- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 14, 2009

Virginia lacrosse coach Dom Starsia e-mailed his incoming freshman attackmen over the summer to convey a simple message.

With star Ben Rubeor gone, the Cavaliers needed a left-handed option on attack, and any extra time spent on developing that skill would probably pay off.

Steele Stanwick obviously received the message.

“The first practice in a three-on-two drill, Steele went into the left-handed line and came in and just stuck a couple,” Starsia said. “It was as if to say, ‘I’m taking care of this.’ ”

And he has. Stanwick will join veterans Danny Glading and Garrett Billings in the Cavaliers’ starting attack in Saturday’s season opener against Drexel at Klockner Stadium.

There are plenty of interesting subplots with Virginia, the preseason No. 1. But seeing how Stanwick adapts in a potent offense will be near the top of the list.

“He’s probably the best two-handed attackman that we have on the team right now,” Starsia said. “He’s as smooth an attackman as we’ve had [as a freshman] since Connor Gill made the same move. He doesn’t have Connor’s size, but he can split to both hands and he has a legitimate chance to score and feed coming on that left size.”

Navy’s red alert

No. 9 Navy (1-0), which plays host to No. 19 Ohio State (1-0) on Saturday afternoon, made no secret in its season opener it is deeper than in recent years.

Perhaps no unit demonstrates the Midshipmen’s options more than their red midfield.

Senior Matt Bitter teams with freshmen Ryan O’Leary and Taylor Reynolds to lend Navy some unusual versatility.

“All three are ex-attackmen, and obviously Bitter is the anchor of that group,” coach Richie Meade said. “We can expand that so that if it’s [Brendan] Connors, [Bruce] Nechanicky and [Tim] Paul, who do you put the short on?”

Bitter had an assist in last week’s 13-5 defeat of VMI, and all three midfielders are capable of inverting. But Meade cautioned it might not be wise to label the group so quickly.

“We’ve only showed what we showed,” Meade said. “Obviously, they’re the invert guys, but they can do some other things. We just haven’t done that publicly yet.”

Terps roll

Notre Dame transfer Will Yeatman scored a goal and added three assists in his Maryland debut as the No. 3 Terrapins ripped Presbyterian 18-3 in Jacksonville, Fla., to win their 16th straight season opener.

Grant Catalino, Dan Groot and Travis Reed each had two goals and two assists for Maryland, which meets Air Force on Saturday afternoon.

Maryland, which is again splitting time between two goalies, received three saves each from starter Jason Carter and junior Brian Phipps. Bryn Holmes won 12 of 14 faceoffs for the Terps, who scored the first 10 goals against the undermanned Blue Hose.

“For a while, we were pretty good,” said Terps coach Dave Cottle, who substituted liberally in the second half. “When the game was in doubt, we were willing to do whatever it took. As soon as it wasn’t, we lost our discipline and focus.”

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