Dox Aitken says his career in either football or lacrosse would have led to his feet running on the lush green turf at Lincoln Financial Field. Turns out, he was right.
“I’m just excited to see how nice the grass is," Aitken said.
The Haverford School graduate and University of Virginia junior will get to live out his dream in front of friends and family when the midfielder leads the Cavaliers against Duke in the NCAA lacrosse semifinals at noon, Saturday, at Lincoln Financial Field.
Last month, Aitken, was named a Top 25 finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, which honors the top male and female college lacrosse players.
Although the Villanova native is Virginia’s fourth-leading scorer (46 points), he did not play well against Duke in their game on April 13. Aitken dished out just one assist in the Cavaliers’ 12-7 loss, as Duke’s defense kept him under control. Virginia coach Lars Tiffany said the challenge for his coaching staff this week will be to identify how that happened.
“I continue to see Dox progress and develop his game, which is saying a lot,” Tiffany said. “How can we ... put him into spots to make sure he gets going, because having him neutralized certainly impacts and hurts us offensively.”
Aitken’s development over the years has been rooted in his dedication to watching film, which started in high school.
Former Haverford School head coach John Nostrant, who has known Aitken since he played for his club team as a fifth-grader, said he remembers losing to Gonzaga in Aitken’s senior year. Aitken had the best game of his career, scoring five goals, but he sobbed uncontrollably, because he still believed he let his team down.
“He is probably the most gifted athletic player that I’ve ever coached at Haverford [School], and at the same time one of the fiercest competitors,” Nostrant said. “It’s an honor to have coached him, and he deserves all the accolades that he gets. He is just a tremendous person. It just makes it more fun to watch, knowing how special of an athlete he is.”
At Haverford School, Aitken was a two-sport star. As a wide receiver, he was named the 2014 Inter-Ac football player of the year. In 2015, he was named Inter-Ac MVP in lacrosse.