— Virginia Men's Lacrosse (@UVAMensLax) March 12, 2021
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers (5-2, 0-2 ACC) fell behind early and couldn’t overcome a first-half deficit, falling to the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (7-0, 1-0 ACC) on Thursday evening, 16-13, at Klöckner Stadium.
An illegal stick by UNC’s Zac Tucci gave UVA a three-minute full-time served extra-man possession to start the second quarter. UVA’s Peter Garno was saved early on during the Cavalier possession by UNC’s Collin Krieg. UNC turned the man-down situation into back-to-back goals during an 8-1 run that the forced the Cavaliers to play catchup all night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
UNC’s precision passing gave the Tar Heels an 11-4 lead at the half where eight of 11 goals were assisted. The Tar Heels led 3-2 after UVA’s Regan Quinn found nylon at 9:39 in the first on a Jeff Conner helper.
Nicky Solomon scored at 10:24 in the first to start the 8-1 UNC streak that was the turning point for the Tar Heels, which included the two man-down goals to start the second quarter. Solomon’s unassisted score with 2:40 left in the first half capped the run, giving UNC an 11-3 lead. Griffin Harris stopped the bleeding for the Cavaliers with 43 seconds left in the second quarter to send UVA into the intermission down by seven goals, 11-4.
Harris’ goal started a 5-1 UVA run that made it a four-goal game, 12-8, when Matt Moore scored an unassisted goal with 7:32 left in the third quarter. UNC scored back-to-back goals to make it 15-9 with 12:06 left to play when Matt Wright scored on a Brian Cameron helper.
UVA didn’t go away, scoring four goals in a row. The first two were assisted by Moore, who found Quinn and Connor Shellenberger. Conner scored his second on a Shellenberger assist, while Shellenberger capped the streak with an unassisted score with 1:35 left to play, cutting the UVA deficit to 15-13. UVA won the ensuing faceoff, but after UNC was flagged for pushing, Moore’s shot was saved by Krieg. UNC pushed transition and scored an empty-net goal to seal the victory with 10 seconds left.
UVA STAT LEADERS
• A Payton Cormier
• A Connor Shellenberger
2 goals, 3 assists
• A Matt Moore
2 goals, 2 assists
• M Jeff Conner
2 goals, 1 assist
• Charlie Bertrand now has a point in all 65 of his career games, which is the longest current streak in the nation.
• Bertrand also has at least one goal in all 65 of his career games, which extends his collegiate record.
• Petey LaSalla had a career-high 21 faceoff wins, which ranks tied for No. 8 in UVA history for a single game and most by a Cavalier since Justin Schwenk won 22 against Robert Morris in the 2019 NCAA Tournament’s first round
• With 21 faceoff wins, Petey LaSalla now has 390 career wins, passing Jason Murphy (2015-17) for No. 6 all-time at UVA for career faceoff wins.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
“There was potential for a good swing for us there when we were down three at the end of the first quarter and they had a three-minute non-releasable penalty. Obviously Collin Krieg, the goalie for North Carolina, had a great day today with 20 saves and that was probably one of the more important ones when he saved [against] Peter Garno there. They do a nice job with the man-down clear, and they got the reset [on that possession], so we’re trying to get the ball back and double. They made a nice play to score a goal, and the face-off man comes down and gets another one, so that went from a three-goal deficit to a five-goal deficit right when we’re thinking ‘maybe we can bring this within one or two.’ That was kind of the first half [for us], give Carolina credit. They got us early and often. They shot well today. Even though Alex Rode gave up 15 goals, I feel like he made a lot of good saves, and Carolina’s a good shooting team.” -Lars Tiffany
UVA returns to action on Sat., March 20 when Robert Morris comes to Klöckner Stadium. Faceoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ACCNX.