UVA men’s lacrosse players celebrate after Connor Shellenberger’s goal against Johns Hopkins that clinched the Cavaliers another trip to the national semifinals. (Photo by Jamie Holt, UVA Athletics)

Continuing a Memorial Day weekend tradition, the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team on Saturday will play in the sport’s national semifinals for the 26th time in program history – and for the fourth time in the last five NCAA Tournaments. 

The Cavaliers, seeking their 10th national championship, are coming off a dramatic double-overtime win over Johns Hopkins University in the quarterfinals. 

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Philadelphia, sixth-seeded UVA will take on the seventh-seeded University of Maryland in the semis. ESPN2 will broadcast the game. The other side of the bracket matches up top-seeded Notre Dame and the fifth-seeded University of Denver. 

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The national title game is set for 1 p.m., Monday, and will air on ESPN. 

To get you caught up ahead of the semifinal contest, here are five things to know about this season’s UVA team:

Mr. May 

Sunday’s quarterfinal game against Johns Hopkins fittingly ended with a goal from Connor Shellenberger.

UVA’s senior attackman has earned the moniker “Mr. May” for his clutch performances in the postseason. 

Shellenberger, a three-time first-team All-American and UVA’s all-time leader in points and assists, has 34 goals and 31 assists in 11 career NCAA Tournament games. In 2021, Shellenberger was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after leading UVA to the national title. 

The Charlottesville native, for a third straight year, is a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the nation’s best player. 

 

 

Shellenberger is a graduate student in the School of Education and Human Development. 

NCAA’s All-Time Scoring Leader Wears Orange and Blue 

Pairing nicely with Shellenberger is the NCAA’s all-time leading goal scorer. 

Payton Cormier, who’s played parts of five seasons with the Cavaliers, scored his 222nd career goal against St. Joseph’s University in a first-round win over the Hawks on May 11, making him the most prolific goal scorer in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse history. 

Cormier, who recently completed his master’s degree in educational psychology, leads the country with 64 goals – a school record – this season. 

 

 

Pro Bound 

Shellenberger on May 7 was chosen second overall by the New York Atlas in the Premier Lacrosse League Draft, giving the Cavaliers seven first-round picks since the PLL began in 2019. That’s the most of any program in the country. 

Defenseman Cole Kastner was also drafted, going in the fourth round to the California Redwoods. 

 

 

Naval Aspirations 

Starring in the midfield for UVA is Harvard University graduate Chase Yager.

In his only year on Grounds, Yager, a transfer, is working toward completing the master’s program in the McIntire School of Commerce – he’ll finish this summer – while shining as an All-American on the lacrosse field. 

Along with playing professional lacrosse, Yager has long-term plans to become a pilot in the U.S. Navy. He told UVA’s Jeff White that he’ll likely begin Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island in the fall. 

Yager’s parents were Navy pilots.

 

 

Approaching History 

Lars Tiffany, another Ivy League product who graduated from Brown University in 1990, is on the brink of his third national championship in only his eighth season as UVA’s head coach. 

Only four coaches have won the NCAA Division I tournament four times, including Hall of Famer Dom Starsia, Tiffany’s predecessor in Charlottesville. 

 

 

Media Contact

Patrick Boling

Assistant Athletic Communications Director