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Mount St. Mary's getting prepped for wave of support behind Virginia

A cynic might say that two opponents await Mount St. Mary’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night: top-seeded Virginia and public sentiment.

While the death of Cavaliers women’s lacrosse player and Cockeysville native Yeardley Love at the alleged hands of men’s lacrosse player George Huguely has opened discussion on the state of the sport, many lacrosse fans are openly rooting for Virginia to capture the national championship.

Mountaineers coach Tom Gravante is well aware of the public support behind the Cavaliers, but he said the team remains optimistic about its chances.

"I would like to say no," Gravante said in response to whether Mount St. Mary’s will be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Virginia. "We won a hell of a game [in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament final on Sunday], and I don’t want to pop our balloon. We are flying high right now, and we get an opportunity to play again. Right now, there are only 16 teams still playing, and that’s what I told my kids. Regardless of what happened down there, these kids really earned their opportunity to be the 16 seed, and I want them to enjoy every minute of it."

The Mountaineers and Cavaliers have met in the regular season for six consecutive seasons, and each game has been a family affair. Mount St. Mary’s assistant coach Max Van Arsdale’s uncle is Virginia associate head coach Marc Van Arsdale, and Van Arsdale and Gravante played together at Hobart.

"Marc was like a big brother," Gravante recalled. "… That’s how he’s always been. When I was at Hobart, he was a senior, and the guy really took me in. that was a growing-up process, and it was good to have him. So I’m always excited about going down there and seeing Coach [Dom] Starsia and Marc."

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:00 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Mount St. Mary's
        

Comments

Congrats to coach gravante. I've seen them play this year. very young and talented. This program is headed in the right direction.

It is the media that says UVA will be the overwhelming favorite to win the NCAA's. That may be emotionally true, but life does go on despite tragedy and there is competition this weekend. While I give UVA my condolenses and will wear an orange arm band in support, I will still root for my alumni black and gold Tigers to beat UVA on Sunday.

GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!

Seems a little strange to me that UVa would have so many people pulling for them when it was not only the recent sad situation of Yards, but also the previous incidents when the team appears to have closed it eyes to the shameful actions that were occuring. I understand how the Duke situation differed from what we have today. There the players were unfairly charged and there was no certainty that anything wrong was done. Not here. I have always rooted for UVA (after the Terps), but feel betrayed that the whole program could perform the way it did.

Maybe if they win it all it will deflect some of the things they did wrong, but I don't think that is the way to let them skate.

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.
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