Virginia Cavaliers men's lacrosse

The Virginia Cavaliers men's lacrosse team represents the University of Virginia in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's lacrosse. The Cavaliers compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and plays home games at Klöckner Stadium, or occasionally Turf Field or Scott Stadium, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The team is coached by Lars Tiffany, who led the team to winning the 2019 NCAA Lacrosse Championship.

Virginia Cavaliers men's lacrosse
UniversityUniversity of Virginia
Head coachLars Tiffany
StadiumKlöckner Stadium
(capacity: 8,000)
LocationCharlottesville, Virginia
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
ColorsOrange and Blue[1]
Pre-NCAA era championships
(2) - 1952, 1970
NCAA Tournament championships
(6) - 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2019
NCAA Tournament Runner-Up
(4) - 1980, 1986, 1994, 1996
NCAA Tournament Final Fours
(23) – 1972, 1973, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2019
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
(32) – 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2019
NCAA Tournament appearances
(39) – 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019
Conference Tournament championships
(7) - 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2019
Conference regular season championships
(25) - 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2019

Claiming eight national titles, Virginia is one of the all-time great collegiate lacrosse programs. Virginia's 2006 team set the NCAA record for wins in a season and are the most recent undefeated national champions of the sport after finishing 17–0.


University records show that Virginia fielded lacrosse teams from 1904 to 1907, although no further information from that period is available.[2] After a hiatus, lacrosse returned to Charlottesville in 1925 though the team struggled in the ensuing years. Through 1932, the Cavaliers won only one game, while they lost 30 and tied four. The team was disbanded after the 1932 season and would play sporadically until lacrosse returned for good in 1947. Two years later, Virginia won more games than it lost for the first time in school history when it posted a 7–4 record. The Cavaliers then posted an 8–3 mark in 1950 and 7–2 in 1951. The following season, they recorded an identical tally and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) named Virginia the 1952 co-national champions.[2]

In 1970, Virginia finished the season with an 8–2 record and the USILA again awarded them the national championship.[3] The following season, the NCAA instituted a single-elimination tournament to determine the national championship, and the Cavaliers made an appearance but were eliminated by Navy in the first round. In 1972, Virginia again secured a tournament berth, and beat in succession Army, Cortland State, and Johns Hopkins for their first NCAA national championship. In 1978, former Army coach Jim "Ace" Adams took over as head coach, and from that season onward, Virginia has been a regular participant in the NCAA tournament. Since then, the Cavaliers have never failed to qualify in two consecutive seasons. Virginia advanced to the championship game in 1980, 1986, 1994, and 1996, each time falling to the eventual champion by one goal. In 1993, Dom Starsia became head coach, leading the Cavaliers to national titles in 1999, 2003, 2006, and 2011. Since the establishment of an ACC tournament in 1989, Virginia has won the regular-season championship ten times, more than any of the other three teams in the league.[2]

Virginia's 2006 season was remarkable as the Cavaliers became the first team in NCAA history to finish the season with a 17–0 record en route to the program's third national championship in eight years. The team won its games by an average of more than eight goals per game and drew comparisons to some of the best lacrosse teams of all time.[4] The Virginia offense led the nation in scoring (15.28), while the defense ranked 10th, allowing fewer than eight goals per game. Eight Cavaliers were named All-Americans, the most in program history, and senior attackman Matt Ward received the Tewaaraton Trophy as the best player in the nation.

In 2011, the Cavaliers posted a 9–5 regular-season record before entering the NCAA tournament, where they defeated Bucknell, Cornell, Denver, and finally Maryland 9–7 to win their fifth NCAA championship.[5] During the tournament, head coach Dom Starsia became the all-time wins leader in Division I men's lacrosse history, breaking Jack Emmer's previous mark of 326 wins.[6] Five Cavaliers were named USILA All-Americans.[7] Following the tournament, third-year attackman Steele Stanwick won the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation's top player.[8]

Starsia left the program at the conclusion of the 2016 season after a poor run of four seasons that included two losing records – only the program's third and fourth since the NCAA championship era began in 1971 – and a 1–15 mark in ACC play. At the time, media outlets reported Starsia had been fired.[9] In a 2018 interview with The Daily Progress, Starsia recounted that then-athletic director Craig Littlepage indeed told him the day after the 2016 season concluded that the university was not extending his contract, which expired at the end of the calendar year, and gave him an opportunity to resign. Starsia countered that he retained the confidence of players and alumni and asked for a five-month extension to coach the 2017 season, after which he would resign if Littlepage remained unsatisfied with the team's results. According to Starsia, Littlepage agreed to this weeks later after heavy pressure from alumni and boosters, at which point Starsia declined it and resigned due to the perceived lack of respect.[10]

Brown head coach Lars Tiffany, who had played for Starsia at the college, was named as his replacement on June 21, 2016.[11] In his third season, Tiffany led the Cavaliers to an 11–3 regular season record, an ACC championship, and finally back to the 2019 national championship game where they defeated Yale 13–9 to claim their sixth title.

Season Results

The following is a list of Virginia's results by season as a NCAA Division I program:

Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Glenn Thiel (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1970–1977)
1971 Glenn Thiel 10-22-01stNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1972 Glenn Thiel 11-42-12ndNCAA Division I Champion
1973 Glenn Thiel 10-42-12ndNCAA Division I Final Four
1974 Glenn Thiel 5-42-12ndNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1975 Glenn Thiel 7-43-01st
1976 Glenn Thiel 5-51-2T-3rd
1977 Glenn Thiel 7-51-1T-2nd
Glenn Thiel: 55-2813-6
Jim Adams (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1978–1992)
1978 Jim Adams 6-52-23rdNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1979 Jim Adams 9-43-12ndNCAA Division I Final Four
1980 Jim Adams 12-23-1T-1stNCAA Division I Runner-Up
1981 Jim Adams 9-43-12ndNCAA Division I Final Four
1982 Jim Adams 10-33-12ndNCAA Division I Final Four
1983 Jim Adams 10-23-01stNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1984 Jim Adams 10-33-01stNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1985 Jim Adams 11-32-1T-1stNCAA Division I Final Four
1986 Jim Adams 12-33-01stNCAA Division I Runner-Up
1987 Jim Adams 6-70-34th
1988 Jim Adams 9-52-12ndNCAA Division I Final Four
1989 Jim Adams 7-51-23rd
1990 Jim Adams 9-53-01stNCAA Division I First Round
1991 Jim Adams 10-42-12ndNCAA Division I First Round
1992 Jim Adams 7-50-34th
Jim Adams: 137-6033-17
Dom Starsia (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1993–2016)
1993 Dom Starsia 10-53-01stNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1994 Dom Starsia 13-42-1T-1stNCAA Division I Runner-Up
1995 Dom Starsia 12-33-01stNCAA Division I Final Four
1996 Dom Starsia 12-41-2T-3rdNCAA Division I Runner-Up
1997 Dom Starsia 11-33-01stNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1998 Dom Starsia 8-52-12ndNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
1999 Dom Starsia 13-32-1T-1stNCAA Division I Champion
2000 Dom Starsia 13-23-01stNCAA Division I Final Four
2001 Dom Starsia 7-71-2T-3rdNCAA Division I First Round
2002 Dom Starsia 11-43-01stNCAA Division I Final Four
2003 Dom Starsia 15-22-1T-1stNCAA Division I Champion
2004 Dom Starsia 5-81-23rd
2005 Dom Starsia 11-42-12ndNCAA Division I Final Four
2006 Dom Starsia 17-02-01stNCAA Division I Champion
2007 Dom Starsia 12-42-12ndNCAA Division I First Round
2008 Dom Starsia 14-41-23rdNCAA Division I Final Four
2009 Dom Starsia 15-32-1T-1stNCAA Division I Final Four
2010 Dom Starsia 16-22-1T-1stNCAA Division I Final Four
2011 Dom Starsia 13-51-2T-2ndNCAA Division I Champion
2012 Dom Starsia 12-42-1T-1stNCAA Division I Quarterfinals
2013 Dom Starsia 7-80-34th
2014 Dom Starsia 10-61-46thNCAA Division I First Round
2015 Dom Starsia 10-50-45thNCAA Division I First Round
2016 Dom Starsia 7-80-45th
Dom Starsia: 274-10341-34
Lars Tiffany (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2017–Present)
2017 Lars Tiffany 8-70-45th
2018 Lars Tiffany 12-61-3T-4thNCAA Division I First Round
2019 Lars Tiffany 17-33-11stNCAA Division I Champion
Lars Tiffany: 37-164-8

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. University of Virginia Athletics Current Logo Sheet (PDF). July 10, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  2. Virginia Men's Lacrosse Media Guide Archived 2012-02-27 at the Wayback Machine, University of Virginia.
  3. Since 1971, the annual NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament has determined the national champion in lacrosse. Prior to that, from 1934 through 1970 (the pre-NCAA era), the national champion was determined by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA), who would award the Wingate Memorial Trophy to the top team, based on regular-season records. The Wingate Memorial Trophy was presented to the first two NCAA champions (1971 and 1972) and was then retired. See also: NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship (1971– ) and Wingate Memorial Trophy (1934–1970).
  4. In Final, Virginia Lacrosse Team Has Eye on Victory and Legacy Archived 2017-07-01 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, May 29, 2006.
  5. While Virginia Celebrates Another Title, Relief Combines With Elation Archived 2012-08-31 at the Wayback Machine, New York Times, May 30, 2011.
  6. Starsia Breaks Wins Record as Virginia is Baltimore Bound,, May 21, 2011.
  7. Stanwick Headlines UVa's Five USILA All-American Selections,, May 26, 2011.
  8. Stanwick Takes Home College Lacrosse's Top Honor – The Tewaaraton Trophy Archived 2011-12-11 at the Wayback Machine,, June 2, 2011.
  9. "Virginia fires NCAA's all-time winningest coach". NBC Sports Washington. 24 May 2016.
  10. Blum, Sam (24 March 2018). "From lacrosse to limbo: His relationship with UVa fractured, Dom Starsia struggles to live in a town he'll never leave". The Daily Progress.
  11. Reid, Whitelaw (21 June 2016). "Virginia hires Brown's Lars Tiffany to lead men's lacrosse program". The Daily Progress.
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