— Virginia Men's Lacrosse (@UVAMensLax) February 14, 2022
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia first-year goalie Matthew Nunes (2-0) posted 16 saves, including one with 20 seconds remaining, to help the top-ranked Cavaliers (2-0) fend off High Point (1-2) in an 11-10 decision in frigid conditions at a Klöckner Stadium Sunday (Feb. 13) afternoon. With the win, Nunes also posted his second career victory, and his 16 saves are a season high.
Offensively, the Cavaliers were led by Matt Moore, who scored a game-high three goals to notch his 19th career hat trick and extend his point streak to 52 games, which dates back to March 31, 2018. Connor Shellenberger also tallied a game-high five assists for the second consecutive outing, tying his career high.
Virginia won the faceoff battle after collecting 16 wins at the center-X, while the Panthers won nine.
High Point’s Parker Green (1-2) suffered the loss. He posted 13 saves on 24 UVA shots on goal in 60:00 minutes of action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams were tied 2-2 at the end of the first quarter, despite Nunes posting seven of his 16 saves in the first period. After High Point scored the game’s first goal, the Cavaliers scored back-to-back goals from Payton Cormier and Griffin Schutz to take a 2-1 lead. The Panthers evened the game 2-2 with four seconds remaining in the first. Moore scored the first two goals of the second period before Shellenberger and Xander Dickson found the back of the net for the last two goals of the period as the Cavaliers led 6-4 at the break.
The Panthers quickly tied it 6-6 on back-to-back goals of their own to open the third quarter. UVA went on a 4-0 run in almost a five-minute span to grasp a 10-6 advantage – its largest lead of the contest – with 1:54 remaining in the quarter. High Point scored three straight to then cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 10-9 in the middle of the fourth. With 7:04 to play, Dickson notched his second straight game-winning, which was also UVA’s last goal of the contest. Almost three minutes later, the Panthers scored the final goal of Sunday’s game. After that, Nunes made two clutch saves in the final 2:14 of play, including his 16th and final save of the night. With under 30 seconds to play, High Point’s Nick Rizzo was left wide open and received a pass at midfield. Cradling the ball unchallenged, Rizzo rushed towards the cage and fired a high-bouncing shot from just above the crease, which Nunes tracked and deflected away with his stick. The Cavaliers were awarded possession by the officials with 19 seconds remaining. After Virginia called timeout, the Cavaliers successfully ran out the clock to collect their second victory of the season.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Lars Tiffany the Cavaliers’ win over High Point …
“Every year regardless of the circumstances whether it’s warm or cold, and whether our team has had one day or seven days to prepare, High Point does this. They are relentless. It’s great for us because we see a team that plays at a different speed earlier in the year that we need to catch up to. We know we are going to get there, but they accelerate our need to catch up to a faster pace of play. We just didn’t play at the pace we needed to, but thank goodness for Matt Nunes. Eleven saves at halftime and then obviously a huge one at the very end. We have to be a better program and I just talked to the men about that. We can’t just rely on a freshman goalie – first years as we call them here – to be winning us ball games. But, that’s exactly what Nunes did today.”
- With the victory, the Cavaliers extended their win streak to three games in the series over High Point.
- Virginia now leads the all-time series 5-2 over the Panthers.
- Out of the series’ seven-game history, Sunday’s contest marks the fourth one-goal game between the two teams.
- Virginia is now 160-43 (.788) all-time and 33-11 under Lars Tiffany at Klöckner Stadium.
- Connor Shellenberger tallied five assists for the second straight game, which ties his career best.
- Matt Moore notched his 19th career hat trick with three goals against the Panthers.
- Moore, who now has 121 career goals, also moved into 12th all-time on UVA’s scoring list, passing Danny Glading (119 career goals).
- Petey LaSalla was 15-for-21 on faceoffs against the Panthers and is now just 13 faceoff wins away from becoming Virginia’s all-time leader in career faceoff wins.
- Xander Dickson posted his second straight game with a game-winning goal after scoring the Cavaliers’ 11th goal of the game with 7:04 remaining.
Virginia travels to Towson (0-1) on Saturday (Feb. 19) for its first road contest of the season. Opening faceoff from Johnny Unitas Stadium is set for noon and will broadcast on Lax Sports Network (LSN).