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Virginia men’s lacrosse players on the verge of breaking program records

Xander Dickson, Payton Cormier, and Connor Shellenberger on the precipice of breaking program records.

Virginia Athletics

The third ranked Virginia Cavaliers men’s lacrosse team (9-3) have just one game left on the regular season schedule with the #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1) coming to Charlottesville for a Sunday afternoon contest this weekend. With twelve games in the books, a number of Wahoos are compiling historic seasons and careers.

In Tuesday’s dominant win against Lafayette, face-off specialist Petey LaSalla broke college lacrosse’s all-time face-offs taken record, now having attempted 1,669 draws in his 73 career games for Virginia. Already with a pair of National Championships, LaSalla has to be considered among the winningest pure face-off athletes ever. Should he and UVA win a third championship in four seasons later this May, LaSalla could very well be in his own league.

Tuesday’s victory also saw Xander Dickson become the sixth Virginia player ever to total 50 goals in a single season. His four goal, four assist performance brings his team-leading point total up to 69 this year, 20 away from Matt Moore’s program record 89 which he set back in 2019.

Of course, Dickson’s 52 goals this season leave him just five away from breaking Doug Knight’s program record 56 goals in one season, which he set in 1996. With two remaining games practically guaranteed, it seems a foregone conclusion that Dickson will break Knight’s record. Should UVA go on a run to Memorial Day Weekend, it’s entirely possible that Dickson breaks Moore’s as well.

Meanwhile, Payton Cormier is also nearing Knight’s career goals record of 165. With 150 as of right now, it will be a tall task for the Canadian to pass Knight. But, considering that he’s averaging 3.9 goals per game this season, he’s also in a position where a late run into May could mean breaking Knight’s record. If Cormier opts to come back for his last year of eligibility next year, he’d pass Knight in no time.

Connor Shellenberger, who will be back next season, also looks primed to break a few records in his final year. Currently, Shellenberger is just 65 points away from breaking Moore’s UVA all-time points record while also needing just 33 assists to pass Tim Whitely’s 159 all-time assists. As long as he avoids serious injuries, both those records should be his. And, like Dickson and Cormier, if Virginia plays on Championship Monday, it’s possible that Shellenberger (who has 40 assists so far this season on 3.3 per game) could pass Jay Connor’s 58-assist single season mark from 1972.

Undoubtedly, these players care far more about making a run for another National Championship over the next month. But the degree of offensive success they’re having is almost unparalleled in the history of one of the most successful men’s lacrosse programs ever, and they deserve credit for that. Should they hoist another trophy on Memorial Day, a whole host of records will come their way as well.