Highlights: #2 Virginia 13, #16 Harvard 10

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 2 Virginia (9-1) trailed by as many as five goals in the third quarter but netted the final seven scores of the game to seal a 13-10 comeback victory over No. 16 Harvard (6-3) Saturday afternoon (March 30) in windy conditions and in front of a sold-out Jordan Field crowd. UVA goalie Matthew Nunes (9-1) finished with a game-high 16 saves, including eight in the third period, and scored the game-winning goal after going end-to-end and burying his first career score with less than five minutes to play.

After a sluggish start at the faceoff X, the Cavaliers dominated the faceoff game in the fourth, winning eight of the quarter’s nine total draws. Thomas Colucci (10-17) shined for the Hoos and Matthew DeSouza (4-9) finished just one win below 50 percent. DeSouza also chipped in an assist.

Offensively, Virginia was led by Payton Cormier, who recorded a game-high four goals and dished out one assist, and Griffin Schutz (2g, 2a). On the defensive end, Cole Kastner led the way with four caused turnovers, and Ben Wayer (1g) and Noah Chizmar tallied five ground balls each.

Matthew Nunes recaps the Cavaliers' 13-10 win over Harvard

Cormier kicked off the scoring on an assist from Connor Shellenberger (2a) less than one minute in. The Crimson evened the score on a man-up opportunity after Schoter was sent off for a for a slash. Less than a minute later, Schutz found Jack Boyden (2g) on the doorstep, who made a tough catch in traffic before notching his 15th goal of the season. Nunes recorded four saves in the opening period.

Harvard fired off four straight goals to start the second to regain the lead, 5-2. The Cavaliers’ only goal of the period came with 4:16 remaining in the first half when Schutz dodged from above the cage and buried his first score of the day. The Crimson tacked on one more goal with 70 seconds remaining in the opening half. For the first time this season, UVA trailed [6-3] at halftime.

Coming out of the intermission, the Crimson scored back-to-back goals to grasp their largest lead of the contest [8-3]. Scores from LSM Tommy McNeal (assisted by DeSouza), Boyden and Cormier trimmed Harvard’s lead to 8-6. However, the Crimson struck with under two minutes to go in the third to lead it 9-6 heading into the fourth.

A little over one minute into the fourth, the Crimson found the back of the net to extend their lead to 10-6, but it was the last time they would score the rest of the way. UVA’s next seven goals came from six different Cavaliers. Schutz’s second rip of the day tied the score 10-10 with 7:56 remaining. Three minutes later, Nunes carried the ball the length of the field and fired a shot that bounced past the Harvard keeper to give UVA its first lead since the 9:58 mark of the first quarter. Cormier and Wayer added two more scores in the final 2:37 of play. On the same sequence of the Wayer goal, the Crimson were charged with a 1:00-slashing penalty. The Cavaliers won the ensuing faceoff, which significantly hindered Harvard’s ability to regain possession while shorthanded for essentially the final minute of play.


  • Virginia is off to a 9-1 start for the first time since 2012, also a first under current UVA head coach Lars Tiffany.
  • The Cavaliers improved to 5-0 in the all-time series against Harvard and claimed the inaugural meeting in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Tiffany improved to 8-6 all-time as head coach against the Crimson.


  • Virginia scored the final seven goals of the game.
  • The Cavaliers trailed by as many as five goals [8-3] with 10:14 remaining in the third.
  • UVA won eight of the nine total faceoffs in the fourth quarter.
  • With four goals in Saturday’s win, Payton Cormier is now tied for fifth on the NCAA Division I career goals list. Cormier now has 199 goals in 65 career games.
  • With two assists, Connor Shellenberger is only 14 assists away from the ACC’s career assists record set by Duke’s Matt Danowski (183) in 2008.
  • Goalie Matthew Nunes recorded his first career goal – also the game-winning goal – to put UVA up [11-10] for good at the 4:59 mark of the fourth quarter.
  • Nunes finished with 16 saves, including eight in the third period. He now has nine career games with at least 15 saves.
  • LSM Ben Wayer has registered at least one point in UVA’s last six games, a span in which he has four goals and two assists.
  • Harvard recorded an attendance figure of 3,295 spectators, the most ever for a lacrosse game held at Jordan Field.

The Cavaliers open ACC play on Saturday (April 6) when they host North Carolina (6-4). Opening faceoff from Klöckner Stadium is set for noon on ESPNU.

Virginia will honor its 1999 national championship team to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the program’s second NCAA title.

1999 national championship team