Men’s Lacrosse: Irish defeat Hoos in ACC semis, 18-9

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

No. 1 seed Notre Dame scored the first four goals of the game and never looked back as the Fighting Irish cruised to an 18-9 victory over No. 4 seed Virginia in the ACC Tournament semifinals at American Legion Memorial Stadium Friday evening in Charlotte.

Payton Cormier (3g, 1a) and Connor Shellenberger (2a) both finished Friday’s contest as the ACC’s all-time career leaders in goals and assists, respectively. Now with 214 career goals, Cormier shattered Justin Guterding’s ACC record of 212 goals. Shellenberger, who now has 185 career assists, broke Matt Danowski’s record of 183 assists, which stood since 2008.

Notre Dame goalie Liam Entenmann posted a season-high 18 saves and only allowed six goals in 54:49 of action. Irish midfielder Devon McLane notched a game-high four goals, while Chris Kavanagh (1g, 3a), Pat Kavanagh (1g, 3a) and Jordan Faison (1g, 3a) also totaled four points each.


The Fighting Irish’s four consecutive goals to start the game came with the help of winning the first five faceoffs. Cormier got on the board first for the Hoos after scoring his 53rd goal of the season on an unassisted strike. The Cavaliers (10-5) only picked up four ground balls in contrast to UND’s nine in the opening period. The Irish also tallied 15 shots in the first, while UVA only managed six.

After a blocked Virginia shot, Jack Boyden collected the rebound and Cormier found Joey Terenzi on the wing, who buried his seventh goal of the year to give UVA some life. However, the Fighting Irish scored four of the next five goals, including their second man-up strike, to lead it 10-3 at the half.

Cormier’s second rip of the afternoon made him the ACC’s all-time goals record holder. After the Cormier goal, the Irish (11-1) closed out the third by rattling off four unanswered to take a 14-4 lead heading into the fourth. Goaltender Kyle Morris checked into the game with 2:33 left in the third to relieve starter Matthew Nunes, who finished with six saves and 13 goals allowed in 42:27 of action.

Notre Dame grasped its largest lead of the game [17-5] with 9:42 remaining. Shellenberger set the record when he found Cormier, who buried his third goal of the day a minute later. The Cavaliers claimed four of the game’s final five goals, but to no avail. Notre Dame finished 4 for 5 on its man-up chances, while UVA was 1 for 1.

“What are we going to do different? This is four losses in a row. This is not what Virginia lacrosse is all about … I feel like I need to apologize to the faithful of Virginia lacrosse. They put so much heart and emotion and following us and believing in us. And this type of effort today is unacceptable. It’s completely unacceptable. Now granted, [Liam] Entenmann wouldn’t let us score, but on the defensive end we just weren’t able to take away what they were trying to do.”

“I just want to keep playing, we just want to keep playing. If the RPI says we’re [at] home and the committee wants to make us [play] at home, we’d be very grateful to play in front of our faithful. We have the best fans in the nation and that’s why I want to apologize to our fans. This is not what they should expect from Virginia lacrosse.”


  • With his first assist of the day Connor Shellenberger became the ACC’s all-time assists leader. Shellenberger passed Matt Danowski, who concluded his career at Duke with 183 career assists.
  • After his two-assist performance in Friday’s semifinal, Shellenberger now has 185 career assists.
  • With his second goal of the afternoon, Payton Cormier set the ACC’s all-time goals record. Cormier shattered the previous record of 212 goals, which was set by Duke’s Justin Guterding in 2018.
  • After scoring three goals in Friday’s contest, Cormier now has 214 career goals.
  • With the loss, Notre Dame evened the all-time series, 11-11, which began in 1993.
  • The Fighting Irish also extended their win streak in the series to three consecutive games and avenged their 2019 ACC Tournament championship game loss to the Hoos.
  • Notre Dame recorded its ninth straight win of the season, good for the third longest streak active streak in Division I.


The Cavaliers will learn their postseason fate during the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse selection show, which is slated for Sunday at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU.