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The Tar Heels will be seeking their first ACC championship in 17 years when they meet Virginia Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Tar Heels will be seeking their first ACC championship in 17 years when they meet Virginia Sunday at 1 p.m.
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UNC Hosts Virginia For ACC Championship
Release: 04/27/2013


Game 15

Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship Game

Virginia (7-7) at #3 North Carolina (11-3)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

1:00 p.m.

Kenan Stadium

Chapel Hill, N.C.

TV Coverage: ESPNU, ESPN3 & WatchESPN

Announcers:  Mike Corey (Play by Play), Matt Ward (Analyst)

Live Stats: Gametracker on

Follow The Tar Heels On Twitter:  UNCTarHeelLax

Purchase ACC Tournament Tickets: Ticket Center

TAR HEELS PLAY HOST TO ACC TOURNAMENT THIS WEEKEND AT KENAN STADIUM:  The University of North Carolina will play host to the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship Game this Sunday at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.  Carolina will play Virginia in the championship game at 1 p.m. in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU.

A win by Carolina would give the Tar Heels their first ACC championship since 1996 and also reward head coach Joe Breschi with his 150th career win.

ACC TOURNAMENT DETAILS: This marks the sixth time in the history of the tournament that UNC has served as the host school.  UNC served as the host at Kenan Stadium for the inaugural tournament in 1989 as well as in 2009.  The Tar Heels hosted at Fetzer Field in 1995, 1999 and 2004.

In Friday's semifinal games, Virginia avenged a regular-season loss to Maryland by defeating the second-ranked Terrapins 13-6 while third-ranked North Carolina also avenged a regular-season loss to sixth-ranked Duke by beating the Blue Devils 18-17 in the highest scoring game in ACC Tournament history.

UNC is also hosting the 2013 ACC Women's Lacrosse championship game at Fetzer Field at 5 p.m. as #1-ranked Maryland meets #2-ranked North Carolina.

Tickets are available online in advance at the Ticket Center.  Tickets are $10 for each of the championship games and all seats are general admission.

The game-day Ticket Office at Kenan Stadium is located at Gate 3.  Seating will be limited to the North Side of Kenan Stadium.  Public parking will be available in the Ramshead Parking Deck, the Bell Tower Parking Deck, on Stadium Drive and in the Bowles Lot adjacent to the Dean E. Smith Center.

Live stats for all games this weekend can be found on

TV INFORMATION THIS WEEKEND:  The championship game of the ACC Men's Lacrosse Tournament will be televised nationally on ESPNU.  The game will also be simulcast on ESPN3 and available on mobile applications on WatchESPN.

Mike Corey will serve as the play by play announcer for this weekend's game while 2006 Tewaaraton Trophy recipient Matt Ward will be the color analyst.  Links for the ESPN3 telecast will be available on game day on or fans can go to WatchESPN and search for the telecast on their mobile devices.

CAROLINA IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT:  North Carolina has an all-time record of 18-17 in ACC Tournament games dating to the initial conference tournament in 1989.  Carolina has won the conference tournament seven times but not since 1996.  The Tar Heels' championships came in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996.

Between 1997 and 2008, the Tar Heels lost 12 successive ACC Tournament semifinal games.

In Coach Joe Breschi's four years as head coach (2009-12), Carolina is 3-4 in ACC Tournament games.  Breschi's Tar Heels beat Maryland 16-10 in the 2009 semifinals at Kenan Stadium before falling to Duke 15-13 in the championship game.  UNC lost semifinal games to Maryland in both 2010 and 2011.  Last year in Charlottesville, Carolina defeated Virginia 11-9 in the semifinals before falling to Duke 12-9 in the championship contest.

This marks UNC's third appearance in the championship game of the tournament in Coach Breschi's five years as head coach.

CAROLINA'S PROBABLE STARTERS:  North Carolina's depth chart for the Virginia game on Sunday will look something like the following (subject to change).

Attack:  Marcus Holman, Sr. (36g, 33a, 69pts, 22gbs); Joey Sankey, So. (34g, 13a, 47pts, 39gbs); Jimmy Bitter, So. (27g, 18a, 45pts, 25gbs)

1st Midfield:  Davey Emala, Sr. (14g, 5a, 19pts); Chad Tutton, So. (21g, 6a, 27pts, 15gbs); Steve Pontrello, Fr. (7g, 1a, 8pts)

2nd Midfield: Spencer Parks, Fr. (7g, 1a, 8pts); Pat Foster, Jr. (3g, 2, 5pts); T.J. Kemp, Jr. (4g, 2a, 6pts)

Close Defense:  Jordan Smith, Jr. (6gb, 8ct); Kieran McDonald, Sr. (53gbs, 24ct); Evan Connell, Fr. (20gb, 14ct)

Goalkeeper:  Kieran Burke, Fr. (.550 svpct, 9.93 gaa, 43gbs, 10-3 record)

Short-Stick Defensive Midfield:  Ryan Creighton, Jr. (9g, 2a, 11pts, 20gbs); Greg McBride, Jr. (1g, 6a, 7pts, 13gbs); Jake Matthai, Fr. (4g, 1a, 5pts, 10gbs); Mark McNeill, Jr. (11gbs); William Scroggs, Sr. (1g, 0a, 1pt, 5gbs)

Long-Stick Defensive Midfield:  Ryan Kilpatrick, So. (27gbs, 7ct);  Matt Shannon, So. (20gbs, 9ct); Jake Bailey, So., (10gbs, 10ct)

Face-Offs:  R.G. Keenan, Jr. (.526, 90gbs, 2g, 3a, 5pts); Frankie Kelly, Jr. (.479, 15gbs)

Reserve Attack:  Patrick Kelly, Fr. (5g, 0a, 5pts)

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE TAR HEELS:  Marcus Holman scored the game-winning goal with 1:28 to play and Kieran Burke saved David Lawson's shot with six seconds remaining as third-ranked North Carolina defeated sixth-ranked Duke 18-17 on April 26 in the ACC Tournament semifinals at Kenan Stadium.  A crowd of 4,567 fans witnessed the highest-scoring game in ACC Tournament history as the two teams combined for 35 goals, exceeding the previous record of 33 goals set in a double overtime semifinal game in the 2000 tournament when Virginia beat the Tar Heels 17-16.

Holman's late heroics overcame a monumental comeback effort by the Blue Devils (11-5), who had won nine straight games coming into the contest.  UNC led Duke by as many nine goals early in the third quarter before the Blue Devils scored 11 of the next 12 goals to take the lead with less than seven minutes to play.  North Carolina (11-3) scored the last two goals of the game to pull out the victory and win its eighth successive game. Carolina achieved its nine-goal margin at 15-6 with 11:31 left in the third quarter before Duke ran off eight straight goals and 11 of the next 12 tallies to take its first lead of the game with 6:12 to play.  But Jimmy Bitter tied the match with 5:01 to play and Holman, who was named Friday as a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee, scored the game-winner off Chad Tutton's assist with 1:28 to play.

Duke had an extra-man opportunity at the end of the game and a chance to tie but Kieran Burke made a save on a point-blank shot by David Lawson with six seconds remaining and the ball bounced out of bounds before either team could gain possession as the clock expired.

Holman led the Tar Heels with four goals and two assists while Chad Tutton had a career-high four goals as well as an assist.  Jimmy Bitter had three goals and an assist for the Tar Heels while Joey Sankey had two goals and two assists.

MOST GOALS AGAINST A TOP 10 TEAM IN 17 YEARS:  Carolina's 18 goals against Duke in the ACC semifinals were the most it has scored against a Top 10-ranked team since April 6, 1996 when the Tar Heels beat #1-ranked Virginia 19-18 at Fetzer Field.

HOLMAN UPDATE #1:  With his performance against Duke, Marcus Holman inched closer to setting Carolina career records for most points and most goals in a career.  The senior attackman now has 202 career points, just two short of Bruce Ledwith's school record of 204 from 1970-73.  His four goals give him 120 for his career, eight shy of the school record of 128 scored by Bert Fett from 1972-75.  His two assists give him 82 for his career and he is tied with Dennis Goldstein for fourth place in Carolina history in that category and is just one assist behind Brendan Carey's third-place total of 83 assists.

MORE SUPERLATIVES FROM FRIDAY:  Holman's 69 points are the fifth most in a single season in school history as are his 33 assists.

THREE HAT TRICKS VERSUS DUKE:  Three players had hat tricks Friday with Holman recording the 17 of his career, Bitter his seventh and Tutton his sixth.  Tutton's four goals were a career high as were his five points.

KEEP THOSE STREAKS GOING:  Holman extended his school record streak of consecutive games with a goal to 29 in a row after scoring four times against Duke.  Jimmy Bitter recorded a point for the 24th straight game versus the Blue Devils and Joey Sankey now has a streak of 18 consecutive games with a point.  Tutton has scored goals in 24 of the past 25 matches.

WINNING ANOTHER CLOSE ONE:  Carolina improved to 14-9 in one-goal games in Coach Breschi's five seasons with the 18-17 win over Duke.  That includes a 4-2 mark this season.  It was only the second one-goal game between the two teams over the past 18 meetings, the other being a 12-11 win by Duke in the 2009 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.  Carolina's last one-goal win over Duke came in 2004, a 10-9 overtime triumph in Durham.

SECOND HIGHEST SCORING DUKE-UNC GAME OF ALL-TIME:  The only Duke-Carolina game in which more than 35 goals have been came on April 21, 1990 when UNC beat Duke 26-13 at Kenan Stadium.

THIS WEEK'S RANKINGS: North Carolina is ranked third this week in the Nike Inside Lacrosse media poll and first in the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association coaches' poll.  The last time the Tar Heels were ranked #1 in the nation in any week in either poll was May 10, 1993 when they earned the top spot in the USILA coaches' poll.

SECOND-LONGEST WINNING STREAK IN 20 YEARS:  North Carolina has won eight successive games heading into Sunday's ACC Tournament championship game against Virginia.  That is the second longest winning streak for UNC since 1993.  UNC won nine straight games to open the 1993 season en route to a 14-2 record and an NCAA runner-up finish (the last time UNC made the Final Four).  The longest winning streak since that time came in 2010 when the Tar Heels opened the season with 10 straight wins en route to a final record of 13-3 and an NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearance.

THE UPDATED HOLMAN NUMBERS:  Marcus Holman's six points versus Duke on Friday now gives him 202 for his career.  Holman needs two more points to equal Bruce Ledwith (1970-73) on the career points chart.  Ledwith holds the current school record with 204 career points.  Holman's four goals versus High Point give him 120 career goals and place him in second place on the all-time Carolina goals list.  Only Bert Fett (1972-75) has scored more goals in Carolina history with 128.

HOLMAN & SANKEY NAMED ALL-ACC TEAM:  Marcus Holman and Joey Sankey were named April 24 to the 2013 All-ACC Men's Lacrosse Team.  Holman was named to the team for the second straight year while it is the first selection for Sankey.  Holman was the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2010.

SOPHOMORE DUO CLIMBING CAREER GOAL & POINT CHARTS:  Joey Sankey now has 56 career goals and Jimmy Bitter has recorded 54 career tallies.  With two goals against Virginia on April 6, Sankey became the 50th player in UNC history to hit the 50-goal plateau.  Bitter became the 51st Tar Heel player to score 50 goals in his career when he scored two goals against High Point.

HOLMAN BREAKS UNC CONSECUTIVE GAME SCORING RECORD:  Senior attackman Marcus Holman broke the school record for most consecutive game scoring a goal when he tallied twice against High Point on April 20.  That ran his scoring streak to 28 successive games dating back to a game against Detroit on February 18, 2012.  The previous school record was 27 consecutive matches set by Mac Ford from May 21, 1983 through May 19, 1985.  He extended his treak to 29 games in a row in the ACC semifinals.

Jimmy Bitter has recorded at least one point in 24 successive games dating back to March 16, 2012.  He has scored at least one goal in 22 of the past 24 games.

Joey Sankey has gone 18 successive games with at least one point, a streak dating back to April 20, 2012.  During that scoring run, he has recorded goals in 17 of the past 18 games.  Sankey has scored a goal in 14 successive games, a streak which started on February 8, 2013. 

Over the last 25 matches dating back to the middle of the 2012 campaign, midfielder Chad Tutton has recorded at least one goal in 24 matches.  The only time he was shut out in that streak was at Notre Dame on March 2 of this season.

UNC's CAREER HAT TRICKS:  Marcus Holman leads all Tar Heels with 17 career hat tricks, the most recent in the ACC semifinals versus Duke.  Other Tar Heels with multiple career hat tricks include Davey Emala with 12, Joey Sankey with eight, Jimmy Bitter with seven, Chad Tutton with six and Pat Foster with two.

KEENAN'S UPDATED FACEOFF NUMBERS:  R.G. Keenan has now won 556 face-offs in his career heading into the game against Virginia.  That is the second most face-off wins in UNC history.  Shane Walterhoefer (2006-09) is the UNC career leader with 723 face-off victories.

Keenan has 301 career ground balls, the fifth most in UNC history.

CAROLINA IN ONE-GOAL GAMES:  six of Carolina's first 14 games of the season have been decided by a single goal with UNC going 4-2 in those games.  The most recent one-goal decision came against Duke in the ACC semifinals when the Tar Heels won 18-17.  Prior to the game against Duke on March 13 (an 11-8 loss), Carolina played four successive games decided by a single goal with a loss to Massachusetts 12-11, a win over Fairfield 10-9, a triple overtime loss to Notre Dame 10-9 and the 16-15 win over Princeton.  The last time that the Tar Heels had played four straight games decided by a single goal came in 2009 when during a mid-season streak Carolina lost to Maryland 8-7, beat Johns Hopkins 10-9 in overtime, lost to Virginia 11-10 and beat Ohio State 12-11.  In 1996, Carolina played a string of five successive games decided by a single goal during a mid-season stretch. During that particular stretch, UNC lost to Duke 11-10, beat Maryland 17-16, lost to Johns Hopkins 9-8, beat Virginia 19-18 and beat Notre Dame 11-10.

ANOTHER DOUBLE DIGIT WIN SEASON UNDER COACH BRESCHI:  Despite playing against one of the nation's toughest schedules, the Tar Heels have reached a double digit win total for the fifth successive year under the tutelage of head coach Joe Breschi, who was hired in June 2008.  The Tar Heels head into the Virginia game Friday with an 11-3 mark.  Breschi is the first head coach in UNC history to post double digit win totals in each of his first five years mentoring the Tar Heels. Other than Breschi, Dave Klarmann (1991-94) is the only other coach to win 10 or more games in each of his first four seasons.  Under Breschi's leadership, UNC went 12-6 in 2009, 13-3 in 2010,10-6 in 2011, 11-6 in 2012 and 11-3 so far in 2013.  Prior to 2009-13, the last time Carolina patched together five 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.

UNC VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS UNDER COACH BRESCHI:  North Carolina has played nationally-ranked opponents 52 times in Joe Breschi's five-year coaching tenure.  UNC is 31-21 in those games.  Conversely, the Tar Heels are 26-3 against unranked opponents in his five seasons.  Breschi is 56-24 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 14-9 in games decided by one goal over the past five years.  On March 30, Carolina defeated Johns Hopkins 11-10 in overtime.  It was UNC's first overtime win in almost two years.  Prior to beating Hopkins, Carolina's last overtime win came against Notre Dame 9-8 on May 6, 2011.

A YOUTHFUL STARTING LINEUP:  During the first 14 games of the season, the Tar Heels have relied on a youthful set of players to compete against a host of nationally-ranked opponents.  Particularly on the defensive end, the Tar Heels are playing a lot of young players.

Carolina's starting lineup over the second half of the season has included three seniors (Marcus Holman, Davey Emala, Kieran McDonald), one junior (Jordan Smith), three sophomores (Jimmy Bitter, Joey Sankey, Chad Tutton) and three freshmen (Steve Pontrello, Evan Connell, Kieran Burke).

The Tar Heels have been playing anywhere between 25 and 30 players on average in a game.  The depth chart over the past several games has included four seniors, eight juniors, seven 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.

THE TAR HEELS VERSUS NATIONALLY RANKED TEAMS IN 2013: Ten of Carolina's first 14 games this season have come against Top 20 teams in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll.  The Tar Heels are 7-3 in those 10 games.

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.

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 the 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.

FOUR TAR HEELS EARN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS:  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 68 of their past 79 games against non-conference teams dating back to April 15, 2006. In Joe Breschi's five seasons as head coach, the Tar Heels are 47-8 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 and Notre Dame 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 clearly 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 58 of 81 games under Coach Breschi's direction dating back to the opening game of the 2009 season. Carolina is 50-8 in those 58 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, 11-10 to Virginia on April 9, 2011, 13-11 to Duke on March 16, 2012, 15-10 to Virginia on April 7, 2012, 16-14 to Denver on May 12, 2012 and 12-11 to Massachusetts on February 16, 2013.  In the 23 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 23 games is just 7-16.

NEAR DOMINANCE AT HOME UNDER BRESCHI:  UNC is 34-7 in home games in Coach Joe Breschi's five years at the helm of the Tar Heels.  That's a winning percentage of 82.9 percent.  UNC's only home losses during Breschi's four-year tenure include regular-season and ACC Tournament games to Duke in 2009 (both at Kenan Stadium), a regular-season loss to Duke in 2011, an NCAA Tournament loss to Maryland in 2011, regular-season losses to Lehigh and Virginia and an NCAA Tournament loss to Denver in 2012 and a regular-season loss to Duke in 2013.

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 57-24 for a winning percentage of 70.3 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 149-87 and his career winning percentage is 63.1 percent.

CAROLINA SNARES 250TH ALL-TIME WIN HOME VICTORY: Carolina's 11-10 win over Maryland on March 24, 2012 marked the 250th all-time win for the Tar Heels in home games.  North Carolina will head into its next home game against Duke on April 26 with an all-time record of 259-119-2 in home gamesUNC has a 68.3 winning percentage all-time in history in home games.

THE ALL-TIME RECORD: North Carolina has an all-time record of 442-272-2 in the sport of men's lacrosse. That is a winning percentage of .618.

UNC North Carolina Men's Lacrosse

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