(Photo Courtesy of Virginia Athletics)
The Virginia Cavaliers have been somewhat quieter than other teams when it comes to the enormous transactions that are taking place across the college lacrosse world in the wake of the season being cut short due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the NCAA allowing spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility. However, they have made a few sizable splashes recently.
Virginia has officially announced that they have landed the services of Merrimack grad transfer attackman Charlie Bertrand, who is a two-time DII Player of The Year. He also helped the Warriors win national titles during those two seasons (2018,2019).
Bertrand, who tallied 23 points (18G/5A) during the Warriors’ first season as a DI program in 2020, ended his career at Merrimack, where he started every game, with 274 points (210G/64A).
The star attackman now joins the Cavaliers, where he will team up with fellow attackmen Matt Moore (19G/16A) and Ian Laviano (11G/3A). In addition, Peyton Cormier (12G/7A) played a mix of attack and midfield last season. Adding a versatile lefty to that mix, like Bertrand, only makes the Cavaliers’ high-flying offense even more lethal heading into the 2021 season.
“He is an ideal candidate for what we must replace on the field with the graduation of Michael Kraus, which is a powerful left-handed attackman with both the capacity to score goals in bunches and the vision to find open teammates, as he has proven time and time against at Merrimack College,” Virginia head coach Lars Tiffany said in a release by the university.
In addition to filling adding more star-power to the offense with the transfer of Bertrand, the Cavaliers will also return LSM Jared Conners for a fifth season, according to an interview Lars Tiffany did with CBS19.
Conners, who was a team captain in 2020, has been the motor for this Cavaliers squad over the past few seasons and is, arguably, the best LSM in the nation. The Pittsford, N.Y. native has absolutely transcended into one of the best two-way LSM’s over the past few seasons. He not only makes a huge impact as a defender, but also has the stick skills, IQ, and prowess, to make stunning plays on the offensive end of the field. And with a system that is built heavily on fast-paced play and taking advantage in transition, having a player like Conners around is absolutely crucial.
Conners has a career total of 25 points (16G/9A), 193 ground balls, and 58 caused turnovers as a Cavalier.
In the Interview with CBS19, Lars Tiffany also stated that they are hopeful to get midfielder Dox Aitken back for an extra season. However, Aitken has already committed to play football at Villanova in fall and whether or not he will be eligible to play two different sports at two different schools in the same academic year is still up in the air.