Men’s Lacrosse: Top-ranked Irish hang on to defeat No. 6 UVA, 11-9, on Senior Day

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: UVA Athletics

No. 1 Notre Dame claimed the last three goals of the game and held UVA scoreless for the final 12:51 to earn an 11-9 win over No. 6 Virginia at Klöckner Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish (10-1, 4-0 ACC) dominated the ground ball battle, 5026, and UVA uncharacteristically committed 27 turnovers, eight of which were on the clear.

Payton Cormier scored a game-high four goals. Connor Shellenberger recorded one goal and two assists, but had six turnovers. Now with 183 career assists, Shellenberger tied Matt Danowski’s ACC career assists record. Defensively, Cole Kastner (4ct, 1gb) shined for the Hoos, holding All-American Pat Kavanagh to two goals and two assists along with five turnovers. Anthony Ghobriel (10-17 FO) and Thomas Colucci (3-6 FO) combined to finished above 50 percent at the faceoff X.

As the No. 4 seed, the Hoos (10-4, 1-3) take on top-seeded Notre Dame in a rematch of today’s contest in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Friday (May 3). Opening faceoff from American Legion Memorial Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.) is set for 5 p.m. on ACC Network (see bracket below).

Virginia recorded a season-high attendance figure of 6,497 spectators at Saturday’s contest, which marked the program’s highest-attended game since 2013 and seventh best among all Division-I games held this season.


Both teams traded the first three goals of the game with Notre Dame striking first. McCabe Millon took his first shift out of the box and drew a short-stick defender, who Millon dodged and fired a shot on the run that got past Irish goaltender Liam Entenmann (11 saves). Both teams were knotted 3-3 at the end of the first.

The Cavaliers grasped their first lead of the game on a rip from Cormier, who missed his four shots. UVA was flagged for interference, which led to a man-up equalizer [4-4] for the Irish. The Hoos regained the lead once again with back-to-back scores from Jack Boyden (1g) and Cormier. Shellenberger assisted on Boyden’s 16th goal of the season, which he caught in traffic and buried with a signature backhanded shot. Despite being outmaneuvered on the ground, 25-13, UVA led 6-4 at the half. UVA goaltender Matthew Nunes (10 saves) turned away six of UND’s 11 total shots in the second quarter.

Sixteen seconds in the second half, Cormier notched his 38th career hat trick, which delivered the Hoos’ largest lead of the afternoon [7-4] after Ghobriel won the second-half opening faceoff. Nine UVA turnovers in the third contributed to four consecutive goals by the Irish, one of which was man-up. Notre Dame led 8-7 when Cormier’s fourth goal of the day halted the Irish run and tied the score, 8-8, heading into the fourth.

Shellenberger tied the ACC assists record with 12:52 to go in the fourth when he found Ryan Colsey (1g), who buried a stepdown shot from the top of the box. After Colsey’s 16th goal of the season, the Hoos were held scoreless the rest of the way. Notre Dame starting midfielder Jordan Faison scored his only goal of the day after dodging down the alley and firing a shot that bounced past Nunes with 9:12 remaining. Faison’s goal proved to be the game winner. The Fighting Irish scored the game’s final goal with 3:41 to play and two UVA turnovers with under 75 seconds remaining proved to be too much for the Hoos to overcome before time expired. Virginia went 0 for 5 at the faceoff X and Notre Dame collected 16 ground balls – in contrast to UVA’s three – in the fourth quarter.


“What a turnout. How fortunate we are that that many people care about Virginia lacrosse. And that’s what makes this loss hurt so bad. To see us not be able to take care of the ball – we don’t talk about turnovers with our men, almost ever. This is one of those ‘almosts’ though. Give Notre Dame credit. Each team caused 12 turnovers. That gives us 15 unforced errors. As we all saw in the fourth quarter, [we’re] just trying to get the ball back, trying to get something going and [we] just [threw] the ball away.

“I told the [team], ‘I have confidence in you. You should have confidence you. We have to have this confidence. Yes, we’ve lost a couple games but don’t let that sneak in. Don’t let that steal the belief that we have in each other.’ And unfortunately, something happened during that fourth quarter where we just gave the ball away, and that’s what’s frustrating.”


  • Virginia recorded a season-high attendance figure of 6,497 spectators, which marked the program’s highest-attended game since the UVA welcomed 6,787 spectators on April 6, 2013, when the Cavaliers hosted North Carolina.
  • It was also the seventh-most attended game nationally so far this season.
  • With two assists, Connor Shellenberger (183a) tied Matt Danowski’s ACC career assists record.
  • Payton Cormier recorded a game-high four goals.
  • With 211 career goals, Cormier is now two goals away from shattering Justin Guterding’s ACC career goals record (212).
  • Prior to the start of Saturday’s game, Virginia honored five fourth-years in Gable Braun, Cole Kastner, Patrick McIntosh, Mike Prestipino and Jack Walshe, and four graduate transfers in Jack Boyden, Thomas Colucci, Matthew DeSouza and Chase Yager for Senior Day.
  • In keeping with tradition, UVA’s starting lineup consisted entirely of fourth and fifth years, including Jack Walshe who made his first career start.