Highlights: #1 Virginia 25, Richmond 8
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – For the second consecutive game, the No. 1 Virginia men’s lacrosse team (4-0) picked up a win in convincing fashion after downing Richmond (3-2), 25-8, at Klöckner Stadium Saturday night (March 4). The contest was Virginia’s annual One Love Foundation game.
The Cavaliers collected 52 ground balls, including 10 by faceoff specialist Petey LaSalla who dominated the center X, going 19-for-26. Defenseman Cade Saustad and long-stick midfielder Tommy McNeal also snagged six ground balls each. Virginia finished the game 28-for-29 on its clear attempts.
Xander Dickson led all goal scorers with six on seven shots and added four ground balls. Payton Cormier (3g, 3a), Patrick McIntosh (3g, 2a), Thomas McConvey (3g, 1a) and Connor Shellenberger (1g, 3a) also led the effort offensively for the Hoos.
Matthew Nunes (4-0) earned the win in 50:21 of action after stopping nine UR shots, while giving up just six goals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the second consecutive game, the Cavaliers scored the first eight goals of the contest, leaping out to a hefty lead to start the game. During the scoring spree, Cormier tallied five of his total six points on back-to-back goals and three assists. A non-releasable illegal bodycheck penalty by the Spiders led to UVA going 2-for-2 on its extra-man unit in the first as McConvey and Dickson both netted goals. Richmond broke up the Cavaliers’ scoring spree by finding the back of the net four times in a row, including the last three of the opening quarter. The Spiders’ final goal of the first quarter came with less than one second remaining on the clock.
After UR claimed the opening goal of the second quarter, Virginia shut out the Spiders for the remainder of the period. The Cavaliers matched their first period goal total in the second with scores from eight different players, including long-stick midfielder Mitch Whalen, who recorded his second career goal. Dickson led all goal scorers at the half with four goals on four shots. Cormier totaled his six points in the first half. Virginia dominated the faceoff X in the first 30 minutes of play, 15-6, including 13 wins by LaSalla.
The Cavaliers extended their lead in the third and continued to out-dual Richmond on faceoffs. UVA led 21-6 at the end of period No. 3 as the Cavaliers began to mix in different personnel. Dickson posted two goals in the third.
In the fourth, Will Cory, Will Inderlied and Tucker Mullen all scored their first goals of the season. UVA goalie David Roselle came off the bench to relieve Nunes in the fourth and as Roselle finished out the final 9:39 of play in net. He was credited with one save in the final period.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Lars Tiffany on tonight’s performance…
“We know how good Richmond is. They showed us up-close and personal a year ago. What I’m really happy with is the unselfishness. First of all, Petey LaSalla winning faceoffs [going] backwards. Petey always wants to go forward because he wants to score. He’s got six goals in the first three games, but the way the faceoff men of Richmond were countering him, it allowed Petey to go backwards, and then he hit Noah Chizmar or Grayson Sallade, and they were the ones who scored the points. So for Petey to sacrifice that is a major step forward for a guy who loves scoring goals and loves getting his points. But that was just one of the key examples for me of what we saw again tonight. Really unselfish passing, but those other plays where it’s ‘I don’t have to be stubborn; I don’t have to score a goal’ mindset that we have this year.”
WITH THE WIN…
- The Cavaliers are off to a 4-0 start for second consecutive season and third overall under head coach Lars Tiffany
- Virginia extended its lead over the Spiders in the series, 8-1. UVA and Richmond first met in 2014.
- The Cavaliers also extended their home win streak, which began on May 16, 2021 (658 days ago), to 12 consecutive games.
- Virginia improved to 169-43 all-time at Klöckner Stadium and has won 21 of its last 25 games at the historic edifice.
- The Cavaliers have won 74 of out their last 75 games against Commonwealth of Virginia opponents.
- Virginia has scored 17 goals or more in its first three games.
- The last time the Cavaliers finished with at least 50 ground balls in a single game was on April 17, 2021 against Utah, when UVA had 59.
- With three goals and one assist, Thomas McConvey extended his point streak to 56 games. Having registered at least one point in all 56 career games, McConvey’s streak is the longest among any active player in college lacrosse. For his career, McConvey has amassed 135 goals and 53 assists.
- Payton Cormier extended his point streak to 34 games. During the streak, Cormier has recorded 99 goals and 20 assists. Cormier’s point streak entering Saturday’s contest stood at No. 6 in the nation.
- With 125 career goals, Payton Cormier is now tied for 11th on UVA’s all-time goals list with Mark Cockerton and Garrett Billings.
- With three goals and two assists, Patrick McIntosh tallied a career-high five points.
- Midfielder Will Inderlied scored his first career goal with 7:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers travel to No. 15 Johns Hopkins (4-2) on Tuesday (March 7) in a clash for the Doyle Smith Cup. Opening faceoff from Homewood Field is set for 4 p.m. on ESPN+.