UVA males’s lacrosse 2023 roster preview

Because the Virginia Cavaliers males’s lacrosse group kicks of its season this coming Saturday in Klöckner Stadium in opposition to the Michigan Wolverines at 12:00, we’re kicking off our lacrosse preseason protection in the present day with an-depth roster preview together with projected starters at every place together with doubtless depth and keys to success for every positional group. Keep tuned to the location for extra protection earlier than the season kicks off on Saturday.


Projected Starters

Connor Shellenberger, Payton Cormier, Griffin Schutz/Xander Dickson

The face of this system and arguably the very best participant in faculty lacrosse, Connor Shellenberger is again for his third yr on the sector for Virginia with as a lot hype as moderately potential. With Matt Moore’s departure, that is formally Shellenberger’s offense and his group. Whereas the offensive depth is absurd, the ‘Hoos will go as he goes this season. He and massive lefty finisher Payton Cormier have tons of chemistry and must be dicing up defenses for the third consecutive season.

Most likely the largest query mark for the ‘Hoos proper now could be who will take the third assault spot vacated by Moore. Griffin Schutz is the inheritor obvious, however his worth as a dodger down the alley and as a step-down shooter together with Xander Dickson’s artful play across the purpose and exercise within the UVA experience imply it’s not a foregone conclusion. In final Saturday’s scrimmage in opposition to Navy, Virginia reportedly rotated Schutz and Dickson on the spot, so it’s clearly nonetheless up within the air.


Xander Dickson/Griffin Schutz, Truitt Sunderland, Thomas Mencke, Will Cory, Patrick McIntosh, Ryan Colsey, Tucker Mullen

Shellenberger and Cormier have their spots locked up and regardless of who matches into the third spot, UVA does have a right away fourth attackman to plug in if wanted. The #2 ranked freshman within the class, Truitt Sunderland, might additionally slide down within the case of a string of accidents.

Mencke, Cory, McIntosh, and Colsey are all gifted gamers who most likely will get some runs at offensive midfield this season or later of their careers (Colsey and Mencke are of their first and second years whereas McIntosh and Cory are of their third and fourth). Redshirt freshman Tucker Mullen is one other identify to keep watch over in an Ian Laviano-esque position later in his profession.

Keys to success

Shellenberger is who this offense will probably be centered round and his manufacturing in opposition to elite on-ball defenders might be one of many greatest determiners of the offense’s success this yr. Final season he struggled at occasions (particularly in opposition to Maryland within the NCAA quarterfinals) in opposition to the top-tier defenders who matched his physicality and didn’t enable him to easily beat them together with his athleticism.

He’s undoubtedly nonetheless a generational expertise and doubtless essentially the most well-rounded offensive participant within the faculty ranks who can put up six to seven factors a sport with top-of-the-line pictures within the faculty sport, unbelievable imaginative and prescient and really feel for the sport, and the flexibility to assault defenses from everywhere in the discipline. However maybe including a bit extra selection in his method to dodging from behind the purpose might take him to that subsequent degree of greatness.

Past Shellenberger, Cormier’s position is known. He’ll kill opposing defenses off-ball and can demand loads of consideration which is able to make serving to off him troublesome.

That third assault spot will most likely, to some extent, decide how the offense seems. Schutz at assault is the logical subsequent step, however whether or not or not he can persistently beat poles from X will probably be a significant key for Sean Kirwan’s offense in 2023. He’ll be utilized in different areas of the sector as effectively, however a lot of UVA’s latest success has been centered on discovering that second man at assault to enrich the #1 choice. Suppose Matt Moore in 2019 complementing Michael Kraus, or Shellenberger complementing Moore in 2021.

If Schutz has a breakout yr at assault, the Cavaliers must be the overwhelming favorites in Might. However Dickson shouldn’t be counted out of the dialog. Contemplating that whichever of the 2 isn’t enjoying assault will probably be on the primary midfield line and the way Kirwan has coached this offense to be almost position-less, the personnel and scheme will doubtless be very comparable regardless of who performs the place.

Offensive Midfield

Projected Starters

Jeff Conner, Xander Dickson/Griffin Schutz, Thomas McConvey

All three of UVA’s beginning midfielders return from final season and, regardless of who bumps all the way down to assault, Vermont switch Thomas McConvey will most likely slot into that ultimate spot.


Truitt Sunderland, Patrick McIntosh, Peter Garno, Ricky Miezan, Thomas Mencke

Sunderland and Garno ought to each be second line midfielders. The questions for the midfield group contain how transformed attackman McIntosh and Mencke slot in and the way shortly Ricky Miezan can get again into the groove of enjoying lacrosse after the previous #1 recruit within the nation performed 4 years of soccer at Stanford and transferred to Virginia for the spring semester.

Based on reporting from Inside Lacrosse’s Patrick McEwen on the Navy scrimmage, McIntosh was the fourth midfielder for the Wahoos (who performed with the primary line as UVA rotated Schutz and Dickson on the assault spot) whereas Garno, Sunderland, and Mencke had been on the second line. Primarily based on that, it looks like Virginia could have its prime 10 offensive gamers set with Shellenberger, Cormier, Schutz, Dickson, Conner, McConvey, McIntosh, Sunderland, Garno, and Mencke.

The opposite depth items at assault might additionally positively filter in right here with Cory, Colsey, and Mullen probably getting runs. Based on Lars Tiffany, redshirt freshman Will Inderlied is “on the precipice of changing into an integral a part of our group offense,” as a dodger from the midfield, so he might be an beneath the radar participant to look at on the place. After all, Miezan might very effectively push his means into the image because the season progresses.

Keys to success

Assuming Schutz ultimately matches in at assault, the three-man group of Dickson, Conner, and Vermont switch McConvey must be actually, actually good. The flexibility particularly is spectacular with Dickson because the artful finisher who can take a brief stick defender from behind the web, Conner the two-way midfielder who has an excellent step down shot and performs effectively in two-man video games behind the web with stable imaginative and prescient as a passer, and McConvey who gives dimension as a lefty step-down shooter however can even dominate in two-man video games on the wing with childhood pal Cormier.

There’s little or no this group can’t do. It can merely be a matter of how a lot every has improved since final season and to what extent they will provoke the offense and permit Shellenberger and Schutz to assault on the again finish. If Schutz is at midfield, he solely gives extra choices to kickstart the offense from up prime or to run two man video games behind the web.

Discovering manufacturing from the second line and past goes to be essential for the Wahoo offense. That appears doubtless with the expertise of Sunderland, the expertise of Garno, the potential emergence of McIntosh and Mencke, and the sheer dimension and energy of Miezan. Clearly, the combination of Miezan will probably be equally vital and his fee of adjustment again into the sport of lacrosse will probably be attention-grabbing to trace.


Projected Starters

FOGO Petey LaSalla, SSDM Jeff Conner, LSM Scott Bower

Pretty easy right here, LaSalla is the very best faceoff man in program historical past. Conner must be the primary brief stick winger used contemplating his two-way capacity, whereas Bower will doubtless be the primary LSM.


FOGO Mac Eldridge, SSDM Grayson Sallade, LSM Ben Wayer

The highest ranked FOGO within the 2023 class, Eldridge ought to present an efficient counter to LaSalla as he gives extra dimension (6’1” 190 kilos in comparison with LaSalla at 5’7” 185 kilos). He may not be the second man to begin the season, however he most definitely will come midseason. In the meantime, Sallade is the group’s most achieved SSDM and has been very efficient off the wing in large moments whereas Wayer ought to break up runs with Bower at LSM.

FOGO Gable Braun, SSDM Evan Zinn, LSM Tommy McNeil

The fourth yr Braun could redshirt this coming season as a way to be round subsequent season after LaSalla leaves. If he doesn’t, he’ll shut out a 3 headed monster for UVA at FOGO this yr. If he does, he and Eldridge will probably be an excellent 1-2 in 2024. Zinn’s ridiculous velocity on the wing is an enormous plus, whereas redshirt freshman Tommy McNeil must be a reputation to look at off the wing. Different names to look at on the wing are LSM Mitchell Whalen, SSDM Noah Chizmar, SSDM Danny Parker, and LSM Malachi Jones.

Keys to success

LaSalla is a recognized amount on the X. He might not be among the many absolute prime tier of faceoff guys nationally in profitable proportion. However, if not, he’s completely knocking on the door and is solidly within the second tier. His offensive manufacturing solely provides to his worth as he legitimately can keep on offense after the faceoff and contribute by exploiting his matchup in opposition to a fellow FOGO.

On the wings, the group remains to be attempting to make up for the departure of LSM Jared Conners. The midfielder of the yr again in 2021, Conners helped to make UVA’s faceoff crew fairly dominant throughout his time in Charlottesville. Virginia wasn’t in a position to replicate his play final season, however the furthered growth of men like Conner, Bower, and Wayer ought to point out at the least incremental enchancment.

Defensive Midfield

Projected Starters

SSDM Grayson Sallade, SSDM Noah Chizmar, LSM Scott Bower

Fairly easy right here for the brief sticks. Sallade is the veteran within the room whereas Chizmar was unbelievable in his freshman season final yr. They’ll most likely be the primary two pure SSDMs for the ‘Hoos, though the rapid depth is reputable sufficient that two or three different guys might slot in right here too.

In the meantime, Bower must be the primary LSM as his mixture of expertise, defensive IQ, and athleticism popping out of the field was on full show final season particularly whereas Wayer was injured for almost all of the common season.


SSDM Jeff Conner, SSDM Evan Zinn, SSDM Danny Parker, SSDM John Izlar, SSDM Mack Until, LSM Ben Wayer, LSM Tommy McNeil, LSM Malachi Jones

Past Sallade and Chizmar, Conner will certainly get time at defensive midfield as he splits up his duties everywhere in the discipline. In the meantime, Evan Zinn and Danny Parker imply that the ‘Hoos can simply go 5 deep on the place whereas athletes reminiscent of John Izlar, Mack Until, and others can present extra depth if want be.

The depth at LSM must be equally in depth. Wayer’s again after his first two seasons which had been riddled with accidents. Whereas Bower gives the defensive soundness and aggression of the aforementioned Jared Conners, Wayer brings that offensive punch which Conners was so well-known for. These must be the 2 guys who dominate the runs at LSM, however senior Mitchell Whalen, redshirt freshman Tommy McNeil, and freshman Malachi Jones might all slot in as effectively.

Keys to success

The extra time that Chizmar, Parker, and Zinn have needed to develop individually and throughout the program ought to imply this group routinely improves from final season. That assortment of 5 guys has numerous particular athletes. Each Conner (when he performs protection) and Zinn may be one man clears who can even jumpstart transition alternatives whereas Sallade and Chizmar may be threats to attain themselves if given the prospect.

The faculty lacrosse world bought a fantastic have a look at what having impactful defensive midfielders can do for a group with Maryland’s ridiculous run of success final season. This group received’t be on that degree, but when they will take a step from being an honest, common group final season to the following degree that might considerably bolster the Virginia protection and additional enhance the group’s energy in the course of the sector.

Shut Protection

Projected Starters

Cole Kastner, Cade Saustad, Quentin Matsui

Virginia returns its three shut starters from final season, all of whom at the moment are upperclassmen. With the 6’5” Saustad because the skilled chief of the protection, the 6’7” Kastner because the lockdown on-ball defender and turnover machine, and the stout 6’0” Matsui as a veteran who can matchup in opposition to smaller attackmen, it’s a bunch that ought to solely get higher.


Griffin Kology, Jake Giulieri, George Fulton, John Schroter

The depth that UVA has at pole is really ridiculous this season. Whereas the Cavaliers are accustomed to going deep on offense, the gathering of shut defenders and lengthy stick midfielders who might realistically compete for enjoying time might be shut to 10 guys, give or take.

Kology, a switch from Richmond and the youthful brother of former Wahoo beginning defenseman and Nationwide Champion Kyle Kology, the sophomore will doubtless begin subsequent season whereas being a right away plug-and-play backup this yr. Giuleri will most definitely be a essential part of UVA’s man-down unit as his expertise and management is extremely precious even when he’s the fifth or sixth shut defender on the group. George Fulton might take a step ahead because the 6’6” sophomore matches the mildew of the prolonged defenders which this system has had a lot success with.

After all, there’s additionally John Schroter: the seventh ranked participant within the 2022 class and the second ranked defender. Sadly, an harm stored him out of all however the first month of fall ball, so his adjustment to the school sport could take a bit longer. That stated, his potential is loopy as he seems set to be the following prolonged star defender in the same vein to Saustad and Kastner. Standing at 6’5”, Schroter’s position on this group is unsure contemplating how a lot expertise there’s. Ought to he be referred to as on, nevertheless, he may be anticipated to slot in and not using a hitch.

Keys to success

Whereas the person protection from the ‘Hoos at shut was fairly stable final season, the off-ball protection left one thing to be desired. Granted, a few of that got here in a pair of blowout losses to top-of-the-line faculty lacrosse groups ever in final season’s Maryland squad. However, nonetheless, there appeared to be an absence of cohesiveness. A part of that was most likely because of shedding goalie Alex Rode, Kology, and Conners after the 2021 season.

Hopefully, with all defensive starters returning after which some, that will probably be much less of an issue for the Wahoos in 2023.


Projected Starter

Matt Nunes

Now in his second yr at Virginia, Nunes will hope to get even higher after a stellar first season in web for the ‘Hoos. He stepped in fairly seamlessly after Rode left and displayed a capability to make level clean saves, be an lively a part of UVA’s ten-man experience, and make good outlet passes on clears. He’s going to be this system’s starter within the cage for the following three seasons and there’s no telling simply how good he might be on the finish of his profession.


Kyle Morris, David Roselle

Morris, the freshman, appears to be the following man in line behind Nunes. He had 16 saves in opposition to Penn State in a fall scrimmage and, in accordance with Tiffany, has proven every little thing the teaching employees hoped for. However, because the 52nd ranked prospect within the 2022 class would solely get one yr because the starter if he didn’t redshirt, he’s prone to sit this season out as a way to take over from Nunes in 2026 and nonetheless be again for a fifth yr in 2027.

In the meantime, assuming Morris redshirts, senior David Roselle must be Nunes’ backup once more this season.

Keys to success

Whereas Nunes had numerous show-stopping, point-blank saves and was precisely the man the group wanted when out of the web final season, his total save proportion was forty ninth out of 67 goalies nationally at 49.8%. He did and can face plenty of pictures contemplating that Virginia performs at one of many quicker paces within the nation, however being extra constant in purpose will probably be key for Nunes as a few unhealthy video games tanked his season-long numbers final season. Anticipating extra dependable sport to sport success could be cheap for the high-ceiling keeper in his second yr.

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