The No. 7 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team lost its ACC opener against No. 2 Virginia on Thursday night, 15-11.
The Cavaliers scored first as first-year Griffin Schutz sunk a shot into the bottom corner of the net just over a minute into the game. Senior midfielder Jeff Conner promptly doubled up Virginia’s lead with an unassisted goal just 36 seconds later.
UNC stopped the bleeding moments later after senior attackman Chris Gray found Cole Herbert, who slung a shot into the top of the net. Soon afterwards, Gray evened the score with an unassisted goal of his own, dodging his defender to the right and rocketing a shot past the goalkeeper. Herbert continued the run with a bounce shot that was good, giving the Tar Heels a 3-2 lead. Seniors Henry Schertzinger and Nicky Solomon continued to pile on with two more goals, and suddenly UNC was solidly in control of the game.
Virginia goalkeeper Matthew Nunes put an end to UNC’s 5-0 run after saving a shot from senior midfielder Zac Tucci, and the Cavaliers were able to generate some pressure on the other end of the field. After five unfruitful shots from the Cavaliers, Connor Shellenberger got one past UNC goalkeeper Collin Krieg to cut the deficit to two goals before the end of the first period.
Shellenberger scored again to open the second quarter, and after winning the next faceoff, the Cavaliers tied the game back up with a goal from Payton Cormier. Two more unassisted goals from Virginia’s Matt Moore put his team back in the driver’s seat with a 7-5 lead. Another goal from Solomon broke Virginia’s scoring run with nine minutes left in the half, but the Cavaliers were quick to respond. The two teams traded goals in the following minutes, but a score from Kelly with 32 seconds remaining in the period gave UNC a 10-9 halftime lead.
Virginia dominated the third quarter. Moore and Shellenberger scored early in the period to take an 11-10 lead, then two goals from Cormier and one from Jack Simmons put the Cavaliers up four. UNC turned the ball over six times and only had five shots in those 15 minutes.
Who stood out?
Shellenberger was electric with a four goal, three assist performance. Moore and Cormier also recorded hat tricks with three goals apiece.