Men’s Lacrosse: Second-ranked Cavaliers cruise past UNC in ACC opener, 14-6

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

In front of season-high 5,136 spectators, No. 2 Virginia outscored North Carolina, 6-1, in the first quarter on the way to a 14-6 victory in its ACC opener at Klöckner Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The win is UVA’s seventh consecutive this season and sixth straight in the series against the Tar Heels dating back to 2021.

The Virginia defense was led by Cole Kastner (2gb, 3ct), Chase Yager (1gb, 4ct) and Noah Chizmar (2g, 4gb, 2ct). Kastner held his matchup – attackman Owen Duffy, the No. 1 prospect in the 2023 signing class – to one goal and two assists. The Cavalier defense forced six failed UNC clears, while remaining perfect going the other way. Goalie Matthew Nunes improved to 10-1 on the year after surrendering only five goals in 55 minutes of play. He finished with 11 saves.

Offensively, the Hoos were received goals from 10 different players. Connor Shellenberger (2g, 3a) led the charge with five points.


Chizmar scored 11 second into the game to set the tone early. Carolina knotted the score [1-1] less than a minute later, but that was as close as the Heels would get the rest of the way. UVA rattled off five straight scores from five different Cavaliers to close out the first quarter.

Less than five minutes in, Payton Cormier (1g) notched his 200th career goal, which elevated him into sole possession of seventh place on the NCAA Division I career goals list. The Cavaliers (10-1, 1-0 ACC) held UNC’s man-up unit scoreless on two opportunities in the opening period.

More than 15 minutes of game time passed before the Tar Heels found the back of the net again. Chizmar ripped his second goal and Shellenberger recorded back-to-back scores to put the Hoos up 9-2 midway through the second. After the Heels claimed two straight goals, Shellenberger found Jack Boyden (2g, 1a) on the crease with five seconds remaining in the half, at which point UVA led, 10-4.

Carolina (6-5, 0-1) scored less than one minute into the second half, but McCabe Millon’s (2g, 2a) first goal of the day ignited a 4-0 Cavalier run that bled into the fourth. All four goals were unassisted.

Netminder Kyle Morris relieved Nunes with five minutes left to play. The Tar Heels scored the game’s final goal at the 2:25 mark, but to no avail.


  • Virginia is off to a 10-1 start for the first time since 2012, also a first under current UVA head coach Lars Tiffany.
  • The Cavaliers improved to 59-32 in the all-time series against North Carolina, which began in 1938.
  • UVA also extended its win streak to six consecutive games in the series dating back to 2021 and has won nine of the last 10 meetings.
  • Tiffany improved to 9-3 all-time as head coach against the Tar Heels.


  • Virginia’s eight-goal victory tied for the largest in the series since 2016, and tied for UVA’s largest margin of victory over UNC since 2006.
  • The Cavaliers’ average margin of victory over UNC in the last four meetings is 6.5 goals.
  • Payton Cormier tallied his 200th career goal, which elevated him into sole possession of No. 7 on the NCAA Division I career goals list.
  • Virginia honored members of its 1999 national championship team at halftime to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the program’s second NCAA title and fourth overall.
  • The Cavaliers also donned special 1999-inspired throwback uniforms to pay homage to the 1999 squad.
  • A season-high 5,136 spectators were in attendance for Saturday’s contest, the most at Klöckner Stadium since the Cavaliers hosted Maryland in 2023.
  • The attendance figure is currently good for No. 3 in a single game nationally this season.


The Cavaliers travel to Duke, which is ranked No. 3 in this week’s USILA coaches poll, next Sunday for a possible top-3 showdown. Opening faceoff from Koskinen Stadium is set for 2 p.m. on ACC Network.