CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 5/6 Virginia (9-3, 4-1 ACC) travels to Syracuse (4-8, 1-3 ACC) on Saturday (April 23) in the Cavaliers’ final ACC regular-season game of 2022. Opening faceoff from the Carrier Dome is set for 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
A win over the Orange would guarantee Virginia at least a share of the 2022 ACC title, which is decided by winning percentage in league games. Virginia last won the conference championship in 2019 when it defeated Notre Dame 10-4 in the ACC Tournament final at Klöckner Stadium.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
3. Virginia is seeking to become just the third NCAA men’s lacrosse program to win three consecutive national titles in 2022, which would put itself in a category with Princeton (1996-98) and Johns Hopkins (1978-80).
14. Graduate attackman Matt Moore needs just 14 points to become the all-time points leader in program history. Moore currently has 256 career points (135 goals & 121 assists). Steele Stanwick currently holds the program record. with 269 career points.
19. With a win over Syracuse on Saturday, Virginia would clinch a share of its 19th ACC title in program history. The Cavaliers enter Saturday’s contest with a 4-1 record in ACC play.
- Syracuse leads the all-time series 20-19 and are winners of six of the last nine contests against UVA. The Orange also lead the all-time series in the Carrier Dome, 9-5.
- In the two teams 39 contests against each other dating back to 1938, Virginia and Syracuse have been separated by just three goals (SU: 510, UVA: 507) entering Saturday’s matchup.
- Prior to UVA’s win over the Orange earlier this season, Syracuse won both regular-season matchups in 2021, including a 20-10 victory at the Carrier Dome which was UVA’s worse loss in series history.
- Entering the 2021 season, the series was tied, 18-18, and so was the all-time score, 466-466, before the Orange swept both games last season.
- Prior to 2021, the previous five games in the series were decided by one goal, three of which were won by Syracuse.
LAST TIME OUT
- Ten different Cavaliers, including Xander Dickson (5 goals), found the back of the net as UVA downed Quinnipiac 21-9 in a night game at Klöckner Stadium on Saturday, April 16.
- In its first-ever matchup with the Bobcats, Virginia won its 16th straight game immediately following a loss (in the same season) after suffering a 17-8 defeat to then-No. 13/14 Duke in Durham, N.C.
- The Cavaliers’ 21 goals scored tied its season high. Defensively, UVA forced 18 QU turnovers as the Bobcats finished the game 12-20 on clear attempts.
A WIN OVER THE ORANGE WOULD…
- Guarantee Virginia at least a share of its 19th ACC championship – UVA’s second under head coach Lars Tiffany, who guided the Cavaliers to their most recent ACC title in 2019 during his third year as UVA head coach.
- Improve Virginia’s record to 10-3 overall and 5-1 in ACC play, which would tie for its best overall record through its first 13 games since 2012 and best win percentage in ACC play since going 2-0 in conference games in 2006 when UVA went 17-0 overall en route to winning its sixth national championship.
- Tie the all-time series, 20-20, with Syracuse and improve UVA’s all-time record at the Carrier Dome to 6-9.
- Give Tiffany his sixth career conference championship having won four Ivy League titles, including outright champion status in 2016, as head coach at Brown University (2007-16).
GUNNING FOR AN ACC TITLE
- Virginia currently has 18 ACC championships, including 11 titles (1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986) prior the ACC establishing a tournament from 1989-2019 to determine the champion.
- Virginia has won six ACC Tournament championships: 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2010.
- From 1989-2019, Virginia won 14 regular-season titles (1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2019), more than any other ACC School.
- In the last ACC Tournament, which was held in 2019, UVA defeated Notre Dame 10-4 in the finals at Klöckner Stadium.
VIRGINIA IS UNDEFEATED WHEN…
- The Cavaliers are 9-0 when leading after three quarters. UVA has combined to out-score its opponents 151-98 in the first three periods this season, which is an average lead of 4.4 goals entering the fourth period.
- The Cavaliers are 8-0 when leading at halftime.
- Virginia is 9-0 when dishing out more assists than its opponent. In the Cavaliers’ nine wins this season, UVA has 82 assists compared to its opponents’ 37.
KASTNER, SHELLENBERGER NAMED TEWAARATON AWARD FINALISTS
- Cole Kastner and Connor Shellenberger were named two of 25 Tewaaraton Foundation Award nominees, as was announced on April 21.
- UVA was one of just four D-I men’s programs to have multiple nominees.
- Virginia and Syracuse are the only men’s lacrosse programs in the nation with three Tewaaraton Trophy Award winners all-time.
- Chris Rotelli (2003), Matt Ward (2006) and Steele Stanwick (2011) were honored under the guidance of former Virginia head coach Dom Starsia.
CONNOR SHELLENBERGER IS ELITE
- Connor Shellenberger is currently third in the nation and leads the ACC in assists (3.08/gm). He is eighth nationally in points (5.25/gm), good for second in the ACC.
- Shellenberger has posted at least one point in all 30 career games and has recorded multiple assists 30 career games, including 11 of UVA’s 12 games in 2022.
- Shellenberger has dished out at least one assist in 29 of his 30 career games.
- Shellenberger had a streak of at least five points in 12 consecutive games, over the course of 383 calendar days. Shellenberger had his 12-game streak with at least five points snapped at Richmond (April 2).
- Shellenberger, Chris Gray (UNC) and Asher Nolting (High Point) are the only three active Division-I players averaging at least 2.1 goals per game and 2.6 assists per game for their careers.
HOOS IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS
- Virginia is currently third in the nation ground balls (38.83/gm) and opponent clear percentage (.754), seventh in scoring offense (15.08/gm), eighth in points (23.50/gm) and turnovers (14.67/gm), ninth in winning percentage (.750), 11th in assists (8.42/gm) and 15th in scoring margin (3.58/gm).
- In addition to Shellenberger (see above), Petey LaSalla is fifth in faceoff winning percentage (.624). Cole Kastner is sixth in caused turnovers (2.33/gm). Matthew Nunes is 22nd in goals-against (10.74/gm) and Payton Cormier is 23rd in goals (3.00/gm).
VIRGINIA IS A GROUND BALL MACHINE
- The Cavaliers are currently third in the nation in ground balls (37.83/gm).
- In 2021, Virginia led the nation with 41.94 ground balls per game.
- Entering 2022, UVA has led the nation in ground balls eight of the last 13 years, including the last five seasons under Lars Tiffany.
- UVA is the only school in the nation to finish in the top-5 nationally in ground balls per game 12 times over the last 13 seasons.
- The only school in 2016 to finish with more ground balls per game was UVA head coach Lars Tiffany’s 2016 Brown team.
- Lars-Tiffany-coached teams have led the nation in ground balls in seven straight seasons, including the 2015 and 2016 seasons at Brown.
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia returns to Klöckner Stadium on Thursday (April 28) to close out the regular season when it hosts Lafayette for Senior Night.
- Opening faceoff of the inaugural matchup between UVA and the Leopards is set for 6 p.m. on ACC Network.
- Prior to the start of Thursday’s game, UVA will recognize all 14 of its fourth and fifth-year student-athletes.