The No. 5 Virginia men’s lacrosse team was without Matt Moore and got limited run from Dox Aitken, but the Cavaliers cruised to a 20-11 shellacking of the Towson Tigers. Redshirt freshman Connor Shellenberger shone in his debut, scoring four goals and dishing three assists. Merrimack transfer Charlie Bertrand got almost anything he wanted, finishing with four goals and two assists.
Second year Peyton Cormier was electric, pouring on five first-half goals en route to six total. Petey LaSalla went an impressive 19-for-23 (83%) at the face off X, and picked up 14 ground balls to go with a goal.
Virginia took 50 shots in the win, converting 40% for goals. The Hoos won 24-of-34 face offs, and grabbed 56 ground balls (to Towson’s 35). Some rust showed as Virginia turned the ball over 20 times, but they also caused 14 turnovers. Jared Conners and Kyle Kology each had three caused turnovers in the game.
Shellenberger’s first career goal as a Cavalier got the scoring going, but the Tigers scored two straight to take a 2-1 lead. The Hoos would tie things up with a score from Cormier, but again Towson would rattle off a pair of goals in a row. Cormier’s second cut the deficit to one, and Griffin Harris knotted things up yet again off of a feed from Shellenberger.
Virginia really opened the game up in the second quarter as the Hoos scored seven goals on 10 shots. The Cavaliers scored the first five goals of the second stanza, and seven straight when going back to the first quarter. Cormier had four in that stretch, and Merrimack College transfer Charlie Bertrand got his first goal as a Hoo with 12:15 left in the first half.
The Cavaliers forced 10 turnovers in the second quarter which helped Virginia control possession.
Virginia went into the halftime break up 11-5, led by Cormier’s five goals. The Cavaliers had an advantage in faceoffs (10-7), turnovers (9-13), and shots (26-18) in the first half, but trailed Towson in ground balls (24-23). In cage, Rode had six saves on 18 shots faced.
Petey LaSalla opened the second half scoring, pushing Virginia’s lead to seven. It was more of the same from the Cavaliers, as the offense relentlessly poured on seven goals in the third quarter. The Hoos took the foot off the gas in the fourth, scoring just two goals.
Next up, Virginia heads to Loyola on February 20 for a 5pm game.