Men’s Lacrosse: No. 7 Syracuse rallies late to knock off No. 4 Virginia, 18-17

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

Both No. 4 Virginia and No. 7 Syracuse tallied five goals each in the fourth quarter, but the Orange scored the last four to seal an 18-17 comeback victory at JMA Wireless Dome Saturday afternoon.

The Cavaliers (10-3, 1-2 ACC) gained possession twice with under 45 seconds to play, but Syracuse forced a turnover and goaltender Will Mark (15 saves) denied Jack Boyden’s shot with seven seconds left to erase a chance for the Hoos to force overtime.

Connor Shellenberger recorded a game-high nine points with four goals and five assists. His nine points are his career best in an ACC matchup. Payton Cormier (4g, 1a) and McCabe Millon (3g, 2a) also stood out for the Hoos offensively.

Defensively, John Schroter (3gb, 1ct) held his matchup Joey Spallina point-less for the first time of his career. Ben Wayer (1g, 7gb, 2ct) and Cole Kastner (5gb, 2ct) also contributed on the defensive end of the field for the Cavaliers.

After not recording a save in the first quarter, Cavalier netminder Matthew Nunes finished with 15 saves, including eight in the third quarter. Anthony Ghobriel won 15 of his 26 attempts at the faceoff X.

Syracuse’s Owen Hiltz recorded eight points on three goals and five assists and Mark posted 15 saves.


Virginia leaped out to a 4-1 lead within the first 10 minutes of play with two scores from Cormier and one each from Shellenberger and Wayer. Wayer stole an Orange pass out of midair and went coast to coast his seventh goal of the year. By the end of the first, Syracuse had evened the game, 4-4.

The Orange (11-4, 3-1) ripped the first three scores of the second period to cap their 6-0 scoring run and after nearly holding the Hoos scoreless for 15 minutes of game time. An unassisted goal by Griffin Schutz halted the Orange scoring spree and trimmed UVA’s deficit to 8-6.

After the two teams traded goals, Shellenberger ripped back-to-back scores, including a beauty on the run from above the cage, to tie the game, 9-9. Midfielder Ryan Colsey (2g) ringed a shot off the post with 1:54 remaining in the half before the clock ran out and the score remained tied at nine apiece.

Millon’s second strike of the day broke the 9-9 tie in the third not even a minute into the second half, but the Orange nabbed four straight scores to take a three-goal for a second time.

Cuse’s fourth unanswered goal came on a man-up situation after UVA was whistled for unnecessary roughness. Scores from Millon and Joey Terezni made it a 13-12 game heading into the fourth.

On the opening possession of the final period, Shellenberger assisted on Cormier’s fourth rip of the day. A minute later, the Orange regained the lead, but then UVA rattled off four straight goals, two of which were Colsey’s. His second came while UVA was man-up after Ghobriel, who dished Shellenberger for his fourth goal of the day, was on the receiving end of a high and late Orange hit.

Cuse tied the game with 1:44 remaining when Billy Dwan collected a loose-ball rebound and flicked an over-the-shoulder shot that got past Nunes. On the ensuing faceoff, Ghobriel won it clean and fired a shot in transition that sailed wide, and possession was awarded to the Orange.

Fifty seconds later, Sam English scored the game-winning goal. Wayer picked up the game’s final faceoff and UVA called timeout to give its offense a chance to regroup, but coming out of the break the Orange dislodged the ball out of Millon’s stick.

After Nunes picked off a pass amid a Cuse clear, he found Boyden who dodged toward the cage, but his shot was denied by Mark with just seven ticks left on the clock.


“What an incredible setting to witness two teams go up and down the field, [and] play the game the way the game it’s meant to be played. And so, I told my men, ‘I couldn’t be more grateful for them.’ You know, heroic. We have two faceoff men who are battling through injuries going against two very talented faceoff men for Syracuse. Anthony Ghobriel and Thomas Colucci – how they persevered through amazes me. It truly amazes me what they were fighting through today. And boy, what a game of runs.

“Unfortunately, Syracuse had the last one, scoring those last two goals at the end of the game in the last two minutes. But it’s a testament to the thrill of what this game can bring to little boys and girls, to the fans, to the players, as we all respect who really gave us a game, the creator and the Haudenosaunee people. And so, I think we I think we pleased them today.”


  • With the win, Syracuse evened the all-time series, which began in 1938, 21-21, and snapped a three-game losing skid to Virginia.
  • Connor Shellenberger’s (4g, 5a) nine points are career best against an ACC opponent.
  • Goalie Matthew Nunes finished with 15 saves, including eight in the third quarter.
  • Syracuse’s Owen Hiltz’s eight points (3g, 5a) are the most by a UVA opposing player since Duke’s Brennan O’Neil finish with nine last season (March 31, 2023).
  • At halftime, Syracuse held a jersey-retirement ceremony for former standout Paul Gait.


The Cavaliers wrap up the regular season by hosting No. 1 Notre Dame on Saturday in a rematch of the 2023 NCAA semifinals, when the Hoos fell in overtime. Opening faceoff from Klöckner Stadium is set for 2 p.m. on ESPNU.