Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.23.2011 at 2.25 p.m. by Gary Lambrecht

Who's Afraid of Virginia? Nobody

The University of Virginia men's lacrosse team literally is imploding before our very eyes.

If anyone detected a pulse among the No. 10 Cavaliers during Friday's embarrassing, 19-10 loss to No. 6 Duke in the semifinals of the ACC tournament, please call a doctor to see if this patient can be saved.

Most people who have been watching know that the Cavaliers have been average at best on defense for much of the spring. But the cut has turned into a gaping wound. Apparently, the loss of defenseman Matt Lovejoy to season-ending shoulder surgery has had a devastating effect on a young unit.

But the problems on this team go deeper.

There is, of course, the foot and calf injuries that junior attackman and ACC player of the year Steele Stanwick has been dragging around. The Cavs don't faceoff that well. And senior midfielders Shamel and Rhamel Bratton have become major distractions with their off-field issues.

But one thing is a constant in high-level, competitive sports. If you don't defend with passion, discipline and consistency, you probably will be exposed as a pretender at some point. Well, Virginia has lost four of its past five games to fall to 8-5, will drop out of the top 10 this week and might have to beat visiting Penn on Saturday to assure itself of a home game in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Here's the stunning statistic regarding the free-falling Cavaliers. In their last five games, they have surrendered 66 goals, average of 13.2 per game.

Please, somebody call a doctor.