Men’s Lacrosse: Duke extends win streak over Virginia with 18-12 victory

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

No. 2 Virginia had its seven-game win streak snapped after falling 18-12 at No. 3 Duke Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium. The win is also the Blue Devils’ 19th consecutive in the regular-season series, dating back to 2005.

Anthony Ghobriel (14-23 FO) and Thomas Colucci (6-11 FO) combined to finish 59 percent at the faceoff X, and the Cavaliers won the battle on the ground, 47-34. However, UVA only managed five saves in net and the Blue Devils, who entered Sunday’s game shooting 34 percent on the season, scored on 43 percent of their shots.

Offensively, UVA (10-2, 1-1 ACC) was led by Payton Cormier, who finished with a team-high three goals, and Connor Shellenberger (1g, 3a), who recorded a team-best four points.

Duke’s starting attack of Josh Zawada (5g, 1a), Brennan O’Neill (4g, 1a) and Dyson Williams (3g) combined for 12 of the Blue Devils’ 18 goals.


After Duke (11-3, 1-2) was whistled for offsides on its first possession, Jack Boyden (1g, 1a) found Griffin Schutz (2g) on a backhanded pass, and Schutz buried his first of two scores on the day.

The Blue Devils quickly settled in and evened the score on a man-up opportunity after George Fulton was sent to the box for a hold. After McCabe Millon (1g, 1a) passed through traffic to Cormier, whose goal tied the game [2-2], Duke embarked on a 5-1 run to close out the quarter.

The Blue Devils led 7-3 at the end of the period after connecting on seven of their first 10 shots. Duke’s seven goals in the opening quarter are the most by a UVA opponent in a single stanza this season.

At the top of the second, Kyle Morris (5 saves) entered the game and relieved UVA starting goaltender Matthew Nunes (10-2). The Cavaliers cut into the Duke lead by the end of the half after outscoring the Blue Devils, 4-3, in the second.

Shellenberger recorded three of his four total points in the second after dishing out a pair of assists and scoring a goal off a faceoff win by Colucci, who also assisted on the goal.

After UVA narrowed its deficit to two goals [9-7], O’Neill buried his fourth goal of the day to conclude first-half scoring, at which point the Blue Devils led, 10-7.

Coming out of the intermission, Duke rattled off three straight scores to gain a 13-7 lead. After being held scoreless for over 15 minutes of game time, the Hoos ripped three straight goals to get back in the game.

Virginia received unassisted scores from Schutz, Boyden and Cormier. Cormier’s goal came with 13 seconds remaining in the third, when he barreled his way to cage against a Duke short-stick defensive midfielder.

The Blue Devils scored the first four goals of the fourth quarter to take a seven-goal lead – the largest by a UVA opponent this season – with 11:40 to play. UVA had three failed clears in the fourth, the first of which led to Duke’s first goal of the quarter just 12 seconds in.

The Blue Devils’ starting faceoff specialist, Jake Naso, who finished 8 for 17 at the faceoff X, netted two fourth-quarter scores to provide a spark.

Virginia LSM Ben Wayer (1g, 8gb) nabbed his sixth goal of the season at the 11:28 mark in the fourth, and McCabe Millon (1g, 1a) recorded his only goal nine seconds later. Naso’s second score came on the ensuing faceoff, seven seconds after Millon’s.


“Give credit to Duke’s shooting. Wow, they were fantastic when they had some time, especially in that first half. Brennan O’Neill and [Josh] Zawada put to ball [perfectly] and found net. They did that really well. We were really excited about how we were winning faceoffs. Granted, some of that had to do with Jake Naso fighting through an injury, but we were getting extra possessions and I’m so grateful for how we battled for ground balls and dominated for much of the game on the ground.”


  • Now with 203 career goals, Payton Cormier (3g) moved to No. 6 on the NCAA Division I career goals list.
  • Ben Wayer finished with a career-high eight ground balls.
  • UVA has finished above 50 percent at the faceoff X in eight of its 12 games this season.
  • With the win, Duke improved to 39-50 in the all-time series and earned its 19th-consecutive win in regular-season meetings against the Cavaliers.
  • The Blue Devils have also won the last 13 meetings at Koskinen Stadium dating back to 2005.
  • Duke’s 18 goals scored are the most by a Virginia opponent in a game this season.
  • The Blue Devils’ seven-goal lead also marked the largest by a UVA opponent this season.


The Cavaliers continue their two-game road stint when they travel to Syracuse, which is ranked No. 9 in the most recent USILA coaches poll, on Saturday. Opening faceoff from the JMA Wireless Dome is set for 2 p.m. on ESPNU.