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No. 5 UVA cruises to 20-11 win over Towson in 2021 season opener

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(© Augustas Cetkauskas – stock.adobe.com)

No. 5 Virginia used a seven-goal second quarter to get distance from Towson on Saturday, going on to win 20-11 at Klöckner Stadium.

Connor Shellenberger scored seven points on four goals and three assists in his collegiate debut. Payton Cormier added a career-high six goals and one assist, while graduate transfer Charlie Bertrand notched four goals and two assists in his UVA debut.

UVA scored 52 seconds into the game to take an early 1-0 lead on an unassisted Shellenberger score. Towson rebounded with a 4-1 spurt to take a 4-2 lead with 6:26 left in the first frame.

Cormier broke through with his first goal at 3:50 in the first quarter to jumpstart a 7-0 Cavalier run, pushing the Cavaliers ahead for good. Cormer scored four times during the run and capped it on a Shellenberger helper with 9:37 left in the second quarter, giving UVA an 9-4 lead.

Leading at the half, 11-5, UVA opened the third quarter scoring on a 7-2 streak to put the game out of reach. A dropdown shot by Peter Garno on another Shellenberger assist closed the third quarter scoring as UVA led 18-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

Cormier had a career-high six goals in the win.

With four goals, Bertrand has scored 3+ goals in 43 of his 59 career games. He has scored at least two goals in 54 of his 59 career games.

“Give Towson a ton of credit. The way they came at us in the first quarter – they scored those four goals and hit three pipes. They were all over us,” UVA coach Lars Tiffany said. “They came to Charlottesville to get a win, and they were not intimidated at all. I was really impressed with their team and their coaching staff and how prepared they were.

“For us, it was getting into a rhythm at the face-off X, and Petey LaSalla started to pick up some tough ground balls and winning the possessions there. I thought we really did a nice job with our shooting. The goalie for Towson, Shane Brennan, was fantastic early, and he’s a really talented goalie, but we were smart with our shooting and didn’t take too many shots from too far out. I know Griff Harris stuck one from deep in that first quarter, but for the most part we made sure we got closer and took good shots and got them off his body. There was a tenacity and selling out for loose balls – I’m a very grateful coach and a very grateful man to have a team that is going to sell out for their teammates,” Tiffany said.


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