CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s lacrosse team nabbed a program-best six student-athletes on the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s (USILA) Scholar All-American list, the organization announced on Monday (June 20). Additionally, UVA was named a USILA Division-I Team Scholar selection.
Jeff Conner, Payton Cormier, Petey LaSalla, Jack Peele, Grayson Sallade and Cade Saustad were all named recipients. This year’s six selections topped the previous program record of five, which the Cavaliers achieved last season.
In 1989, the USILA Scholar All-America Program was established to recognize student-athletes from USILA member institutions who have distinguished themselves academically, athletically and as citizens of their communities. The USILA Selection Committee selects an overall team representing Division I, II and III.
Conner (Wallingford, Pa.) was named an All-ACC selection and a USILA Honorable Mention All-American after appearing in 13 games, including 11 starts, in which he scored 14 goals and dished out 18 assists. His 18 assists were good for third on the team this season, while his 32 points were fifth. Conner orchestrated his signature performance in UVA’s ACC title-clinching win at Syracuse, where he posted a career-high seven points on four goals and three assists. His four goals at the Carrier Dome are also a career best.
Cormier (Oakville, Ontario), who led the Cavaliers in scoring (50 goals) this season and was second on the team with 60 points, was also a USILA Honorable Mention All-American. Cormier is Virginia’s first 50-goal scorer in a single season since former teammate Ian Laviano did so in 2019. His 3.12 goals-per-game average was good for third in the ACC. Cormier recorded a team-best 14 multi-goal games this season, including nine hat tricks. With six goals against the Blue Jays, Cormier became the first player in UVA history since 2013 to score at least six games in multiple games for a career. He also tallied a game-high five goals in the Cavaliers’ win at Brown.
LaSalla (Miller Place, N.Y.) became UVA’s all-time leader in career faceoff wins (781) and ground balls (390) midway through the 2022 season. An All-ACC selection and a USILA Third Team All-American, LaSalla led the conference and finished eighth in the nation in faceoff percentage this season after going 215-360 (.597) at the faceoff-X. His 215 faceoffs wins are also good for fourth all-time on UVA’s single-season list. LaSalla was 19-for-30 (.633) in the Cavaliers’ playoff game against the Bears and collected 11 ground balls in the win. He also posted a career-best .900 (9-10) faceoff win percentage in Virginia’s 19-8 win over Johns Hopkins.
Peele (McLean, Va.) was one of Virginia’s top short-stick defensive midfielders this season. He appeared in 15 games and finished 2022 with three goals, including one in UVA’s playoff win over the Bears. Defensively, he added eight ground balls and four caused turnovers. The graduate student concluded his collegiate career with nine goals and 10 assists in 55 total appearances.
Sallade (Lancaster, Pa.) was a USILA All-American Honorable Mention and one of three team captains for this Hoos this season. Like Peele, Sallade was one of UVAs top defensive midfielders as he appeared in all 16 games this season. Sallade finished fourth on the team in ground balls with 29 and registered eight caused turnovers. He also collected six ground balls in UVA’s first ACC road game this season, a 15-11 decision over UNC. The very next game, Sallade tallied five ground balls against No. 1 Maryland at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. He made his first official start of his career on Senior Night against the Leopards.
Saustad (Dallas, Texas) started in 15 games for the Cavaliers at close defense this season and garnered USILA All-American Honorable Mention honors. He collected 27 ground balls in 2022, good for second on the team. Saustad, also a team captain, was named a USILA Team-of-the-Week selection on April 12 after anchoring a UVA defense that held UNC to just four goals, which was the Tar Heels’ lowest goal total in a single game since 2006.