Laxers Returns Home; Hosts Canisius Saturday at Drill Field #2
LEXINGTON, Va. -- After opening the 2013 season with six road games, covering over 3,600 miles, the Virginia Military Institute men’s lacrosse team finally plays in Lexington as the Keydets play host to the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion, Canisius College.

Game time has been set for 1 p.m. at a new location for VMI, Drill Field #2, located at the Institute’s North Post. This is the first varsity game to be played at Drill Field #2 and marks the first time the lacrosse team will be playing at North Post since 2010. Under former head coach Jeff Shirk, the last time VMI was on North Post was a 12-11 overtime loss at the hands of Saturday’s opponent, Canisius.

Fans unable to make the trip to Lexington can follow the action through a live stats link. Frequent updates will also be available through the team’s Twitter account, @VMILacrosse.

Parking for Saturday’s Game: Parking will be permitted at the Paulette Hall lot, Marshall Hall lot and Jordan’s Point lot. Fans parking at Jordan’s Point can enjoy a nice walk to the stadium via Saunders Field Road or the Woods Creek Trail. Handicap parking will be available above the field, but require a handicap parking tag or hanger. At no time will vehicles without a handicap parking tag or hanger be permitted to drive on the trail above the field. Parking on Anderson Road or along Saunders Field Road will NOT be permitted, by order of the VMI Post Police.

Accessing Drill Field #2: Fans parking at Paulette Hall or Marshall Hall can access the field by a set or railroad tie stairs. We ask the fans walking along Drill Field #1 stay to the far left of the field, walking along the wall. There are multiple sets of bleachers available for the comfort of fans in attendance. Those parking at Jordan’s Point can either take the Woods Creek Trail, which will bring them above Drill Field #2, or by walking down to Paulette Hall and using the railroad tie stairs. Please stay the left of the red painted line on Drill Field #1.

Pets: Pets will NOT be allowed on any of the Drill Fields, but will be permitted along the Woods Creek Trail above the fields.

Drill Fields #1 and #3: We ask that fans please refrain from walking on either of the grass drill fields. Only Drill Field #1 will be permitted for access, and then only the left-hand side of the field to access the game field. Report
Saturday’s weather is predicted to be rainy, with a 60 percent chance of precipitation. Winds are expected to be from the southwest 10-15 miles per hour. Temperatures will be in the lower 60s. Please note that wind speeds are typically high on the Drill Fields. There will also be the potential for thunderstorms as well.

The Series
Saturday’s game will be the 16th meeting all-time between the Keydets and the Golden Griffs. Canisius holds the series advantage at 11-4, including a 6-2 record in Lexington. VMI will be looking for its first win over the Griffs since 2009 when the Keydets earned a 12-11 victory in Buffalo.

The Keydets last won against Canisius in Lexington in 2003, VMI’s first season in the MAAC. VMI logged a 13-9 win over Canisius in their first meeting as league opponents.

Saturday’s setup bodes well for VMI. The last time Canisius won the MAAC title in 2008, besting VMI 14-5 in Loudonville, N.Y., the Keydets exacted revenge the next season, winning 12-11 in 2009. Canisius begins the defense of its 2012 conference title on Saturday.

When Last They Met
In 2012, the Keydets made the trek to Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo, N.Y. to take on the eventual conference champions. After enjoying sunny skies and 70 degree weather for practice the day before, the Keydets and Griffs did battle in a stereotypical cold and rainy day in Buffalo. The game was a homecoming for VMI head coach Brian Anken, who hails from the area and made his head coaching debut in his hometown.

It was a back-and-forth affair that featured six ties and six lead changes before Canisius claimed a 13-11 victory. It was a one-goal game with 2:50 remaining in regulation after VMI’s Keith Long, eventually drafted by the Rochester Rattlers, scored VMI’s 11th goal. But Canisius, leading 12-11 at that point, iced the game with a Tim Edwards goal, his third of the day, coming at 1:45 in the fourth.

Long led VMI with five points, including four goals and one assist. Russell East chipped in two goals with two assists for a four-point afternoon. Then a freshman, Mike DeBlasio posted two goals while seniors Drew Leonard and Stephen Robarge, along with current junior Bernie Mowbray, each scored once. Matt Lindemann made nine saves for the Keydets.

Two Golden Griffins scored hat tricks as Steven Giourmetakis scored three times and had an assist for four points. Edwards too had three goals and an assist, taking a team second-best six shots. Jimmey Haney and Nick Caldiero each scored twice.