CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia men’s lacrosse team captains Cole Kastner and Connor Shellenberger have been named one of 25 Tewaaraton Award finalists, the Tewaaraton Foundation announced Thursday (April 18).

The Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. The selection committees are composed of premier college coaches and are appointed annually by the Tewaaraton Foundation.

Upon the conclusion of the regular season, five finalists from the group of 25 nominees will be announced on May 9.

Virginia is one of six schools nationally – four of which are also ACC members – to have at least two nominees.

A Tewaaraton Award nominee in 2022, Kastner is one of just four defensemen on this year’s list of nominees. Kastner and the UVA defense lead the nation in caused turnovers (11.58) and ground balls (39.83) per game, and are second in clearing percentage (.930). A native of Palo Alto, California, Kastner leads all ACC players in caused turnovers per game (1.75). In addition to consistently defending UVA opponents’ top attackman, Kastner is the linchpin of a Cavalier riding unit that is currently second in the ACC in opponent clear percentage (.821).

Shellenberger is a two-time Tewaaraton Award top-5 finalist (2022-23). He is currently seventh in the nation in assists per game (3.00) and one of three players nationwide with at least 21 goals and 36 assists this season. Shellenberger also leads the fourth-ranked Cavaliers in points per game (4.75), good for third in the ACC. He currently leads all active Division I players in career assists (176) and is second in points (296). Earlier this season, the Charlottesville native became UVA’s program record holder in both career assists and points. In Virginia’s 19-15 win at Towson (March 9) earlier this year, Shellenberger tied his career high of 10 points for the fourth time in the previous two seasons.

“The Tewaaraton Nominees are a truly exceptional group of student-athletes,” said Andy Phillips, President of the Tewaaraton Foundation. “Their outstanding play has created so many memorable moments and exciting games in 2024, and we fully expect to see more of the same as we head toward the postseason.”

2024 Men’s Tewaaraton Nominees
Matt Brandau, Yale – Sr., Attack
Kenny Brower, Duke – Grad. Student, Defense
Graham Bundy Jr., Georgetown – Grad. Student, Midfield
Emmet Carroll, Penn – Sr., Goalie
Will Coletti, Army West Point – Jr., Face-Off
Liam Entenmann, Notre Dame – Grad. Student, Goalie
Jack Fracyon, Penn State – Jr., GoalieChayse Ierlan, Johns Hopkins – Grad. Student, Goalie
Cole Kastner, Virginia – Sr., Defense
Pat Kavanagh, Notre Dame – Grad. Student, Attack
Sam King, Harvard – Jr., Attack
CJ Kirst, Cornell – Sr., Attack
Shane Knobloch, Rutgers – Sr., Midfield
Coulter Mackesy, Princeton – Jr., Attack
TJ Malone, Penn State  – Grad. Student, Attack
Will Mark, Syracuse – Grad. Student, Goalie
Brennan O’Neill, Duke – Sr., Attack
Jake Piseno, UAlbany – Grad. Student, Defense
Connor Shellenberger, Virginia – Grad. Student, Attack
Joey Spallina, Syracuse – Soph., Attack
Alec Stathakis, Denver – Grad. Student, Face-Off
Luke Wierman, Maryland – Grad. Student, Face-Off
Dalton Young, Richmond – Grad. Student, Attack
Ajax Zappitello, Maryland – Sr., Defense
Josh Zawada, Duke – Grad. Student, Attack