially have to stay tight and be aggressive on Nolting who seems to have eyes all over the field with his knack for finding open guys in tight areas.
On defense for High Point they are led by goalie Tim Troutner who has recorded 38 save this season and has an overall save percentage of 62%. The Panthers will need Troutner to be on point to stop the shooters that Virginia possesses on that offense. Chris Price and Griff Caliguri have also been two key pieces to that Panthers offense that will look to have a big day against the Cavaliers.
Virginia’s offense is is led by Michael Kraus, Dox Aitken, and Matt Moore who have all had good starts to the season. Kraus has tallied 9 points (5G,4A) thus far while Aitken and Moore have 7 points each through the first two games of the season. Ryan Conrad and Ian Laviano have also been good to start the season. The Cavaliers offense will look to stay consistent much like they did in the second half against Lehigh.
They can’t let themselves get down and start making the mistakes we saw them make against Loyola. Much of those offensive woes can start on the defensive end of the field. Virginia is led on defense by Jared Connors and Logan Grecko who will be looking to have another good game and shut down that high powered Panthers offense.
In goal to anchor Virginia’s defense is sophomore Alex Rode who has continued to improve after a stellar freshman campaign in 2018. Rode has 17 saves with a 40% save percentage through their first two games this season.
This is a very good matchup that has some history to it as these two teams have met every year since 2016 when High Point upset Virginia 12-11 in overtime. This years matchup may be the best yet as both squads come in ranked in the top 20, and they play a similar style of fast paced lacrosse. Add the shot clock in the equation and we could see a lot of goals unless the defense for either team has anything to say about that.