DURHAM, N.C. – Virginia (8-3, 4-1 ACC) faceoff specialist Petey LaSalla went 14-for-23 at the center-X and collected a season-high 11 ground balls in the sixth-ranked Cavaliers’ 17-8 loss to No. 13/14 Duke (10-5, 2-2 ACC) at Koskinen Stadium Thursday afternoon. LaSalla, who now has 340 career ground balls, moved to No. 1 all-time in program history after passing Jason Hard’s previous record of 336 career ground balls, which he set in 2000.
The Cavaliers out-shot Duke 49-40, won 17 of the game’s 29 faceoffs and were perfect on all 16 clear attempts. Matt Moore led all Virginia scorers with two goals on six shots.
Blue Devils’ starting goalie Mike Adler earned the win and tied his career high with 20 saves. UVA netminder Matthew Nunes (8-3) suffered the loss. Duke’s Brennan O’Neill (4 goals, 4 assists) posted game-high eight points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Despite LaSalla’s dominance and Virginia’s precision in the clearing game, the Cavaliers never led throughout the course of the game. After Duke scored the game’s first two goals, midfielder Peter Garno got Virginia on the board with his third extra-man score of the season. The Blue Devils led 7-3 at intermission after orchestrating a 5-1 run in the second. Duke won the last three faceoffs of the opening period, but LaSalla rallied to gain possession for his team on 13 of his last 19 attempts at the faceoff-X.
Coming out of the break, Duke ignited a 6-1 run to ultimately cling to a 14-5 lead early in the fourth. Griffin Schutz, Regan Quinn and Gable Braun found the back of the net for the Cavaliers in period No. 4, but the Cavaliers’ deficit was too much to overcome.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Lars Tiffany on the difference in today’s game…
“Give the credit to Duke. They made their shots count and their goalie Mike Adler was a brick wall. We generated a lot of shots this afternoon but could not solve Adler. Petey LaSalla was a warrior, gaining us possessions at the faceoff-X and creating fastbreaks. We were able to create some turnovers with our ride and I’m grateful for the tenacity of our defensive midfielders, particularly Grayson Sallade. We have men in our program who are willing to compete through pain, but we simply did not capitalize enough with our scoring opportunities, whereas Duke did. Lacrosse is a beautiful game that effectively prepares us for life, requiring toughness, tenacity, intelligence, resilience and skill. We fell short in the skill category today and we will sharpen our stick work and shooting.”
- Petey LaSalla now owns program records in career ground balls (340), faceoff wins (691) and is No. 1 and 3 on UVA’s single-season faceoff wins list.
- With two goals, Matt Moore now needs 14 points to become Virginia’s all-time leading point-getter. Moore (135g, 121a) currently has 256 career points.
- With two assists, Connor Shellenberger extended his point streak to 29 games, having registered at least one point in every game of his career.
- Shellenberger has now registered multiple assists in 23 career games, including 10 games this season.
- Payton Cormier saw his 22-game goal streak come to an end. Cormier’s streak, which began on March 11, 2021, was tied for fifth longest among all active Division-I players entering Thursday’s game.
- For the fourth straight game, Virginia opponents had at least 17 turnovers after Duke turned the ball over 18 times in Thursday’s game.
- Today’s result marked Duke’s 15th straight regular-season victory over the Cavaliers, a streak that began on April 16, 2005.
Virginia has a quick turnaround as it hosts Quinnipiac (2-7, 1-3 MAAC) at Klöckner Stadium on Saturday (April 16). Opening faceoff is set for 8 p.m. on ACC Network.