posted 05.29.2911 at 4.21 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

UVA's Briggs Available for Championship Game

Colin Briggs, the latest Virginia men's lacrosse player to be suspended due to off-field matters, will return to the Cavaliers' sideline Monday when they meet Maryland in the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse championship game. Whether he plays and how much remain to be seen.

Briggs, Virginia's top scoring midfielder since the departures of All-Americans Shamel Bratton (dismissed) and Rhamel Bratton (suspended indefinitely), did not dress Saturday for the Cavaliers' 14-8 semifinal win over Denver. Virginia instead employed four attackmen in its offensive sets.

"It's something we've been working through over the course of the week. We made a decision late in the week that we weren't going to play him today," Cavaliers head coach Dom Starsia said Saturday.

Asked Sunday of Briggs' status for Monday, Starsia said the 6-foot, 200-pound junior would be "available for tomorrow." He did not say if Briggs would start.

Briggs has 24 goals and 12 assists this season.

"Colin over the course of the season has proven himself to be one of best midfielders in country," said senior midfielder/attacker John Haldy, one of the players' who has been asked to do more in the wake of Virginia's personnel changes in the midfield. "To have a player like that step into the championship game with some fresh legs on him is going to be big for us. More than anything, he's just got to control his emotions."

Haldy also offered his take on the Bratton saga and refuted media reports which said that Virginia's players voted for Shamel to be dismissed from the team after his third team rules violation.

"That is not true. That was definitely a very trying time in our season," Haldy said. "More than anything, he's our friend. We came into school together in the same class. I wish him the best in what he does with his life. Unfortunately he just couldn't be part of this team."