clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Virginia men’s lacrosse ranked third in USA Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll

ACC foes Notre Dame and Duke ranked ahead of the ‘Hoos.

2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship Photo by Larry French/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

USA Lacrosse Magazine, one of the two most notable polls in college lacrosse, has released its 2024 preseason top-20 poll and ranked the Virginia Cavaliers third overall behind the no. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the no. 2 Duke Blue Devils.

Notre Dame, Duke, and UVA were the “big three” of the 2023 season with those three being the top-three seeds in the NCAA Tournament and the Irish beating the ‘Hoos in the semifinals and then the Blue Devils in the national championship game. The other two ACC teams were also included with the rising Syracuse Orange at no. 9 and the North Carolina Tar Heels at no. 19.

For 2024, Virginia returns a chunk of its offensive core with three time first team All-American Connor Shellenberger leading the way alongside Payton Cormier, and Griffin Schutz. Tufts transfer Jack Boyden and five star recruit McCabe Millon project to fill additional spots on offense. Otherwise, veterans Patrick McIntosh, Will Cory, and Thomas Mencke will fill in gaps alongside younger talents such as Truitt Sunderland and Ryan Colsey.

Defensively, goalie Matthew Nunes, close defenders Cole Kastner and Griffin Kology, short stick Noah Chizmar, and long stick midfielder Mitchell Whalen will be the known quantities with a lot of new faces taking on big roles. Faceoff will be a huge question mark after the departure of Petey LaSalla and former top-10 recruit Mac Eldridge transferring out.

UVA also has its first coaching change since Lars Tiffany’s arrival in Charlottesville after offensive coordinator Sean Kirwan left to be the Dartmouth head coach. Tiffany did however bring in longtime friend, playing legend, and former Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese to fill Kirwan’s shoes.

Although there is plenty of talent and potential, this is the most unproven a Virginia lacrosse team has been since before Tiffany’s first national championship in 2019 (granted it’s a ridiculously high bar). But the pedigree of Shellenberger, Tiffany, Cassese, assistant coach Kip Turner, and the other veterans who are on this team means that there is still both a high floor and a high ceiling for the ‘Hoos in 2024.

As for Virginia’s 2024 opponents, the ‘Hoos play no. 1 Notre Dame, no. 2 Duke, no. 5 Maryland, no. 6 Johns Hopkins, no. 9 Syracuse, no. 13 Michigan, no. 19 North Carolina, and no. 20 Richmond in the regular season before the re-started ACC Tournament in early May. Suffice it to say, that’s a pretty solid schedule.

Full USA Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top-20 Poll (Bolded teams are UVA opponents)

1. Notre Dame

2. Duke

3. Virginia

4. Penn State

5. Maryland

6. Johns Hopkins

7. Cornell

8. Army

9. Syracuse

10. Yale

11. Denver

12. Georgetown

13. Michigan

14. Princeton

15. Rutgers

16. Delaware

17. Penn

18. Boston U

19. North Carolina

20. Richmond