CAROLINA SET TO HOST FAIRFIELD SATURDAY: North Carolina's 2013 men's lacrosse team, ranked ninth (USILA) and 12th (Nike/Inside Lacrosse), respectively, in national polls this week, returns to the friendly confines of Fetzer Field this Saturday for its second home game of the season.
Coach Joe Breschi's team carries an 1-1 overall record into this Saturday's matchup against the 15th-ranked Fairfield Stags (2-0).
Tickets are $5 general admission and can be purchase online at GoHeels.com. Walk up tickets are also available the day of the game. The Carmichael Arena ticket office will open at 12 noon. The gates of Fetzer Field will also opening at noon.
SOME BASICS ABOUT THE GAME: Carolina and Fairfield are both coming off emotional games that went in opposite directions for the two teams.
The Tar Heels will be looking for a bounce back win after being outscored 4-0 in the fourth quarter last Saturday by #13 UMass and falling 12-11. UNC had led the entire game before the Minutemen tied the game and then notched the game-winning goal in the final five minutes.
Fairfield is 2-0 after close wins over Bryant 8-6 and Navy 10-9. The Stags notched the game-winner against the Midshipmen with four seconds remaining to stay unbeaten. Their opener against Stony Brook was cancelled because of snow.
UNC is 1-1 overall. The Tar Heels opened with a 16-8 win over Air Force at Fetzer Field on February 8. The Tar Heels are ranked 12th this week by Nike/Inside Lacrosse and ninth by the USILA coaches.
NEXT WEEK FOR THE TAR HEELS: The game against Fairfield shapes up as a critical opportunity for UNC to get back to the plus side of the win column. The following Saturday, March 2, Carolina will play at third-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
Following the game against the Fighting Irish, UNC will be at home for three successive games against Princeton, Duke and Dartmouth.
HOLMAN NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE: UNC senior captain Marcus Holman (Baltimore, Md.) was named Wednesday as one of 20 candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in men's lacrosse. Ten finalists for the award will be named later this spring. Carolina has had three previous Senior CLASS Award finalists - Fletcher Gregory in 2007, Grant Zimmerman in 2009 and Ryan Flanagan in 2011.
SEEKING ANOTHER DOUBLE DIGIT WIN SEASON: Despite playing against the nation's toughest schedule, the Tar Heels will be seeking a double digit win total for the fifth successive year under the tutelage of head coach Joe Breschi, who was hired in June 2008.
Last year, Breschi became only the second coach in UNC history to win 10 games in each of his first four seasons as head coach. Dave Klarmann also accomplished the feat from 1991-94. No Tar Heel coach has ever won 10 or more games in his first five seasons as head coach
Over his first four seasons, under Breschi's leadership, UNC went 12-6 in 2009, 13-3 in 2010,10-6 in 2011 and 11-6 in 2012.
The last time Carolina had patched together four successive seasons with 10 or more wins was 1989-94 when the Tar Heels had at least double digits in wins six years in a row.
Contrast the current success with the fact over a 12-year span from 1997-2008, Carolina got to the 10-win plateau only twice, going 10-5 in 2004 and 10-6 in 2007.
TAR HEELS AND STAGS MEET FOR THE SIXTH TIME SATURDAY: North Carolina and Fairfield will be meeting for the sixth time on the lacrosse field when they meet up Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 5-0. Carolina is 3-0 against the Stags in Chapel Hill and 2-0 in games played at Fairfield.
All five previous meetings were played in an eight-year span between 2000 and 2007. The most recent meeting came on April 15, 2007 when the Tar Heels won 12-8 in Fairfield, Conn. The last meeting in Chapel Hill was on April 15, 2006 when the team played at Kenan Stadium and Carolina emerged with an 18-9 triumph.
UNC VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS UNDER COACH BRESCHI: North Carolina has played ranked opponents 42 times in Joe Breschi's five-year coaching tenure. UNC is 23-19 in those games. Conversely, the Tar Heels are 24-3 against unranked opponents in his four seasons. Breschi is 47-22 overall at Carolina in his five seasons as head coach.
During Breschi's tenure, UNC's only losses to unranked teams came to Ohio State in 2011 and to Lehigh and Pennsylvania in 2012.
CAROLINA IN ONE-GOAL DECISIONS: Prior to Joe Breschi taking over as head coach in 2009, UNC went 1-7 in games decided by one goal from midway through the 2004 season through the end of the 2008 campaign.
Carolina has improved tremendously in one-goal games since Breschi arrived for the 2009 season. UNC is 10-8 in games decided by one goal over the past five years.
A YOUTHFUL STARTING LINEUP: During the first two games of the season, the Tar Heels have relied on a youthful set of players to compete against Air Force and UMass. Particularly on the defensive end, the Tar Heels are playing a lot of younger players.
The starting lineup against the Minutemen included three seniors, four sophomores and three freshmen. Including key reserves who played against UMass, the depth chart includes four seniors, seven juniors, six sophomores and seven freshmen.
Carolina has one of the youngest rosters in the nation with 57.8 percent of the team composed of freshmen and sophomores, including 33.3 percent of the squad size consisting of freshmen.
HOLMAN IN UNC CENTURY CLUB: Senior attackman Marcus Holman has recorded 11 points during the 2013 season.
Holman is one of just 36 players in UNC history to reach the 100-point plateau. He currently ranks 17th in Carolina history with 144 career points.
HOLMAN ON UNC GOAL & ASSIST CHARTS: Senior Marcus Holman has scored 88 goals in his career at UNC. That is the 18th highest total in school history. With 12 more goals, he will become only the ninth Tar Heel to ever reach the 100-goal standard. Holman's 88 goals are tied for the 11th most among all NCAA Division I players currently active.
Holman has registered 56 career assists. That is the 21st most in Tar Heel history. Holman is currently tied for 13th place in career assists amongst all NCAA Division I players.
ASSISTS IN A GAME: When Marcus Holman recorded six assists in Carolina's season-opening victory versus Air Force on February 8, it marked the most assists in a game by a Tar Heel player in 16 years. The last time a UNC player had as many as six assists in a game was April 12, 1997 when Spencer Deering recorded six assists against Delaware.
CAREER GOAL HIGHS VERSUS AIR FORCE: Three Tar Heel players either set or matched their career highs for goals in a game when Carolina beat Air Force 16-8 in the opening game of the season.
Sophomore Jimmy Bitter scored five goals against the Falcons, breaking his previous career high against Hofstra on April 12, 2012. Junior Ryan Creighton tallied three goals in the win over Air Force. He had scored two goals in a game on four prior occasions. Sophomore Joey Sankey had a hat trick against the Falcons, equaling his career high. He also had four hat tricks in his freshman year in 2012.
KEENAN'S UPDATED FACEOFF NUMBERS: R.G. Keenan has now won 422 face-offs in his career heading into the game against Fairfield. That is the fourth most face-off wins in UNC history. Jude Collins (1993-96) ranks third in all-time face-off wins with 429 and Kevin Frew (2001-04) ranks second with a total of 446 face-off victories.
GOAL-SCORING STREAKS: Senior attackman Marcus Holman has scored goals in 17 successive games heading into the Fairfield contest while sophomore midfielder Chad Tutton has tallied a goal in 11 straight games. Holman's streak, which includes 40 goals in that span, is the sixth longest streak in the country, while Tutton's streak, which has consisted of 16 goals, is tied for the 12th longest goal scoring streak in the nation.
BURKE FIRST FRESHMAN STARTER SINCE 2002: True freshman Kieran Burke of Fort Salonga, N.Y., has started the first two games for the Tar Heels in goal. He is the first true freshman to start for the Tar Heels since Paul Spellman in 2002. Grant Zimmerman started for the Tar Heels in 2006 as a red-shirt freshman.
UNC's CAREER HAT TRICKS: Marcus Holman leads all Tar Heels with 12 career hat tricks. That equals the 16th most career hat tricks of any player in NCAA Division I.
THREE HEELS NAMED TO TEWAARATON LIST: Three Tar Heel players were named February 22 to the Tewaaraton Watch List for 2013. The Tar Heels so tapped are sophomore attackman Jimmy Bitter, senior attackman Marcus Holman and junior midfielder R.G. Keenan.
HOLMAN NAMED ACC PLAYER OF WEEK: North Carolina senior attackman Marcus Holman was named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending on Monday, Feb 11. Holman led the Tar Heel attack unit, which produced 10 goals and 8 assists in North Carolina's 16-8 season-opening win over Air Force. The native of Baltimore, Md., had two goals and six assists for the Tar Heels, the most assists in a game by a Tar Heel since April 12, 1997. His eight points were just two short of his career high of 10 and matched his second highest total in his career.
SIX TAR HEEL GAMES ON ESPN PLATFORMS: Six UNC men's lacrosse games are being televised this year on the ESPN family of networks. Four Carolina games will air on ESPNU and two more on ESPN3.
The Tar Heels will host Duke on March 13 on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m., host Dartmouth on March 18 on ESPN3 at 4 p.m., visit Maryland on March 23 on ESPN3 at 12 noon, host Brown on March 27 on ESPNU at 6 p.m., meet Johns Hopkins on March 30 on ESPNU at 12 noon and play at Virginia on April 6 on ESPN3 at 3:30 p.m.
In addition, all three ACC Tournament games will be telecast on ESPNU. UNC hosts the conference tournament at Kenan Stadium on April 26 and 28.
FIVE TAR HEELS WERE RECENTLY CHOSEN IN 2013 MLL DRAFTS: Senior Marcus Holman was chosen by the Ohio Machine on January 11 in the Collegiate Draft. He was a second round pick of the Ohio Machine and the 12th selection overall.
On December 13, the MLL conducted its annual supplemental draft. Thomas Wood, '12, was taken in the second round by Rochester Rattlers with the 12th overall pick. Tim Kaiser, '08, was chosen 25th overall in the fourth round by the Ohio Machine. Mark Staines, '12, was the 35th pick, nabbed in the fifth round by the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Chris Hunt, '11, was chosen 96th overall and in the 12th round by the Bayhawks.
THREE TAR HEELS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-ACC: Face-Off Yearbook tapped three Tar Heels as 2013 preseason All-ACC choices. The trio include attackmen Marcus Holman and Jimmy Bitter and face-off man R.G. Keenan.
FACE-OFF PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAS: Four Tar Heel players notched spots on the Face-Off Yearbook preseason All-America Team for 2013. Marcus Holman was named first team on attack and R.G. Keenan second team at the face-off position. Attackmen Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey were both tapped for honorable mention accolades.
HOLMAN ELECTED SINGLE CAPTAIN: Senior Marcus Holman was elected as the sole captain of the 2013 Tar Heels, the first time that has happened in 23 years. According to research done through Athletic Communications archives, other single captains have been Randy Roden in 1973, Tom Federico in 1991, Randy Cox in 1984, Paul Fitzpatrick in 1989 and Joe Breschi in 1990.
FOUR TAR HEELS NAMED WORLD CHAMPIONS: Four current and future Tar Heel players won gold medal rings at the U19 World Championships in Finland last July. Freshmen midfielders Brent Armstrong, Steve Pontrello and Michael Tagliaferri all played for the U.S. side and midfielder Stephen Kelly, who signed a National Letter of Intent with Carolina last November and will enroll in UNC next August, was also a member of the U.S. Team. Carolina sophomore midfielder Chad Tutton was a member of Team Canada, which captured the silver medal.
CAROLINA'S STELLAR MARK IN NON-CONFERENCE GAMES: UNC's record in non-conference games continues to be one of the best in the nation over the past eight seasons.
The Tar Heels have won 61 of their past 71 games against non-conference teams dating back to April 15, 2006.
In Joe Breschi's five seasons as head coach, the Tar Heels are 41-7 against non-conference teams. The only losses were to Notre Dame in 2009, to Ohio State and Johns Hopkins in 2011, to Lehigh, Pennsylvania and Denver in 2012 and to Massachusetts in 2013.
CAROLINA'S DOUBLE DIGIT SCORING GAMES: In Coach Joe Breschi's five years as head lacrosse coach at UNC, Carolina's success has often been tied to hitting the 10-goal plateau in a game.
In fact UNC's 12-11 loss to Massachusetts on February 16, marked only the eighth time in Breschi's coaching tenure that the Tar Heels have lost when they have reached the 10-goal plateau. UNC has scored at least 10 goals in a game in 48 of 69 games under Coach Breschi's direction dating back to the opening game of the 2009 season.
Carolina is 40-8 in those 48 games, losing only 11-10 to Virginia on April 4, 2009, 15-13 to Duke on April 26, 2009, 12-11 to Duke on May 17, 2009, to 11-10 to Virginia on April 9, 2011, to Duke 13-11 on March 16, 2012, to Virginia 15-10 on April 7, 2012, to Denver 16-14 on May 12, 2012 and to Massachusetts 12-11 on February 16, 2013.
In the 21 games under Coach Breschi's tutelage in which the Tar Heels have not reached the 10-goal mark, UNC has not fared nearly as well as when scoring in double figures. In fact their record in those 21 games is just 7-14.
NEAR DOMINANCE AT FETZER FIELD UNDER BRESCHI: After a 16-8 win over Air Force on February 8, 2013, UNC is 27-6 in home games in Coach Joe Breschi's four years at the helm of the Tar Heels. That's a winning percentage of 81.9 percent.
The Tar Heels had a 17-game Fetzer Field winning streak from 2009-11 under Breschi's tenure.
UNC's only home losses during Breschi's four-year tenure include regular-season and ACC Tournament games to Duke in 2009, a regular-season loss to Duke, an NCAA Tournament loss to Maryland in 2011 and regular-season losses to Lehigh and Virginia and an NCAA Tournament loss to Denver in 2012.
HEAD COACH JOE BRESCHI: Joe Breschi is now in his fifth season as the head coach at his alma mater. His Tar Heel teams have a cumulative record of 47-22 for a winning percentage of 68.1 percent. He is in his 16th year overall as a collegiate head coach, including 11 seasons at Ohio State prior to coming to Chapel Hill. His career coaching record is 139-85 and his career winning percentage is 62.1 percent.
CAROLINA SNARES 250TH ALL-TIME WIN AT FETZER FIELD: Carolina's 11-10 win over Maryland on March 24, 2012 marked the 250th all-time win for the Tar Heels at Fetzer Field. North Carolina will head into its next home game against Fairfield on February 23 with an all-time record of 252-118-2 at Fetzer Field.
UNC has a 68.0 winning percentage all-time in history at Fetzer Field.
ANOTHER SEASON OPENING WIN: Carolina's 16-8 win over Penn State in the 2013 season opener was the 15th victory in a row in a season opener for the Tar Heels.
The last time UNC lost a season opener was February 22, 1998 when the Tar Heels fell 13-12 to Butler at Fezter Field.THE ALL-TIME RECORD: North Carolina has an all-time record of 432-270-2 in the sport of men's lacrosse. That is a winning percentage of .615.