Virginia set to face top-seeded, undefeated Terps in NCAA Quarterfinals

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

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(© Augustas Cetkauskas – stock.adobe.com)

Virginia and No. 1 seed Maryland meet for the second time this season in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday. Opening faceoff is set for 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

The 15-0 Terrapins defeated UVA 23-12 at Audi Field (Washington, D.C.) on March 19 earlier this season. The two teams also squared off in last year’s national championship, which the Cavaliers won in thrilling fashion at Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.) by a final score 17-16.

NUMBERS TO KNOW 

3 — Virginia (12-3) is seeking to become just the third NCAA men’s lacrosse program to win three consecutive national titles in 2022, which would put itself in a category with Princeton (1996-98) and Johns Hopkins (1978-80).

9 — Having claimed national championships in consecutive opportunities (2019 & ’21), Virginia has won its last nine NCAA Tournament contests and out-scored its opponents 131-94, a 4.11 average margin of victory.

32 — In just five career NCAA Tournament games, Connor Shellenberger has registered 32 points (6.40/gm). The 2021 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player tied his career high with eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) in UVA’s 17-10 first round win at Brown last weekend.

THE SERIES VS. MARYLAND 

  • Sunday’s matchup marks the 95th all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and Maryland.
  • The Terrapins lead the all-time series 48-46, but UVA leads the series in NCAA Tournament contests, 5-3.
  • Virginia lost its first three NCAA Tournament games against the Terrapins in 1978, 1983 and 1997, but the Cavaliers have won their last five in such contests: 2003, 2008 (OT), 2011, 2019 (OT) and 2021.
  • The two teams have met five times in the quarterfinals round, including the first three matchups and in 2008 and 2019, both of which UVA won in overtime.

VIRGINIA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT 

  • This is Virginia’s 41st all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and 91st NCAA Tournament game.
  • Only Johns Hopkins (47) and the Terrapins (44) have been to the tournament more times than UVA.
  • UVA is 57-33 (.633) all-time in NCAA Tournament games and has won its last nine, dating back to 2019.
  • Only Johns Hopkins (71), Maryland (67) and Syracuse (65) have more NCAA Tournament wins than Virginia.

LAST TIME OUT 

  • After being tied 7-7 at halftime, Virginia utilized an 8-0 second-half run to knock of No. 8 seed Brown in Providence, R.I.
  • Connor Shellenberger (4g, 4a) tied his career high of eight points. Payton Cormier tallied a game-high five goals. Matthew Nunes made 16 saves and Petey LaSalla went 19-for-30 (.633) at the faceoff-X to lead the Cavaliers to their ninth straight NCAA Tournament victory, dating back to 2019.
  • The game saw four lead changes, including three in the first half before UVA pulled away in the second half.
  • With the win Virginia improved to 9-1 in NCAA Tournament contests under head coach Lars Tiffany.

THIRD TIME UNSEEDED 

  • For just the third time out of Virginia’s 41 NCAA Tournament appearances, Virginia is unseeded in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
  • The Cavaliers were unseeded in 1988 and ultimately fell in the semifinals to Cornell in Syracuse, N.Y.
  • The last time Virginia was unseeded was in 2018 when it fell 14-12 to Loyola in Baltimore, Md.

VIRGINIA IS UNDEFEATED WHEN… 

  • The Cavaliers are 12-0 when leading after three quarters. UVA has combined to out-score its opponents 196-123 in the first three periods this season, which is an average lead of 4.9 goals entering the fourth period.
  • The Cavaliers are 10-0 this season when leading at halftime and 1-0 when tied at the half.
  • Virginia is 12-0 when dishing out more assists than its opponent. In the Cavaliers’ 12 wins this season, UVA has 118 assists compared to its opponents’ 55.

MATT MOORE’S EXPERIENCE IN THE TOURNAMENT 

  • Matt Moore enters this year’s NCAA Tournament with 10 career postseason appearances, all of which he started in.
  • Moore leads all active Cavaliers with 22 goals and 19 assists in NCAA Tournament games for his career.
  • He became UVA’s all-time point leader after posting eight points in UVA’s 2022 regular-season finale, a 20-10 victory over Lafayette (April 28).

CONNOR SHELLENBERGER AKA MR. MAY 

  • Connor Shellenberger, the 2021 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, has been outstanding in the month of May.
  • In five career NCAA Tournament games, Shellenberger has 18 goals and 14 assists, an average of 6.40 points/game.

SHELLENBERGER NAMED TEWAARATON AWARD FINALIST 

  • On May 12, Connor Shellenberger was named one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists.
  • Shellenberger’s recognition as a finalist marks the 11th instance in program history.
  • Other UVA finalists include Steele Stanwick (2011-12), Ken Clausen (2010), Danny Glading (2009), Ben Rubeor (2007-08), Kyle Dixon (2006), Matt Ward (2006), Chris Rotelli (2003) and Conor Gill (2002).
  • Stanwick (2011), Ward (2006) and Rotelli (2003) were recipients of the award.
  • Virginia and Syracuse are the only schools in the nation to have three recipients of the award. Only Duke (13) and Syracuse (12) have had more finalists than UVA (11).

HOOS IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS 

  • Virginia is currently second in the nation in ground balls (38.67/gm), third in points (25.07/gm) and scoring offense (15/94/gm), fourth in assists (9.13/gm) and shot percentage (.335), fifth in man-up offense (.519) and win percentage (.800), sixth in opponent clear percentage (.780), 10th in turnovers (14.80/gm), 12th in faceoff win percentage (.571), 13th in clearing percentage (.886), 14th in man-down defense (.703) and 17th in caused turnovers (9.07/gm).
  • Connor Shellenberger is currently fourth in the nation in assists (2.93/gm) and ninth in points (5.07/gm). Cole Kastner is sixth nationally in caused turnovers (2.00/gm). Petey LaSalla is fourth in faceoff win percentage (.617) and 18th in ground balls (7.20/gm). Payton Cormier is ninth in goals (3.20/gm). Matt Moore is 19th in assists and Matthew Nunes is 24th in goals-against (11.03/gm).

VIRGINIA IS A GROUND BALL MACHINE 

  • The Cavaliers are currently second in the nation in ground balls (38.67/gm).
  • In 2021, Virginia led the nation with 41.94 ground balls per game.
  • Entering 2022, UVA has led the nation in ground balls eight of the last 13 years, including the last five seasons under Lars Tiffany.
  • UVA is the only school in the nation to finish in the top-5 nationally in ground balls per game 12 times over the last 13 seasons.
  • The only school in 2016 to finish with more ground balls per game was UVA head coach Lars Tiffany’s 2016 Brown team.
  • Lars-Tiffany-coached teams have led the nation in ground balls in seven straight seasons, including the 2015 and 2016 seasons at Brown.

2022 ACC CHAMPIONS 

  • With its win at Syracuse (April 23), Virginia now has 19 ACC championships, including two (2019 & 2022) under Lars Tiffany.
  • The Cavaliers won 11 titles (1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986) prior the ACC establishing a tournament from 1989-2019 to determine the champion.
  • Virginia has won seven ACC Tournament championships: 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2019.
  • In the last ACC Tournament, which was held in 2019, UVA defeated Notre Dame 10-4 in the finals at Klöckner Stadium.
  • From 1989-2019, Virginia won 14 regular-season titles (1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2019), more than any other ACC School.

ON THE HORIZON 

  • The winner of Sunday’s game between UVA and the Terrapins will face fifth-seeded Princeton in the semifinals.
  • The Tigers defeated No. 4 Yale, 14-10, in Hempstead, N.Y. on Saturday.
  • Championship Weekend returns to Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The semifinals are set for Saturday, May 28 on ESPNU, while the finals are slated for Monday, May 30 at 1 p.m. on ESPN.

 

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