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Virginia rallies into Championship Weekend with two-OT win over Johns Hopkins

Chris Graham

uva logo blue Connor Shellenberger scored in the second OT to complete a late three-goal comeback over Johns Hopkins on Sunday that sent Virginia into Championship Weekend.

That’s the good news.

The great news: Duke isn’t sitting there in the semifinals waiting for us.

Duke, the #2 seed, lost to #7 seed Maryland, 14-11, on Saturday.

Duke has gone 24-2 against UVA since 2005, a span in which the ‘Hoos have won four national titles.

Maryland and Virginia met earlier this season in College Park, with the Cavaliers winning that one by a 14-10 final.

This run to Championship Weekend is a bit unexpected. Virginia had lost four straight to finish out the regular season, beginning with an 18-12 loss at Duke on April 14.

The ‘Hoos rebounded with a 17-11 win over Saint Joseph’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last weekend, setting up the rematch with Johns Hopkins, which had won the teams’ regular-season matchup, 16-14, back on March 2.

Hopkins got out to an early 4-0 lead on Sunday, but UVA was able to scratch and claw its way back into it, eventually tying the game at 7-7 on back-to-back goals by Shellenberger and Ryan Colsey midway through the third quarter.

Another quick Hopkins blitz put them up 10-7 going into the fourth, but the Cavaliers fought back again, getting the equalizer with 2:59 to go from McCabe Millon.

The first overtime period saw a combined five turnovers, including three by Virginia.

The Cavaliers lost their second straight faceoff to start the second overtime, but a blocked shot by the UVA defense gave UVA the ball 90 seconds into the period.

After a successful Virginia clear, coach Lars Tiffany called a timeout, and coming out of the break, Shellenberger made his move and fired the game-winner to punch Virginia’s ticket to Championship Weekend, the fourth in the past five years and the 26th overall for the Virginia program.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].