CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia attackman Payton Cormier was named the ACC’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week, while defenseman Cole Kastner was tabbed the league’s Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced on Tuesday (March 8). The honor is the second of Cormier’s career and first for Kastner.
Additionally, attackman Connor Shellenberger was named to the USILA’s national team of the week.
Cormier tied his career high with six goals on nine shots in UVA’s 19-8 win over then-No. 14/15 Johns Hopkins. Cormier’s six goals are also his season best and the most by a Cavalier in a single game so far this season. Seven of his nine shots were on cage. The Oakville, Ontario native is the first UVA player to score six goals twice in his career since Mark Cockerton did so in three games in 2013. North Carolina attackman Chris Gray was the other recipient of the league’s offensive weekly award, which marks the third time this season that Gray has garnered weekly recognition from the ACC.
Kastner caused a career-best five turnovers against the Blue Jays. He also anchored a Virginia defense that helped tie for its largest margin of victory in series history. His five caused turnovers are tied for the most by any ACC player in a single game this season, a performance that is also tied for fifth best in the nation. Additionally, Kastner’s five takeaways are the most by a Cavalier since the 2019 season. In the opening period against the Blue Jays, Kastner dislodged the ball from a Hopkins attackman, collected the ground ball and went the length of the field before his high-bouncing shot found the back of the net, earning him his first career goal. Kastner currently leads the ACC and is second in the nation in caused turnovers (3.80/game). Virginia has garnered ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors three times this season, the most among league teams.
The last time Virginia nabbed two ACC weekly honors in the same week was on March 23, 2021, when Cormier and UVA faceoff specialist Petey LaSalla – the recipient of last week’s ACC Defensive Player of the Week – swept weekly honors for the Hoos.
Shellenberger posted a career-high eight points, the most by a Cavalier since fellow attackman Matt Moore did so at North Carolina on April 10, 2021. Shellenberger, who leads the nation in assists (4.40/game) this season, dished out a game-high five assists and notched his second straight hat trick. His five assists also tied his career high, which he achieved for third time this season.
Gray and the Tar Heels (5-1, 0-0 ACC) are set to host Virginia (5-0, 1-0 ACC) on Thursday (March 10) at 8 p.m. on ACC Network.