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Connor Shellenberger

Men's Tewaaraton Stock Watch: 10-Point Game has Shellenberger on Top

March 16, 2023
Patrick Stevens
John Strohsacker

The first month and a half of the season hasn’t cemented much, aside from the ability to identify the top couple teams in the country to this point.

Neither Virginia nor Notre Dame has experienced a misstep, though the Irish did have a close call in triple overtime on the road against defending national champion Maryland. Few would dispute the two ACC powers have done as much as anyone to establish themselves as credible national title contenders.

Then there are one-loss teams like Cornell, Duke, Yale and even Villanova. None of them are perfect, but each has had its moments.

Given how much the Tewaaraton Award tracks with team success (finalists almost always play on NCAA tournament teams, and winners usually play on Memorial Day Weekend), it’s little surprise those are the teams with representatives in the conversation for the sport’s top individual honor with a full dive into conference play on the horizon.

1. Connor Shellenberger, Virginia, A (11 G, 24 A)

The redshirt junior uncorked his second 10-point game of the season Saturday, dropping four goals and six assists on Towson in a 19-12 triumph in Charlottesville.

While Xander Dickson (25 goals, seven assists) is rightfully generating attention of his own, Shellenberger is No. 2 in the country in points per game. Now, the Cavaliers head into a stretch featuring six ACC contests and Saturday’s visit from Maryland in an eight-game stretch.

2. Brennan O’Neill, Duke, A (22 G, 15 A)

The junior prefers to let his game do the talking, and while the numbers are magnificent — eighth in Division I in points per game — what’s impressive is how little he forces things.

O’Neill only took four shots in the 17-9 rout of Loyola on Friday, scoring three times. Around him, the Blue Devils got a three-goal, six-assist effort from Andrew McAdorey, multi-goal games from three others and a 14-2 lead at the half that effectively turned the final 30 minutes into garbage time. O’Neill wasn’t responsible for all of it, but he played his part about as well as possible.

3. Matt Brandau, Yale, A (12 G, 11 A)

Brandau offered another reminder Saturday of how he is one of the nation’s most reliable players, depositing three goals and tacking on two assists in the Bulldogs’ 11-9 defeat of Denver. Brandau has three hat tricks through four games and multiple assists in each of Yale’s outings. He sits at fourth in the country in points per game (5.75), as the Bulldogs venture into their Ivy League schedule.

4. CJ Kirst, Cornell, A (22 G, 7 A)

Kirst had two goals and an assist while taking 13 shots as the Big Red took their first loss of the season Saturday, falling 10-6 to Penn State. He still ranks third nationally with 5.8 points per game. The entire Cornell offense will look to get back on track as Ivy League play opens Saturday at Yale.

5. Pat Kavanagh, Notre Dame, A (6 G, 18 A) and Chris Kavanagh, Notre Dame, A (18 G, 8 A)

The brothers Kavanagh both had fine days in a 16-3 rout of Ohio State. Chris had three goals and two assists, while Pat had two goals and two assists. Chris is ninth nationally in points per game; Pat is No. 15. Through the bulk of the Irish’s non-conference schedule, they remain an interesting dual candidacy on a team with no shortage of players enjoying fine seasons.

Next five: Matt Campbell, Villanova, M; Xander Dickson, Virginia, A; Liam Entenmann, Notre Dame, G; Tye Kurtz, Delaware, A; Will Mark, Syracuse, G