Utah Lacrosse to Face Tough Matchup at No. 4 Virginia

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Abu Asib

University of Utah freshman and Utes Lacrosse team attacker Tyler Bradbury looks to pass during an NCAA game vs. the Jacksonville Dolphins in Salt Lake City on March 6, 2021 (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Writer

 

University of Utah lacrosse team (3-5) is coming off of a huge 11-10 double-overtime victory against Boston University and a week of rest, but the team will need all the help it can get in their next matchup. Utah is set to face No. 4 Virginia on Saturday, April 17, and Virginia has been on a hot streak this year.

The Cavaliers are 9-2 on the season, and currently hold a four-game win streak. Only Syracuse and North Carolina have been able to top Virginia this year, with Syracuse winning 20-10 and North Carolina winning 16-13.

Virginia also holds a strong advantage at home, with a record of 6-1. On the other side, Utah has played dismal on the road, with a record of 2-4.

It is set to be an extremely tough matchup for Utah, perhaps the team’s toughest of the year, but there are some upsides that may boost the team over Virginia on Saturday. Utah came out of the Boston University matchup with a huge morale boost, and then was able to take a week of rest to prepare for Virginia.

Looking over at Virginia, they faced North Carolina once again on April 10, this time winning 18-16. They will also be facing Duke at home on April 15, just two days ahead of the Utah matchup. Utah is coming into the game with rest, and Virginia is coming fresh off of another match, and that may be a game-changer for Utah.

For Virginia, Payton Cormier has scored 32 goals in 11 games, and is a huge offensive weapon for them. Connor Shellenberger leads Virginia with 47 points, 19 goals and 28 assists, and is a huge off-the-ball threat to Utah’s defense.

On the other side of the field, Tyler Bradbury leads Utah in points, goals, and assists. He has totaled 34 points, 13 goals, and 21 assists in just eight games. However, Bradbury has over twice the amount of points than Jordan Hyde, the player in second. Hyde has 16 points, 12 goals and four assists.

This just goes to show how vital Bradbury is to Utah. He will certainly be a key role player in the team’s offense and may end up being a difference maker in the result of the matchup.

Utah and Virginia have played each other once before, resulting in a 6-17 loss for Utah. Utah will be returning nine players who played in the previous matchup — Branden Wilson and Sammy Cambere started in the previous game. Virginia will be returning seven starters, totaling 16 players returning combined between the teams.

Virginia will be the seventh ranked opponent that Utah has faced since joining Division 1, becoming just the second game Utah has played against a top-5 team. It will also be the second time this season Utah plays against a top-10 team.

Utah has never defeated a ranked opponent and looks to change that against Virginia. The game will be played on Saturday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m. MDT and will take place at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. Tune in to ESPNU for full coverage of the game.

 

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@SeanOverton3