Virginia opened up its postseason with a 17-10 win over Brown Saturday night to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Cavaliers (12-3, 5-1 ACC) were helped by an eight-point effort by sophomore attacker Connor Shellenberger and five goals by junior attacker Payton Cormier to pick up a convincing win against the Bears (10-6, 4-2 Ivy League). Additionally, freshman goalie Matthew Nunes produced 16 saves with a 61.5 save percentage in his first NCAA postseason game.
The game began with a quick face-off win from senior face-off specialist Petey LaSalla which later that possession led to the first goal of the game from Shellenberger unassisted. Then, after two saves by Nunes the Cavaliers regained possession, leading to another Shellenberger goal, this time assisted by junior attacker Xander Dickson.
Brown then responded with a goal from junior attacker Devon McLane, assisted by senior midfielder Ryan Aughavin, and then the Bears equalized after a Virginia turnover. Brown then took the lead with a transition goal by freshman midfielder Ryan Behrens to make the score 3-2. On the ensuing face-off, LaSalla won the face-off then ran down and scored to even up the scoreline once again.
The Bears then scored a goal in transition by senior attacker Brian Antonelli assisted by senior midfielder George Pike to retake the lead.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Shellenberger scored a diving goal to tie the game 4-4. Cormier then scored right in front of the goal on a pass from Shellenberger which was immediately followed by a goal from junior defender Scott Bower off the face-off to put the Cavaliers up two.
In response, the Bears produced two quick goals of their own with the first from junior attacker Trevor Glavin and the second by senior midfielder Ryan Aughavin to tie the game at six apiece. Later in the quarter, Brown took back the lead with a goal from senior midfielder Reed Moshyedi before Cormier responded for the Cavaliers on the ensuing possession on a goal assisted by senior midfielder Jeff Conner.
Both teams had multiple chances to retake the lead, but goalies Nunes and sophomore Connor Theriault denied any further scoring to keep the game deadlocked at seven by halftime.
The Cavaliers got off to a quick two-goal lead to open the second half with the first goal coming after another stop by Nunes led to a transition goal for Shellenberger assisted by Conner. The next goal came nine seconds later by sophomore defender Ben Wayer off a face-off win by LaSalla which was assisted by junior midfielder Danny Parker.
Brown later responded with two goals in rapid succession, with the first goal by senior long-stick midfielder Adrian Enchill in transition followed by a goal by senior midfielder Nolen Rockefeller assisted by Aughavin to tie the game at nine.
Virginia then went on a four-goal run to close out the third quarter which began with an extra-man goal by Dickson assisted by graduate student attacker Matt Moore to retake the lead. Then graduate student midfielder Jack Peele added to the lead with a transition goal, followed by a goal by Cormier assisted by Moore before Moore scored a goal of his own to make the score 13-9.
The Cavaliers continued their goal-scoring run in the fourth quarter with two goals by Cormier both assisted by Shellenberger to make the score 15-9. Moore then added to the lead for his second goal of the day which was followed by a goal by Dickson assisted by Shellenberger.
With 2:30 left in the game, Brown answered back with a goal by Antonelli to make the final score 17-10.
The Cavaliers will return to action Sunday for a rematch against Maryland in Columbus, Ohio. The game will start at 2:30 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPNU.