UVA nearly sweeps ACC postseason awards
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- After a successful ACC title campaign, Virginia men's lacrosse dominated the conference's postseason awards and put five players on the All-ACC team.
Defenseman Cole Kastner (Defensive Player of the Year), goalie Matthew Nunes (Freshman of the Year) and Lars Tiffany (Coach of the Year) brought home three of the ACC's major awards with UNC's Chris Gray winning Offensive Player of the Year.
Connor Shellenberger, Matt Moore, Jeff Conner, Petey LaSalla and Kastner all made the All-ACC team. The five players were the most from any team in the conference. The all-conference honors are the third for Moore, second for Shellenberger and LaSalla, and first for Conner and Kastner.
Kastner is the first UVA player to win ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors since Mark Koontz in 2002, while earning the first player of the year honors for the program since Steele Stanwick in 2012. The sophomore defenseman led the ACC with 28 caused turnovers, which ranks No. 7 in the country. In two matchups against North Carolina this season, Kastner earned plaudits for his defense on Gray, earning his first ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors after the game in Chapel Hill.
Nunes becomes the third Cavalier under Tiffany to earn ACC Freshman of the Year honors, following Moore (2019) and Michael Kraus (2017). He also is just the second goalie in program history to earn the honor with Tillman Johnson the last in 2001. Stepping into the starting goalkeeper spot straight out of high school, Nunes ranks second in the ACC in goals-against average (11.12/game), a mark which ranks No. 25 in the nation. Nunes earned ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors three times during the season, tied for the most of any player in the conference.
Tiffany takes home his second ACC Coach of the Year honors with his first coming in 2019. In his sixth season, Tiffany guided the Cavaliers to a 5-1 record in ACC play and secured a share of the ACC title. Tiffany and his predecessor Dom Starsia are the only two coaches in program history to earn multiple coach of the year awards.