After capturing their sixth program title, the Virginia Men’s Lacrosse team placed six players on the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse All-Tournament Team. The Hoos used dominating defense and sharp offense to take down the reigning champion Yale Bulldogs, 13-9.
Third year goalkeeper Alex Rode earned the Most Outstanding Player title after a weekend that saw him notch 19 saves in the semis against Duke — including two in the first overtime period — and 13 against Yale’s high flying offense. With 32 saves and 20 goals against, Rode finished the long weekend with save percentage of 62%. He’s the first goalie to earn MOP in the NCAA tournament since Notre Dame’s Scott Rodgers in 2010, and joins Tillman Johnson (2003) as Virginia goalies to earn the title.
Midfielders Ryan Conrad and Dox Aitken joined Rode on the squad. Conrad turned things on in the latter part of the season, scoring 16 of his season’s 31 goals in the final six games of the season (ACC and NCAA tournaments). He picked up 12 ground balls in the semifinals and finals combined, including the pivotal double overtime face off that led to Ian Laviano’s game winning goal. Aitken had five goals and one assist over championship weekend, and his 52 points on the season set a new record for points by a midfielder at Virginia (breaking his own record of 51).
Two second year attackmen — Laviano and Matt Moore — earned spots on the team thanks to a combined 11 goals and three assists over the weekend. Laviano dropped four goals on the Blue Devils on Saturday, including the game-tying and double overtime game-winning goals. He iced the game with an open net score with 1:06 left against Yale, then gave the fans an iconic moment in celebration:
Ian Laviano = SUPERMAN— ACC Network (@accnetwork) May 27, 2019
THAT'S how you finish off a national championship @UVAMensLax. pic.twitter.com/BOVA48W0VX
Moore has been a revelation all season, breaking countless records as he led the Hoos to the title. He is the first Virginia player to finish a season with at least 40 points and 40 assists, and his 89 total points (46 goals, 43 assists) sets a new program record for points in a single season. Even more impressive? Moore moved to attack in November after injuries left the unit a little depleted.
Finally, first year Cade Saustad joined the fun as the lone defender recognized. Saustad was outstanding in the title game, making life miserable for the Elis and vacuuming up six ground balls. He was seemingly everywhere, helping a defense that caused 15 turnovers.
Yale had two players make the team, and Duke and Penn State each had one player recognized.
2019 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
Alex Rode (G) – Virginia (MOP)
Matt Brandau (A) – Yale
Dox Aitken (M) – Virginia
TD Irelan (FO) – Yale
Grant Ament (A) – Penn State
Ryan Conrad (M) – Virginia
Matt Moore (A) – Virginia
Ian Laviano (A) - Virginia
Cade Saustad (D) – Virginia
Brad Smith (M) - Duke