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By Ty Xanders
(Inside Lacrosse Photo: Jaclyn Borowski)
In a wild turn of events, three-time USILA and IL Media All-American midfielder Dox Aitken has left Villanova's football program and will re-join the UVA roster for the 2021 season, confirming his decision to IL shortly after arriving back in Charlottesville.
Aitken, a Haverford School graduate and Villanova (Pa.) native, originally made the decision last February to spend the year as a graduate student and wide receiver for the Wildcats' football team.
However, FCS programs cancelled the traditional fall football season amid COVID-19 safety concerns, and while the general framework was put into place for Villanova's spring football schedule, Aitken says that the unlikelihood of a full season caused him to enter the NCAA's transfer portal on Saturday in order to play a lacrosse season in 2021.
As Virginia's all-time leading midfield scorer and a crucial component of the Cavaliers' 2019 national championship team, Aitken says that he "absolutely cannot wait" to return to the field for his final semester of college athletics with the 'Hoos.
"It's gonna be awesome to be back and be a member of the team again, that's the main thing — it's gonna be awesome to see those dudes once my quarantine's over," Aitken told IL in a phone interview. "I'm just so excited to be competing this spring with a great team, an incredible group of guys and hopefully we can stack some more wins and have a special year."
Aitken was a first-team All-American in 2018 and 2019, combining for 83 goals and 20 assists in those two seasons while becoming the first Virginia midfielder to reach 100 career goals and one of the most dangerous players in college lacrosse.
Coming to Charlottesville ranked as IL's No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2016, he had a 40-point outburst as a freshman to earn honorable mention All-America recognition. Last spring, the 6-2, 210-pound athlete racked up nine goals and an assist to help his squad to a 4-2 record before the season's cancellation.