CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 2/3 Virginia (7-1, 3-0 ACC) scored six of the game’s first seven goals as the Cavaliers went on to defeat No. 12/10 Notre Dame 12-8 on a windy Saturday afternoon at Klöckner Stadium. With the win, Virginia now leads the all-time series against the Fighting Irish, 9-8, and has won 14 straight games following a loss in the same season.
Connor Shellenberger (3 goals, 2 assists) led all players with five points, his 12th straight game with at least five points, dating back to last season’s NCAA first round matchup against Bryant.
Virginia first-year goalie Matthew Nunes (7-1) made 14 saves after Notre Dame fired 47 shots, including 20 on cage, en route to earning the victory. Nunes only gave up five goals in 58:22 of game time. Fighting Irish netminder Liam Entenmann (2-4) suffered the loss.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams traded goals to start the game before the Cavaliers ignited a 5-0 run that was capped by back-to-back goals by Griffin Schutz. After Notre Dame’s first goal at the 12:40 mark of the first quarter, UVA held the Irish scoreless for 26:49 of game time, which is the longest drought by a Cavalier opponent this season. Notre Dame, which took 14 shots in the second period, trimmed the UVA lead 6-2 at the half after scoring with 51 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The Fighting Irish scored the opening goal of the second half before Shellenberger seemingly took over the game. Four of Shellenberger’s five points came, including a pair of goals and assists, came in the second half. Virginia led 9-3 at the end of the third quarter, but Notre Dame did not go away quietly. After UVA scored the first two goals of the fourth, the Irish scored four of the game’s last five goals, including three straight in the final 70 seconds of play. On the final play of the game, Virginia ran out the clock after securing a ground ball following a Notre Dame shot with under 20 seconds to play to secure the win.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Lars Tiffany on Saturday’s strong start and how the defense responded after last week’s game against Maryland…
“It’s really important in any game to get off to a good start, but certainly this one after we got punched repeatedly by a very good Maryland Terrapin team. And especially for our defense because we gave so many goals last week. How could we respond? [I’m] really, really pleased with our on-ball play, except against [numbers] 55 and 8 getting the middle. Holy cow, are those guys good. But then, Matt Nunes made some big-time saves behind us … This was big for our defense after last week, for sure. It was a bit of a challenge – some warrior status. Are we warriors? And we certainly stepped up there, but got to give a lot of credit to Matt Nunes.”
- Virginia’s 7-1 start to the season ties its best start since 2012.
- With the win, Virginia took the lead in the all-time series, 9-8, and Lars Tiffany improved to 4-4 all-time against the Fighting Irish.
- With the win, the Cavaliers extended their win streak to four straight games over Notre Dame, UVA’s longest win streak in series history.
- Virginia is now 18-2 under Lars Tiffany following a loss in the same season and has won its last 14 games coming of a loss.
- The win was Lars Tiffany’s 50th conference victory of his career. Tiffany is now 9-12 in ACC games as UVA head coach. While head coach at Brown (2007-16), he compiled a record of 33-27 in Ivy League games and went 8-3 against America East foes while at Stony Brook (2005-06).
- Notre Dame’s eight goals are a season low and fewest scored by the Irish in a single game since losing to 10-4 to UVA at Klöckner Stadium in the 2019 ACC Championship game on May 4, 2019.
- With a game-high three goals and two assists, Connor Shellenberger has recorded at least five points in his last 12 games, dating back to UVA’s first round NCAA Tournament game against Bryant on May 16, 2021.
- With two assists, Matt Moore is moved into sole possession of second place on UVA’s all-time points list. Moore currently has 251 career points and is just 19 points away from passing Steele Stanwick’s all-time record of 269 career points.
- Moore also extended his point streak to 57 games, which dates back to March 31, 2018.
- Defenseman Cole Kastner, who entered Saturday’s game third in the nation in caused turnovers, finished with two takeaways.
Virginia travels to Richmond (4-3) on Saturday, April 2 for noon contest at Robins Stadium. Tickets are on sale via RichmondSpiders.com for $10/adult and $5/youth. The game will air on NBC Sports Washington and stream on ESPN+.