Men’s Lacrosse: Cormier becomes D-I goals leader as Hoos get past Hawks, 17-11, in NCAA opener

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Payton Cormier scored a career-high eight goals to shatter several records, including the NCAA Division I all-time goals record, and guide Virginia to a 17-11 victory over Saint Joseph’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Klöckner Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Cormier’s final goal of the day marked the 222nd of his career, which broke former Penn State standout Mac O’Keefe’s record of 221.

In addition to finishing Saturday’s contest as the DI all-time leading goal scorer, Cormier also shattered UVA’s single-season goals record, set by Cormier’s former teammate Xander Dickson in 2023. Cormier now stands at 62 goals on the season and can add to his records as the Hoos are guaranteed at least one more game.

Additionally, his eight scores set the single-game record by a UVA player in an NCAA Tournament contest. In last year’s NCAA first round win over Richmond, Cormier had seven goals, which tied for the then-UVA record in a tournament game.

With the win, Virginia (11-5) snapped its four-game losing skid, the program’s first since 2013. The Hawks (12-4), who won the Atlantic 10 championship, suffered their first loss since the month of February after entering Saturday’s contest on a 12-game win streak, which led the nation.

Cavalier LSM Ben Wayer tied his career-high of eight ground balls and added two assists. Anthony Ghobriel (12-23) and Thomas Colucci (5-8) helped UVA finish 17 for 31 at the faceoff X. Colucci collected six balls off the ground, one shy from tying his season high.


After St. Joe’s scored the first goal of the game, the Cavaliers notched three consecutive strikes, including Cormier’s first on a UVA man-up. The Hawks responded with back-to-back goals to tie the game, 3-3, but that was close as they would get the rest of the way. The Hoos claimed three of the last four goals of the first to lead it 6-4 entering the second. UVA midfielder Jack Boyden (1g, 2a) assisted on both of Cormier’s goals in the first. SJU’s 10-man ride gave UVA fits throughout the game, but especially in the first when the Cavaliers failed four of their seven clear attempts.

Virginia quickly doubled up the Hawks [10-5] after tallying four straight goals in the first half of the second period, two of which were Cormier’s. Connor Shellenberger (2g, 4a) assisted on three of UVA’s five goals in the second period despite five SJU saves. After the Hawks’ sixth goal of the day broke up the UVA run, Cormier tacked on his fifth by the close of the first half. Virginia won the ground ball battle in the second [11-5] and was 6 for 6 on its clear attempts.

Cormier claimed back-to-back goals within the first two minutes of the second half to give the Hoos a seven-goal cushion [13-6]. His Division I record-setting goal was fittingly assisted by Shellenberger on yet another man-up chance (UVA’s man-up finished 3 for 3) with 7:56 left in the third, which prompted a standing ovation from the UVA faithful. Shellenberger’s second goal of the afternoon delivered the Cavaliers’ largest lead of the game, 16-8, with 2:03 to play in the third.

SJU outscored Virginia 3-1 in the fourth, but it was not enough to overcome its eight-goal deficit. Wayer’s second assist came in transition on a give-and-go with Noah Chizmar (1g), who buried his fifth goal of the season with 10:09 remaining to put the exclamation mark on the Cavaliers’ 12th victory in the tournament since 2019.


  • The Cavaliers snapped their four-game losing skid, the program’s first since 2013.
  • Virginia tallied its fifth consecutive season with a victory in the NCAA Tournament.
  • UVA earned the program’s 60th all-time win in the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Hoos recorded their 12th victory out of their last 14 NCAA Tournament games.
  • UVA snapped St. Joe’s 12-game winning streak, which was the longest among all Division I programs entering Saturday’s contest.


  • With eight goals on the day, Payton Cormier set the single-game record for goals scored by a UVA player in an NCAA Tournament game. He held a share of the previous record (7).
  • Cormier’s eight goals also tied the program’s overall single-game goals record.
  • Cormier’s seventh goal of the afternoon shattered UVA’s single-season goals record (61), which was set by Xander Dickson in 2023.
  • Cormier’s eighth goal of the day set the NCAA Division I all-time goals record. He shattered Mac O’Keefe’s record of 221 goals, which O’Keefe set in 2021.
  • With 60 points in 10 career NCAA Tournament games, Connor Shellenberger (2g, 4a) passed Steele Stanwick on UVA’s all-time NCAA Tournament points list.
  • UVA’s man-up unit finished 3 for 3.
  • The Cavaliers outshot SJU, 48-29.


The Cavaliers take on the winner of No. 3 seed Johns Hopkins (10-4) and Lehigh (9-6) on Sunday (May 19) at Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Blue Jays and Mountain Hawks go head-to-head in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday at noon. The NCAA is expected to announce next weekend’s quarterfinals start times Sunday night.