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Lacrosse doesn’t always have to be so complicated. For Virginia senior attacker Payton Cormier and graduate student midfielder Thomas McConvey, it’s as simple as playing in the backyard. While watching the duo today, it’s evident that the years of experience — whether it be from hockey or the backyard lacrosse — have created an unbreakable bond between attacker and midfielder.
Following a road victory over Lafayette Tuesday, No. 3 Virginia men’s lacrosse returned to Charlottesville to take on No. 1 ranked Notre Dame in its regular season finale Sunday. The Cavaliers (11-3, 4-2 ACC) — celebrating their Senior Day — went out in style with a 12-8 victory, donning their throwback uniforms as Virginia honored the 2003 National Championship team at Klöckner Stadium. Thanks in large part to the play of sophomore goalie Matthew Nunes, the Cavaliers secured their second straight victory over the nation’s No. 1 team, with both coming against the Fighting Irish (9-2, 3-2 ACC).
Following a dominant 19-12 win over North Carolina, No. 3 Virginia men’s lacrosse continued their road stretch with a visit to Durham, N.C. to take on No. 2 Duke Saturday. The Cavaliers (8-3, 2-2 ACC) — having dropped their earlier meeting with the Blue Devils (11-2, 4-1 ACC) — witnessed their regular-season losing streak against Duke extend to 18 games in a 15-14 defeat.
As Virginia sports fans at large, we’re incredibly spoiled. Not many schools can boast 32 national championships — including one in a major-market sport that gave us some much-needed argument points against the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world. I think I was just so relieved that I didn’t have to use the “But we have more regular-season titles in the last six years!” speech that I mastered. Virginia’s basketball highs—national may outweigh the lows after the 2019 National Championship, but we’ve seen our fair share of heartbreak. Some hurt more than others, though, so here are my five most upsetting March Madness losses.
No.1 Virginia men’s lacrosse — coming off knocking previously ranked No. 1 Notre Dame on the road — now faces arguably its greatest rival in Duke. The team from Durham, N.C. has frustrated Virginia all throughout the 21st century — having won the last 15 regular-season meetings and having only conceded two postseason losses in Coach John Danowski’s seventeen-year tenure. The Cavaliers (7-1, 1-0 ACC) will look to turn the tides in one of the more lopsided rivalries in college lacrosse history — one which defies the success which Virginia has largely enjoyed.
A week removed from the 14-13 overtime heartbreaker against then-ranked No. 3 Maryland, Virginia men’s lacrosse traveled to South Bend, Ind. Saturday for the chance to reclaim the top spot in the polls. In their first ACC matchup of the season, the No. 3 Cavaliers (7-1, 1-0 ACC) upset the top-ranked Fighting Irish (6-1, 0-1 ACC) and made a statement on the road, winning 15-10.
Following a 18-13 win against Johns Hopkins Tuesday, No. 1 Virginia men’s lacrosse returned to Charlottesville for another non-conference matchup against Towson Saturday. The Cavaliers (6-0, 0-0 ACC) — once again without injured senior attacker Payton Cormier — battled through a strong first half from the Tigers (1-5, 0-0 CAA) to seal a 19-12 victory. Junior attacker Connor Shellenberger starred with four goals and six assists.
After wins against Michigan and Harvard to begin the season, No. 1 Virginia carried their momentum from last week into a top-ten matchup against No. 9 Ohio State in Naples, Fla. Saturday. The Cavaliers (3-0, 0-0 ACC) took an early lead and never looked back, scoring the first two goals against the Buckeyes (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) and securing a 17-6 victory.
After defeating Michigan Saturday, Virginia men’s lacrosse will return to Klöckner Stadium to take on visiting Harvard in the Cavaliers’ (1-0, 0-0 ACC) second game of the season. Last week’s contest against the Wolverines was not necessarily as smooth as expected, with Virginia pulling away late to secure a 17-13 win at home.
Ricky Miezan did not go quietly from high school lacrosse.
Virginia lacrosse is on the brink of establishing another dynasty. With the disappointment — if you can call it that — following last season’s quarterfinal exit against eventual champion Maryland, the Cavaliers have rebuilt in what may be another historic year for this lacrosse program.
I think we’ve reached the point in the season where we can finally escape nightmares of the National Invitational Tournament. The Virginia men’s basketball program — having suffered through mediocrity all of last year — is returning to prominence in a big way after racing out to a 8-0 start and a No. 3 national ranking. If you can take anything else from this piece it’s this — do not underestimate the genius of Coach Tony Bennett, and do not look too far into close wins against Florida State and James Madison.
With the football season now in its late stages, it is becoming clear that the Cavaliers should focus primarily on bowl eligibility and on a win against Virginia Tech. A loss to Miami has dug Virginia (3-5, 1-4 ACC) into a hole with only one victory in the ACC, yet perhaps Coach Tony Elliott’s team can catch a spark with No. 17 North Carolina coming to town.
With a first ACC win under its belt, Virginia returned to Charlottesville to take on a struggling Miami team. The Cavaliers (3-5, 1-4 ACC) — having contained the Hurricanes’ (4-4, 2-2) offense throughout — could not capitalize on red-zone opportunities en route to a 14-12 loss. The kickers for the Hurricanes and Cavaliers found themselves busy in this contest, with freshman kickerWill Bettridge converting four field goals — all of his team’s points — to keep Virginia in the game.
While no night games have graced Scott Stadium yet this fall, a track record of program-altering wins lies in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers have stalled dynasties, spoiled national championship hopes and restored glory to the Virginia football program all in late night games.
Things have not fallen the way of Virginia this season. A winless ACC slate after three games has epitomized what has been a largely underwhelming start to the new era of Coach Tony Elliott in Charlottesville. Another opportunity for the first conference victory of the season awaits, however, in an away matchup against Georgia Tech Thursday night.
Virginia football dug itself out of a 17-point hole to upend Louisville 34-33 on the road last year. In arguably the most thrilling game of the season, the 2021 matchup was chock-full of offense and continued the theme of close contests between the Cardinals and Cavaliers. One year later, both teams have found themselves in the bottom rung of the ACC ladder. Louisville (2-3, 0-3 ACC) nearly defeated Florida State and Boston College yet ultimately fell short, while Virginia (2-3, 0-2 ACC) gave Syracuse a fight before falling flat against Duke Saturday.
After dropping a gut-wrenching game to Syracuse, Virginia once again departed Charlottesville Saturday night to take on Duke in the 74th all-time meeting between the two schools. The Blue Devils (4-1, 1-0 ACC) — who had not beaten the Cavaliers (2-3, 0-2 ACC) since 2014 — capitalized on an ineffective Virginia offense and sped out to an early and insurmountable lead. To the dismay of Virginia fans, senior quarterback Brennan Armstrong could not re-establish his footing from last year — posting only 202 yards and a 51 percent completion rate in the loss.
It’s early autumn, and a familiar sound is echoing outside the Observatory Hill Dining Hall. Scattered across the sprawling field are nets, serving only to uphold the weight of a small, yellow ball. The only sound is rubber rebounding off the palms of countless students, complementing the constant chatter around each circular net. Dozens of worn-down circles on the field’s grass are the mark of feverish competition.
With three weeks of non-conference play under its belt, Virginia will look to start off strong in a matchup against ACC opponent Syracuse. The second road game of the year for the Cavaliers (2-1, 0-0 ACC) entails a Friday night contest against a team that has surpassed expectations early into the season.