Virginia Lacrosse’s ‘Help Offense’ Key Part Of Success

Virginia Cavaliers
Connor Shellenberger has dished out 51 assists for Virginia as this year’s team set a new program record for single season assists. ~ Photo by Kris Wright/

Much has been made of just how good the Virginia men’s lacrosse team’s offense is this season. Understandably. UVA leads the nation in scoring offense, points per game, and shot percentage.

There’s one more stat category that helps fuel the whole enterprise, though, and the Hoos lead that one too. Assists per game. They average 11.69 per game heading into Championship Weekend. That not only tops the list but clears the field by more than 2 assists per game! Boston (9.0), North Carolina (8.86), High Point (8.82), and Lehigh (8.8) round out the top 5. Notre Dame, Virginia’s opponent in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. semifinal, is sixth at 8.79 assists per game.

Simply put, the Hoos share the ball the most effectively of any team in the nation this season and it results in 17.56 goals per game to lead all of Division I. Virginia scored fewer than 15 goals just four times this season and had single-digit assists only twice.

When you break it down further, the Cavaliers have logged 189 assists on 281 goals. That’s an assist on 67.3% of the team’s goals for the year. The highwater marks for the season so far came against Harvard and Notre Dame. They had a season-high 17 assists in the 25-21 win against the Crimson on Feb. 18 and posted an assist rate of 83.3% (10 assists on 12 goals) against the Irish in the 12-8 win on April 30.