Dox Aitken’s collegiate debut at the University of Virginia was one to remember. Aitken tallied four goals, including a pair in the fourth quarter, as Virginia held off Loyola 16-15.

“These are the types of games that we dream about,” Aitken said. “To have this in my first game, I couldn’t ask for a better scenario. It’s perfect.”

Aitken, one of the leaders on Team USA’s run to the Federation of International Lacrosse U19 world championship in 2016, was hardly the only player that wore red, white and blue last summer to make his presence felt in the early part of this college lacrosse season.

Aitken’s Virginia teammate, sophomore Ryan Conrad, was the hero on Saturday as his tally with 2:17 remaining proved to be the game-winner. Conrad, who scored the game-winning goal in the waning seconds of the U.S. come-from-behind victory over Canada last summer, finished with a hat trick.

Freshman Mac O’Keefe has been lighting up the scoreboard in Happy Valley, helping Penn State to a 2-0 start. O’Keefe had seven goals in a season-opening win over Robert Morris and then added four goals and three assists in Saturday’s 21-15 shootout victory over Hobart.

Defending national champion North Carolina is off to a 2-0 start and U19 alum Timmy Kelly ranks second on the team with four goals while defenseman Jack Rowlett is helping a unit surrendering just 4.5 goals per game.

Some other notables:

  • Jared Bernhardt had a goal and an assist in his first college game, helping Maryland beat Navy 15-12. Team USA teammate Austin Henningsen also scored a goal.
  • Sophomore Brad Smith had a career-high three goals in Duke’s 22-7 win over Cleveland State on Sunday and has four goals for the season.
  • Ohio State, led by Team USA head coach Nick Myers, is off to a 2-0 start and defenseman Matt Borges has started both games for a team giving up just 7.0 goals per game. Christian Feliziani has won 4-of-6 faceoffs.

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