2013 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA MEN'S LACROSSE GAME NOTES
NCAA Tournament First Round
Lehigh (12-4) at #5 Seed North Carolina (12-3)
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C.
TV Coverage: ESPN2 & WatchESPN
Announcers: Eamon McAnaney (Play by Play), Paul Carcaterra (Analyst)
Live Stats: Gametracker
Follow The Tar Heels On Twitter: UNCTarHeelLax
Purchase NCAA Tournament Tickets: GoHeels.com Ticket Center
TAR HEELS PLAY HOST TO LEHIGH IN NCAA FIRST ROUND: A pair of conference champions will meet in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship as the University of North Carolina will play host to Lehigh University this Saturday at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Game time is 12 Noon. Gates to Fetzer Field open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students with all seating being general admission. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the GoHeels.com Ticket Center or on game day at the Carmichael Arena Ticket Office. The ticket office will open at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and will also be available on WatchESPN. Eamon McAnaney will be the play-by-play announcer while Paul Carcaterra serves as the analyst.
North Carolina and Lehigh have the two longest winning streaks in the nation heading into Saturday's game. The Tar Heels have won nine in a row and captured the Atlantic Coast Conference championship two weekends ago, UNC's first victory in the event since 1996. Lehigh brings a seven-match winning streak to Chapel Hill. The Mountain Hawks have won back-to-back Patriot League championships.
CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNMENT: Carolina will make its 28th overall appearance and seventh successive appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship when it plays host to Lehigh Saturday in the tournament's first round. The Tar Heels have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the first five years of Coach Joe Breschi's tenure at Carolina.
UNC NCAA Tournament Facts:
- This is North Carolina's 28th tournament appearance. The only schools with more appearances are Johns Hopkins with 41, Maryland with 36, Virginia with 35 and Syracuse with 32.
- Carolina has an all-time record of 27-23 in the NCAA Tournament. Carolina ranks seventh in all-time NCAA Tournament wins.
- UNC's #5 seed is its highest since it was a #4 seed in the 2010 tournament.
- Carolina is 15-5 in NCAA Tournament games in Chapel Hill.
- The Tar Heels are 7-5 all-time as a #5 seed. This is their first #5 seed since 1987.
- Carolina is 6-5 in NCAA first round matches.
- The Tar Heels are 2-4 in NCAA Tournament matches under head coach Joe Breschi. Including his tenure at Ohio State, his teams are 3-7 in NCAA Tournament play. One of the Ohio State losses came to Carolina in the 2004 NCAA first round at Fetzer Field.
HEAD COACH JOE BRESCHI: Joe Breschi is now in his fifth season as the head coach at his alma mater. Breschi has led the Tar Heels to double digit win totals and NCAA Tournament bids in each of his five seasons in Chapel Hill. He earned his 150th career coaching victory when Carolina beat Virginia in the ACC Tournament championship match. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in both 2010 and 2013.
Breschi Coaching Facts:
- 58-24 in five seasons at UNC (70.7)
- 150-87 in 16 seasons overall (63.3)
- 6-9 in ACC regular-season games
- 4-4 in ACC Tournament games
- 2-4 in NCAA Tournament games at UNC; 3-7 in NCAA Tournament games overall
- 14-9 in one-goal games at UNC
- 31-21 versus ranked teams at UNC; 27-3 versus unranked teams at UNC
- 47-8 versus non-conference teams at UNC
- 35-7 in home games at UNC
CAROLINA VERSUS LEHIGH: The Tar Heels lead the all-time series against Lehigh 6-2-1. UNC is 4-2-1 against the Mountain Hawks in Chapel Hill, 1-0 in games at Bethlehem, Pa., and 1-0 in games at neutral sites.
The Mountain Hawks won the most recent meeting between the two teams, beating Carolina 9-8 at Fetzer Field on March 3, 2012.
Three of the past seven games in the series have been decided by a single goal.
FIRST ROUND GAME ON ESPN2: Saturday's NCAA first round game between Lehigh and North Carolina will be televised nationally on ESPN2. It is one of two games this weekend on ESPN2 with the other six first round games scheduled for ESPNU.
Eamon McAnaney will serve as the play-by-play announcer while Paul Carcaterra is the color analyst.
This will be the ninth appearance for the Tar Heels on the ESPN Family of Networks during the 2013 season. UNC is 7-1 this season while appearing in an ESPN nationally produced game.
TAR HEELS CAPTURE FIRST ACC TITLE IN 17 YEARS: While winning the ACC Tournament title did not guarantee the Tar Heels an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, Carolina's conference championship victory over Virginia on April 28 did mark a milestone for the program. It was Carolina's 12th official ACC championship dating back to 1954 and its first since 1996. It also marked the first tournament championship in the Joe Breschi coaching era.
Carolina had won ACC regular-season championships in 2003, 2010 and 2013 in the intervening period since 1996 but no tournament titles.
With a 19-18 semifinal win over Duke and a 16-13 championship game victory over Virginia, North Carolina improved its all-time record to 19-17 in ACC Tournament games dating to the initial conference tournament in 1989. Carolina has won the conference tournament eight times. The Tar Heels' championships came in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2013. Carolina also won the ACC title in 1981, 1982, 1985 and 1988 when it was based on regular-season results.
Carolina has a tournament record above .500 despite losing 12 successive ACC Tournament semifinal games between 1987 and 2008.
In Coach Joe Breschi's five years as head coach (2009-13), Carolina is 4-4 in ACC Tournament games. Carolina has played in the tournament championship game in three of Coach Joe Breschi's first five seasons as head coach.
CAROLINA'S PROBABLE STARTERS: North Carolina's depth chart for the Lehigh game on Saturday will look something like the following (subject to change).
Attack: Marcus Holman, Sr. (36g, 38a, 74pts, 23gbs); Joey Sankey, So. (34g, 16a, 50pts, 39gbs); Jimmy Bitter, So. (29g, 18a, 47pts, 29gbs)
1st Midfield: Davey Emala, Sr. (18g, 6a, 24pts); Chad Tutton, So. (24g, 6a, 30pts, 17gbs); Steve Pontrello, Fr. (9g, 1a, 10pts)
2nd Midfield: Spencer Parks, Fr. (8g, 1a, 9pts); Pat Foster, Jr. (4g, 2a, 6pts); T.J. Kemp, Jr. (4g, 2a, 6pts)
Close Defense: Jordan Smith, Jr. (7gb, 10ct); Kieran McDonald, Sr. (59gbs, 25ct); Evan Connell, Fr. (21gb, 14ct)
Goalkeeper: Kieran Burke, Fr. (.552 sv pct, 10.14 gaa, 47gbs, 11-3 record)
Short-Stick Defensive Midfield: Ryan Creighton, Jr. (10g, 2a, 12pts, 20gbs); Greg McBride, Jr. (1g, 6a, 7pts, 13gbs); Jake Matthai, Fr. (4g, 1a, 5pts, 10gbs); Mark McNeill, Jr. (1a, 1pt, 17gbs); William Scroggs, Sr. (1g, 0a, 1pt, 5gbs)
Long-Stick Defensive Midfield: Ryan Kilpatrick, So. (3a, 3pts, 31gbs, 7ct); Matt Shannon, So. (1g, 1a, 2pts, 21gbs, 9ct); Jake Bailey, So., (1g, 1pt, 10gbs, 11ct)
Face-Offs: R.G. Keenan, Jr. (178-336, .530, 101gbs, 4g, 3a, 7pts); Frankie Kelly, Jr. (23-48, .479, 15gbs)
Reserve Attack: Patrick Kelly, Fr. (5g, 0a, 5pts); Extra-Man Unit: Walker Chafee, So. (2g, 0a, 2pts); Man-Down Unit: Zach Powers, Fr. (1gb, 1ct)
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE TAR HEELS: North Carolina's long wait for another ACC men's lacrosse championship ended April 28 at Kenan Stadium. Packing a lethal offensive punch for the second straight tournament game and holding at least a two-goal lead throughout the final 32 minutes, the second-seeded Tar Heels turned back fourth-seeded Virginia,16-13, in the title game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship.
North Carolina won its 12th ACC title overall in the sport and its first in 17 years, winning their ninth game in a row this season. The Tar Heels' winning streak is the second longest since 1993 and UNC will look to extend it when the NCAA Tournament opens May 11.
In the process, North Carolina's players presented their head coach, Joe Breschi, with his 150th career win. A partisan Carolina crowd was present at Kenan Stadium to celebrate UNC's first title in nearly two decades, a victory which improved Breschi to 58-24 in his five years at Carolina and 150-87 overall in 17 years at Ohio State and UNC.
Led by Marcus Holman's tournament Most Valuable Player performance, Davey Emala's UNC career-high goal total, Chad Tutton's second straight hat trick and Kieran Burke's 17 saves, the Tar Heels won their ninth straight game and finished the regular season at 12-3. Holman did not score a goal in the championship game, settling for five assists instead. His school record 29-game goal-scoring streak came to an end in the process but it is likely the senior attackman from Baltimore, Md., cared little about the end of that streak. His five points against the Cavaliers lifted his career total to 207 and broke the school record of 204 set 40 years ago by Bruce Ledwith (1970-73). His five assists gave him 87 in his career, the third highest total in North Carolina lore. The Tar Heels trailed Virginia early but went on a 5-0 scoring run to end the second quarter and start the third quarter, going up 12-7 and eventually recording the 16-13 triumph.
HOLMAN & BRESCHI WIN TOP AWARDS FROM ACC: Senior attackman Marcus Holman and head coach Joe Breschi were honored with top awards April 30 from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Marcus Holman was named the Offensive Player of the Year and North Carolina's Joe Breschi was named the Coach of the Year.
Holman is the 11th Tar Heel to earn ACC Player of the Year honors and the first since Billy Bitter was recognized in 2010. A senior from Baltimore, Md., Holman was named the ACC Championship Most Valuable Player after tallying four goals and seven assists in the two games. He has registered a league-leading 74 points this season, matching the third most in a single season in North Carolina history, and has the chance to be the first Tar Heel to finish the season atop the league in points per game since 1985.
Breschi earned his second career ACC Coach of the Year honor after leading the Tar Heels to a 12-3 record and their first conference title since 1996. North Carolina has won nine straight games, the second longest winning streak for the program since 1993, and is ranked as the No. 1 team in the country in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll.
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 All-ACC team for the second straight year while it was the first selection for Sankey. Holman was also the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2010.
FIVE TAR HEELS NAMED TO ALL-ACC TOURNAMENT TEAM: 2013 ACC Tournament MVP Marcus Holman was one of five UNC players on the All-ACC Tournament team as he was joined by midfielder Chad Tutton, who had tricks in both tournament matches, midfielder R.G. Keenan, who was tremendous at the X and on ground balls, midfielder Davey Emala, who led Carolina with a quartet of goals in the championship game, and freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke, who had 17 saves against Virginia, the second highest total of his inaugural campaign as a Tar Heel.
Holman, Tutton and Keenan were all named All-ACC Tournament for the second straight year. Holman was the first Tar Heel named ACC Tournament MVP since goalkeeper Brooks Brown in 1996. He is the first non-goalkeeper to win the award for UNC since Dan Levy in 1993.
KELLY NAMED YEARDLEY LOVE UNSUNG HERO AWARD FINALIST: The One Love Foundation in honor of Yeardley Reynolds Love announced its finalists for the 2013 Yeardley Reynolds Love ("YRL") Unsung Hero Award on May 1. Frankie Kelly and Zoe Skinner of the UNC lacrosse teams are both finalists. Kelly, a junior midfielder from Lutherville, Md., is one of five finalists for the men's award while Skinner, a junior defender from Baltimore, Md., is one of the five finalists for the women's award. The University of North Carolina is the only school to have finalists for both the men's and women's awards.
Established in 2011, the YRL Unsung Hero Award celebrates the selfless acts of initiative and commitment performed by Division I lacrosse players. These outstanding student-athletes are recognized based on the following criteria: dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship. The award winners (one female, one male) will be announced in late-May, leading up to the culmination of the NCAA lacrosse season.
MOST GOALS AGAINST A TOP 10 TEAM IN 17 YEARS: Carolina's 18 goals against Duke in the ACC Tournament 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 ON THE CAREER CHARTS: With his five-point performance against Virginia in the ACC Tournament championship game on April 28, Marcus Holman established the Carolina career record for most points in a career while moving up the career assists chart.
The senior attackman now has 207 career points as he passed Bruce Ledwith's school record of 204 points set from 1970-73.
Here are Holman's career ranks in UNC's three chief statistical areas as well as where he ranks in NCAA career stats:
• Points: 1st, 207, previous record 204 by Bruce Ledwith (1970-73). He ranks fifth amongst all active NCAA Division I players in points.
• Goals: 2nd, 120, ranks only behind Bert Fett (1972-75) with 128 goals. He ranks 11th amongst all active NCAA Division I players in goals.
• Assists: 3rd, 87, ranks only behind Bruce Ledwith (1970-73) with 119 assists and Michael Burnett (1980-83) with 106 assists. He ranks eighth amongst all active NCAA Division I players in assists.
TAR HEELS ON SEASON CHARTS: Multiple Tar Heel players this season have put up season numbers which rank high in the Carolina record books. Following is a summary of where those players currently rank on season charts heading into the Lehigh game.
Marcus Holman: 36 goals, equals 11th most in a season; 38 assists, 4th most in a season; 74 points, equals third most in a season (he also had 74 points in 2012)
Joey Sankey: 34 goals, equals 17th most in a season; 50 points, equals 30th most in a season
Jimmy Bitter: 29 goals, equals 32nd most in a season; 47 points, equals 36th most in a season
Kieran Burke: 181 saves, 14th most in a season
R.G. Keenan: 178 face-off wins, 6th most in a season; 101 ground balls, 10th most in a season
Kieran McDonald: 25 caused turnovers, 5th most in a season (kept since 2006)
Chad Tutton & Davey Emala: 5 man-up goals, equals 6th most in a season (kept since 2005)
TUTTON'S MIDFIELD GOALS: After scoring seven goals in two ACC Tournament games, sophomore midfielder Chad Tutton ran his season goal total to 24. That's the most by a Tar Heel midfielder since Sean DeLaney scored 25 goals in 2010.
CAROLINA'S ATTACK IS A POTENT ONE: Marcus Holman (74), Joey Sankey (50) and Jimmy Bitter (47) have combined for 171 points this season, making it the second highest scoring attack unit in the nation. Albany's attack unit of Lyle Thompson, Ty Thompson and Miles Thompson is at the top of the list with 240 points.
Saturday's game between North Carolina and Lehigh features two of the top four attack units in the nation by total points. Carolina is second with 171 points and Lehigh is fourth with 164 points.
HAT TRICKS IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT: North Carolina players accounted for five hat tricks in the ACC Tournament. Chad Tutton had hat tricks in both games, running his career total to seven. Marcus Holman had his 17th career hat trick against Duke and Jimmy Bitter recorded his seventh career hat trick against the Blue Devils. Senior Davey Emala had four goals in the championship match against Virginia, the 13th hat trick of his career.
HOLMAN'S STREAK COMES TO AN END IN ACC FINAL: Senior attackman Marcus Holman saw his school record for most consecutive games scoring a goal come to an end in the ACC championship game against Virginia on April 28. His school record ended at 29 games in a row.
Holman broke the school record at 28 games when he tallied twice against High Point on April 20. He extended it to 29 games in a row with a four-goal effort against Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals before he was blanked in the ACC final against Virginia despite ringing up five assists in the win over the Cavaliers.
Mac Ford held the previous school record at 27 games set from May 21, 1983 through May 19, 1985. Holman's 29-game goal scoring streak ran from February 18, 2012 through April 26, 2013.
WINNING THE ONE-GOAL GAMES: Carolina improved to 14-9 in games decided by one goal in Coach Joe Breschi's five seasons as head coach with an 18-17 win over Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals. That includes a 4-2 mark in one-goal games this season.
It was only the second one-goal game between Duke and Carolina over the past 18 meetings between the two squads, 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: When Carolina and Duke combined for 35 goals in the ACC Tournament semifinals on April 26, the game marked the second highest game in the history of the rivalry. The series record was 39 combined goals when UNC beat Duke 26-13 at Kenan Stadium on April 21, 1990.
FINAL REGULAR-SEASON RANKINGS: North Carolina finished the regular season ranked #1 in both the Nike Inside Lacrosse media poll and the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association coaches' poll. Lehigh finished the regular season ranked 10th in both polls.
When UNC was ranked #1 in the USILA coaches' poll of April 22, 2013, it marked the first time since May 10, 1993 that the Tar Heels had ascended to #1 in the poll. The 2013 season also marks the first time since 1993 that Carolina finished the regular season ranked #1 in the coaches' poll.
Carolina's #1 ranking in the April 29, 2013 Nike Inside Lacrosse media poll marked the first time the Tar Heels were ever ranked in the top spot in the history of the media poll.
SECOND-LONGEST WINNING STREAK IN 20 YEARS: North Carolina has won nine successive games heading into Saturday's NCAA Tournament first round game against Lehigh. That is the second longest winning streak for UNC since the 1993 season.
UNC also won nine straight games to open the 1993 season en route to a 14-2 record and an NCAA runner-up finish. 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.
HIGHEST SCORING AVERAGE IN 17 YEARS: North Carolina is averaging 13.33 goals per game this season. That is the highest scoring average for the Tar Heels since the 1996 teams scored 15.29 goals per game.
TAR HEELS IN THE NCAA & ACC STATS: Following are individual and team ranks for the Tar Heels in this week's NCAA and ACC stats.
• Scoring Offense: 13.33 goals per game (4th in NCAA, 2nd in ACC)
• Man-Up Offense: .420 (10th in NCAA, 1st in ACC)
• Scoring Margin: 3.33 (7th in NCAA)
• Win Percentage: .800 (2nd in NCAA)
• Assists Per Game: 7.47 (5th in NCAA, 2nd in ACC)
• Points Per Game: 20.8 (4th in NCAA, 2nd in ACC)
• Ground Balls Per Game: 35.33 (7th in NCAA)
• Fewest Turnovers Per Game: 12.73 (6th in NCAA, 1st in ACC)
• Shooting Percentage: .333 (7th in NCAA)
• Marcus Holman: 4.93 points per game (4th in NCAA, 1st in ACC); 2.53 assists per game (6th in NCAA, 1st in ACC)
SOPHOMORE DUO CLIMBING CAREER GOAL & POINT CHARTS: Sophomore attackmen Joey Sankey and Jimmy Bitter continue to climb UNC's career charts in goals, assists and points as the Tar Heels head into the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Here are Sankey's career ranks in points and goals:
• Points: Tied for 39th, 94 points
• Goals: Tied for 41st, 56 goals
Here are Bitter's career ranks in points and goals:
• Points: 45th, 88 points
• Goals: Tied for 41st, 56 goals
CAROLINA SCORING TIDBITS: Following are some details on top UNC players and their personal scoring streaks heading into NCAA Tournament play.
- Has scored a goal in 29 of the past 30 games
- Has recorded a point in 30 successive games (streak began February 18, 2012) (10th longest point scoring streak in the nation)
- Has recorded an assist in 11 successive games and in 25 of the past 26 games
- Has scored a goal in 9 successive games (streak began March 18, 2013)
- Has scored a goal in 21 of the past 22 games
- Has recorded a point in 25 successive games (streak began March 16, 2012) (19th longest point scoring streak in the nation)
- Has recorded a point in 19 successive games (streak began April 20, 2012)
- Has scored goals in 17 of the past 19 games
- Has recorded a point in 24 of the past 25 games
- Has scored a goal in 11 successive games (streak began March 9, 2013)
- Has scored a goal in 23 of the past 24 games
UNC's CAREER HAT TRICKS: Marcus Holman leads all Tar Heels with 17 career hat tricks, the most recent in the ACC Tournament semifinals versus Duke. Other Tar Heels with multiple career hat tricks include Davey Emala with 13, Joey Sankey with eight, Jimmy Bitter with seven, Chad Tutton with seven and Pat Foster with two.
KEENAN'S UPDATED FACEOFF & GROUND BALL NUMBERS: R.G. Keenan has now won 574 face-offs in his career heading into the game against Lehigh. 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 312 career ground balls, the fourth most in UNC history. He needs 11 ground balls to tie Ryan Wade (1991-94) for third place on the Carolina career ground ball chart.
Keenan's 574 face-off wins are the fourth amongst active NCAA Division I players, his 312 are the third most amongst active players and his 6.50 career ground balls per game is the fourth highest total.
BURKE'S SOLID FRESHMAN SEASON: Kieran Burke has started all 15 games for the Tar Heels this season in the goal. He had the best game of his freshman year against Virginia on April 6, going all the way in goal, making 23 saves, his career high, while allowing seven goals. He excelled again against the Cavaliers in the ACC Tournament finals, making 17 saves, the second highest total of his career. He earned a spot on the All-ACC Tournament Team after recording wins over Duke and Virginia.
In the past nine games, all wins since an 11-8 loss to Duke on March 13, he has made 121 saves while allowing 85 goals (.587).
Burke is the first true freshman to start for the Tar Heels from the opening game of a season since Paul Spellman in 2002.
CAROLINA IN ONE-GOAL GAMES THIS SEASON: Six of Carolina's 15 games this 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 Tournament 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 on February 16, a win over Fairfield 10-9 on February 23, a triple overtime loss to Notre Dame 10-9 on March 2 and a 16-15 win over Princeton on March 9.
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 school record 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 Lehigh game Saturday with a 12-3 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 12-3 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 27-3 against unranked opponents in his five seasons.
Breschi is 58-24 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'S IMPROVEMENT 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. The most recent one-goal win came on April 26, 2013 when the Tar Heels defeated Duke 18-17 in the ACC Tournament semifinals.
THE TAR HEELS VERSUS NATIONALLY RANKED TEAMS IN 2013: Ten of Carolina's first 15 games this season have come against teams ranked in the Top 20 teams of 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 solo 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 CHOSEN IN 2013 MLL DRAFTS: Senior Marcus Holman was chosen by the Ohio Machine on January 11, 2013 in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. He was a second round pick of the Ohio Machine and the 12th selection overall.
On December 13, 2012, 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 this coming 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, 2013, 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 59 of 82 games under Coach Breschi's direction dating back to the opening game of the 2009 season. Carolina is 51-8 in those 59 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 it scores in double figures. In fact, the Tar Heels' record in those 23 games is just 7-16.
NEAR DOMINANCE AT HOME UNDER BRESCHI: UNC is 35-7 in home games in Coach Joe Breschi's five years at the helm of the Tar Heels. That's a winning percentage of 83.3 percent.
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 in 2011, an NCAA Tournament loss to Maryland in 2011, regular-season losses to Lehigh and Virginia in 2012, an NCAA Tournament loss to Denver in 2012 and a regular-season loss to Duke in 2013.
CAROLINA IN HOME GAMES: North Carolina will head into its next home game against Lehigh on May 11 with an all-time record of 260-119-2 in home games. That includes a 9-1 home record in 2013.
UNC has a 68.5 winning percentage all-time in history in home games.
THE ALL-TIME RECORD: North Carolina has an all-time record of 443-272-2 in the sport of men's lacrosse. That is a winning percentage of .619.
UNC AMONG ATTENDANCE LEADERS: The Tar Heels are amongst NCAA Division I attendance leaders in 2013. UNC is fifth in average home attendance at 2,740 fans per game and seventh in average attendance for all games at 3,402 per contest. UNC trails only Maryland, Navy, Maryland and Army in average home attendance. UNC has drawn 27.402 fans for its first 10 home games.
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 were sophomore attackman Jimmy Bitter, senior attackman Marcus Holman and junior midfielder R.G. Keenan.
On April 26, Holman was named one of the 25 nominees for the 2013 Tewaaraton Trophy.
THREE TAR HEELS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-ACC: Face-Off Yearbook tapped three Tar Heels as 2013 preseason All-ACC choices. The trio includes 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 was named second team at the face-off position. Attackmen Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey were both tapped for honorable mention accolades.
ANOTHER SEASON OPENING WIN: Carolina's 16-8 win over Air Force 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.
CAROLINA PLAYER BULLET POINTS
- 25 straight games with a point
- 56 career goals, tied for the most career goals by a sophomore in UNC history with Joey Sankey
- Three game winning goals this season, tied for the most by any UNC player this season
- Career high five goal game against Air Force
- Tied his career high of three assists in a game on four occasions this season
- Tied career high of four groundballs against Virginia in the ACC Championship
- 181 saves this season, 14th most for saves in a season in UNC history
- Named ACC Player of the Week three times, for his 10 and 15 save games against Dartmouth and Maryland, his 23 saves against Virginia and his performance at Hofstra, the most for a Tar Heel in a season since R.G. Keenan was named ACC Player of the Week four times last year
- First Tar Heel to be named Player of the Week in two consecutive weeks since R.G. Keenan last season
- First freshman to be named to the All-ACC Tournament team since Jimmy Bitter, Joey Sankey and Chad Tutton last year
- Career high 23 saves in a game against Virginia, the most since Paul Spellman had 25 saves in a game in 2003 vs. Maryland
- Best single game save percentage of .767 against Virginia
- Career high seven groundballs in a game against Air Force
- Fewest goals allowed five, against Dartmouth and Hofstra
- 14 caused turnovers as a freshman, the most for a freshman since Charlie McComas had 16 in 2009
- 10 goals this season, most ever by a UNC player exclusively playing short stick defensive midfield
- 10 goals this season, most by a UNC midfielder who did not start a game since Mac Hammer had 12 in 2000
- Career high four groundballs in a game against UMass
- Tied his career high of two caused turnovers in a game twice this season
- Career high three goals in a game against Air Force, also his career high in points
- Named ACC Player of the Week for his three goal performance against Johns Hopkins
- Scored five man-up goals this season, as well as five last season, tied for the most man-up goals by a UNC player this season
- Four goals against Virginia in the ACC Championship are the most since his four-goal game against Penn State in 2012
- Named to the All-ACC Tournament team
- Has 13 career hat tricks
- ACC Player of the Year, first since Billy Bitter in 2010
- ACC Tournament MVP, first since Brooks Brown in 1996
- All-ACC Tournament Team two years in a row, the first to do so since Ryan Flanagan in 2009 and 2010
- 207 career points, the most in UNC history
- 120 career goals, second place in UNC history, eight goals behind Bert Fett
- 87 career assists, third place in UNC history
- 29 consecutive games with a goal, which ended against Virginia in the ACC Championship, the most consecutive games with a goal in UNC history
- All-ACC two years in a row, first to do so since Billy Bitter won it for his third time and Ryan Flanagan won it for his second time both in 2011
- His 17 career hat tricks are the most of any active UNC player
- 74 points this season, tying his third place in UNC history finish from last year, just one point behind second place finisher Dennis Goldstein
- 38 assists in a season is fourth in UNC history, beating his fourth-place 35 assist finish last year
- Named ACC Player of the Week twice, for his two goals and six assists against Air Force and his six-point game at Virginia
- Career high six assists in a game twice this season, against Air Force and Brown
- Career high seven groundballs in a game against Brown
- 574 face-off wins in his career is second in UNC history behind 723 face-offs won by Shane Walterhoefer
- 312 groundballs in his career is fourth in UNC history, 100 groundballs behind the first place school record
- 101 groundballs this season is 10th in UNC history, just behind his 102 groundballs from last season
- 178 face-off wins in a single season is sixth in UNC history, directly following his 191 wins in 2011 and 205 wins in 2012
- All- ACC Tournament two years in a row, the first to do so since Ryan Flanagan in 2009 and 2010
- Career high two goals in a game against Virginia in ACC Championship
- Tied career high two points in a game twice this season
- Career high 20 face-off wins in a game against Princeton
- 25 caused turnovers in a season is fifth in UNC history
- 44 career caused turnovers is fourth in UNC history, beating the 43 caused turnovers by Charlie McComas and Mark Staines set last year
- Career high seven groundballs in a game twice this year, against Fairfield and Hofstra
- Tied career high four caused turnovers in a game on two occasions this season
- First career goal against Brown
- First career assist against Duke in ACC semifinal
- Has 59 groundballs this year, had 50 groundballs in his first three years
- Has 25 caused turnovers this year, had 19 caused turnovers in his first three years
- Career high two goals against UMass
- Career high two point games against UMass and Notre Dame
- Career high three groundballs against Duke
- Two multigoal games, Notre Dame and Virginia, setting his career high two goals in a game
- Career high two points in two games this season
- Career high three groundballs against Air Force
- Two game winning goals, most for a freshman since Chad Tutton last year
- 19 consecutive games with a point
- Named All-ACC, the youngest Tar Heel to do so since Nicky Galasso in 2011
- 56 career goals, tied for the most career goals by a sophomore with Jimmy Bitter
- Named ACC player of the Week twice, for his six-point game against Princeton and for his performances against Dartmouth and Maryland
- Career high four goals in a game in three consecutive games this season, Dartmouth, Maryland and Brown
- Career high four assists against Princeton
- Career high seven points against Dartmouth
- Matched his career high of two caused turnovers against Virginia in the ACC Championship
- All-ACC Tournament Team two years in a row, the first to do so since Ryan Flanagan in 2009 and 2010
- Goals in 25 of the last 26 games
- Career high four goals against Duke in ACC semifinal
- Career high five points against Duke in ACC Semifinal
- Matched career high of two assists against Johns Hopkins
- Five man-up goals this season, tied for the most on the team
- His 24 goals in a season are the most by any UNC midfielder since Sean DeLaney's 25 in 2010
- Has six assists this year, had five in his first two years combined
- Has seven points this year, matching his seven points from last year
- Had three assists this year, including his first career assist
- Has already exceeded his groundball total from last year by 10 with 31 groundballs this year
- His 17 groundballs this year are almost double his nine groundballs last year
- Has 21 groundballs, more than four times his five groundballs last year
- Has 9 caused turnovers this season, he had none last year
- First career goal against High Point
- Has started the last 12 games
- His 10 caused turnovers are the most he's ever had in a season
CAROLINA NOTES FROM SPECIFIC GAMES IN 2013
CAROLINA BEATS DUKE FOR FIRST TIME IN THREE YEARS: 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-game heroics overcame a monumental comeback effort by the Blue Devils, 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 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 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.
TAR HEELS EARN BIG ROAD WIN AT HOFSTRA: Sixth-ranked North Carolina scored the last 11 goals of the game, including a 10-0 margin in the second half, to defeat Hofstra 14-5 on April 13 in front of a season-high Hofstra home crowd of 5,345 fans at James M. Shuart Stadium. Senior attackman Marcus Holman had three goals and four assists in the game to move into second place all-time in both career goals and career points at UNC as Carolina won for the sixth straight time, improving to 9-3 on the campaign. The Tar Heels have not lost since falling to Duke 11-8 at Fetzer Field on March 13. The Pride fell to 7-5 on the season as Carolina has now won the last four games in the series against Hofstra after the Pride had won six of the first seven meetings between the two teams. Carolina trailed twice by two goals in the first half but held the Pride scoreless for the last 34:38 of the game as freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke continued his hot play in the cage. Burke finished with 12 saves while allowing five goals, a 70.5 save percentage. Carolina held the Pride without a goal for the final 34:48 of the contest. That is the longest scoreless streak for a UNC opponent since the Tar Heels held Bellarmine without a goal for the final 48:26 of a 15-2 Tar Heel win at Fetzer Field on February 16, 2008.
BURKE EARNS THIRD ACC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD: North Carolina freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke was named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week on April 16 after Carolina's win at Hofstra. Burke saved over 70 percent of the shots against him for the second straight game to lead North Carolina to a 14-5 win at No. 20 Hofstra. After the Pride scored with 4:38 left in the first to go up 5-3, Burke made saves on the next eight shots on goal as the Tar Heels ran off 11 straight scores to pull away for the win. A freshman from Fort Salonga, N.Y., Burke also tied his career high for ground balls in a game with seven. The Tar Heel defense, keyed by Burke, held Hofstra scoreless for the final 34:48, the longest defensive stand for North Carolina since 2008. It is the third ACC Defensive Player of the Week honor for Burke, who has won all three in the past four weeks.
CAROLINA GETS FIRST REGULAR SEASON WIN OVER VIRGINIA IN NINE YEARS: Carolina finished the ACC regular season with a 2-1 record after a 10-7 victory at 18th-ranked Virginia April 6 at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. Freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke led the Tar Heels to the victory as he made a career high 23 saves and allowed only seven goals while facing 51 shots from the Wahoos. Burke's save total was the most by an ACC goalie in eight years and the most by a UNC goalkeeper in 10 years.
Marcus Holman led the Tar Heels offensively with three goals and three assists for a game-high six points. Jimmy Bitter and Chad Tutton each added two goals and an assist for the Tar Heels.
The game marked the first regular-season win for Carolina over Virginia in nine seasons and its first regular-season victory at Klockner Stadium since 2001. UNC had beaten the Wahoos in Klockner in last year's ACC Tournament semifinals.
The three-goal margin of victory was the largest for UNC in its series against UVA since the Tar Heels beat the Wahoos 15-7 in the 1994 ACC Tournament championship game at Klockner Stadium.
UNC SWEEPS ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS AFTER WIN OVER UVA: North Carolina senior attackman Marcus Holman and freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke were named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, as announced April 9 by the conference.
Holman had six points, his fifth game this year with five or more points, on three goals and three assists in North Carolina's 10-7 road victory at Virginia, Carolina's first regular-season win over the Cavaliers in nine years. Holman had his hat trick by halftime, the 15th of his career, and was involved in four of the Tar Heels' six first-half goals. He then added two assists on goals in the second half, including one on Joey Sankey's game-clinching goal with 1:42 to play.
The three goals for the native of Baltimore, Md., gave him 111 for his career, tying him for third place on North Carolina's career list. He now has 186 points, sixth most in Tar Heel history, and 75 assists, ninth most. This is his second weekly award of the season and fourth of his career.
Burke tallied 23 saves and allowed only seven goals in the victory at Virginia. The 23 stops are the fourth highest total in NCAA Division I this year, and are nine more than his previous career high of 15 set twice this season. The performance is the best by an ACC goalkeeper since 2005, when Maryland's Harry Alford registered 25 against Georgetown, and the most by a Tar Heel since Paul Spellman had 25 in 2003 against Maryland.
The native of Fort Salonga, N.Y., was the difference in the game as Virginia outshot North Carolina, 51-32, held a 41-21 advantage in ground balls, and won 15-of-20 face-offs. Burke saved 14 of the 17 shots on goal in the second half to earn his second ACC Defensive Player of the Week accolade.
TAR HEELS WIN THRILLER VERSUS HOPKINS: Carolina has been building momentum the second half of this season off a scintillating 11-10 overtime victory over Johns Hopkins on March 30 in Kenan Stadium. It was UNC's first game at Kenan Stadium in four years and, ironically, the hero in the game was named Keenan himself (just one more "e" in the last name for the record). Junior R.G. Keenan won the overtime face-off and scored six seconds later to give the Heels their overtime triumph before a crowd of 5,922 fans. It was Carolina's first overtime win in almost two years. Marcus Holman had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) to lead the Tar Heels while Davey Emala recorded his second straight hat trick in the win over the Blue Jays. Joey Sankey had a pair of goals for UNC while Chad Tutton had a goal and two assists. Defenseman Ryan Kilpatrick assisted on both Marcus Holman goals in the game. Freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke made 14 saves in the match while allowing 10 goals in the UNC victory.
EMALA SHARES ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD AFTER WIN OVER THE HOP: North Carolina senior midfielder Davey Emala and Maryland sophomore attackman Jay Carlson were named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Co-Offensive Players of the Week as announced April 2 by the conference.
Davey Emala scored three goals on just three shots in North Carolina's 11-10 overtime win over No. 10 Johns Hopkins. After scoring the opening goal of the game, Emala added a second score with 3:54 left in the first quarter to give the Tar Heels their largest lead of the game at 4-1. The native of Baltimore, Md., scored the game-tying goal for North Carolina with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime where the Tar Heels won on a goal six seconds into the extra period by R.G. Keenan. It is the second career weekly award for Emala and his first since Februrary 14, 2012. Emala also scored three goals in a midweek victory over Brown on March 27. For the week, Emala scored six goals on seven shots in the wins over the Bears and Blue Jays.
CAROLINA EXCELS IN NATIONALLY-TELEVISED WIN OVER BROWN: R.G. Keenan had a stellar game at the X and UNC's attack continued its potent performance as seventh-ranked North Carolina beat 20th-ranked Brown 18-12 on March 27 before 1,145 fans at Fetzer Field an a national TV audience on ESPNU. Joey Sankey scored four goals for the third straight game, Jimmy Bitter had a six-point night and Marcus Holman had eight points, including six assists, matching his career high in the latter statistical category. Davey Emala also had a hat trick in the game, his second of the season, after also scoring thrice in the win over Princeton. Against Brown, face-off man R.G. Keenan was a key factor in the game for Carolina as he helped keep the ball away from the potent Bears' offense. He won 19 of 31 face-offs, had 11 ground balls and also assisted on two goals. He was one short of his career highs in both face-off victories (20 versus Princeton earlier this season) and ground balls (12 versus both Navy and UMBC in 2011) and matched his career best for assists and points in a contest. Close defenseman Kieran McDonald finished the Brown game with six ground balls and four caused turnovers as well as his first career goal. The four caused turnovers matched his career high in a game and he was one short of his career high in ground balls (7 vs. Fairfield on February 23).
ATTACK LOOMS LARGE AGAINST BEARS: Carolina's starting attack unit combined for 19 points against Brown on March 27 with Marcus Holman scoring two goals and passing for six assists, Jimmy Bitter scoring three goals and adding three assists and Joey Sankey scoring four goals and adding an assist. Holman's six assists equaled his career high he set against Air Force in the season opener of 2013 and his eight points were two short of his personal best set last year against Michigan. Bitter matched his career high of three assists in a game for the fourth time this year and he was one short of his career high for points (7 versus Hofstra last season). Sankey scored four goals for the third straight game as he set and then twice matched his career high in a nine-day stretch. Davey Emala had a hat trick, the 11th of his career, as he matched his season high goal total after scoring thrice against Princeton on March 9. Sankey's hat trick was the eighth of his career and Bitter now has six career hat tricks.
THE TAR HEELS VERSUS THE IVY LEAGUE IN 2013: Carolina finished the 2013 regular-season 3-0 against the Ivy League. In the month of March, Carolina defeated Princeton 16-15, Dartmouth 13-5 and Brown 18-12.
30 GOALS IN A GAME FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS YEAR: The 30 combined goals in the March 27 game versus Brown fell just one short of the combined total of 31 in Carolina's 16-15 win over Princeton on March 9. The 18 goals were also a season high total for the Tar Heels and the most since beating Michigan 19-5 on May 5, 2012.
ATTACK UNIT & BURKE POWER UNC PAST TERPS: Freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke made 15 saves, Joey Sankey rang up a four-goal game and Jimmy Bitter chipped in with a five-point effort as #14 North Carolina defeated #1 Maryland 10-8 on March 26 at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
The Tar Heels bolted to a 9-3 lead in the game midway through the third quarter before weathering a late run by the Terrapins, who scored five of the last six goals of the game. But Burke repeatedly came up big in the cage for Carolina, matching his then career high for saves, set previously against Notre Dame on March 2. With the Tar Heels holding a four-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter, Burke was at his best. The Terps outshot Carolina 15-4 in the fourth quarter as the Tar Heels struggled to hold on to the ball, committing seven turnovers in the fourth period. But Burke made six fourth-quarter saves and the Tar Heels earned a much-needed win while evening their league record.
Bitter and Sankey led the Tar Heels with five and four-point games, respectively. Bitter scored twice and passed for three assists while Marcus Holman had two goals and a helper. For the second straight game, Sankey scored four goals, matching his career high set the previous Monday versus Dartmouth. It was the seventh career hat trick for Sankey. It marked the fourth time in his career that Bitter had passed for a career-high three assists. Three of those four games have come this season, against Notre Dame, Princeton and Maryland.
LONGEST DEFENSIVE STAND IN FIVE SEASONS: Over a stretch from the first to the third quarters of the win over Maryland, Carolina held the Terps scoreless for a span of 33 minutes and 16 seconds, the longest stretch of the Joe Breschi coaching era. The last time the Tar Heels had held a team scoreless for that long a period was March 18, 2008 when Carolina held Marist scoreless for the final 34:04 of a 12-3 win at Fetzer Field. Carolina's defensive stand against Hofstra of 34:38 on April 13 exceeded the scoreless minutes streak from the Maryland game.
WINS OVER NUMBER ONE: North Carolina's 10-8 win at top-ranked Maryland March 23 resulted in a piece of history for the Tar Heel historical archives. It marked the first time in school history that Carolina had beaten teams ranked #1 in the nation in back-to-back seasons.
Prior to whipping the Terrapins, the Tar Heels' last win against a No. 1 team came on April 1, 2012 when Carolina defeated top-ranked Johns Hopkins 13-9 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in the Big City Classic.
That win over Johns Hopkins had been an accomplishment in itself as prior to that win over the Blue Jays, Carolina had gone 16 years without beating a #1 team. On that occasion, Carolina outlasted top-ranked Virginia 19-18 on April 6, 1996 at Fetzer Field.
SANKEY & BURKE NOTCH ACC PLAYER OF WEEK HONORS: North Carolina sophomore attackman Joey Sankey and freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke were named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, as announced March 26 by the conference.
Sankey had a pair of career games as he led North Carolina to a victory over Dartmouth, 13-5, and over No. 1 Maryland, 10-8. He scored four goals in each game on only 12 total shots in the two games combined. The two four-goal performances set and then matched his career high. The native of Warminster, Pa., improved his total to seven career hat tricks. His seven points against Dartmouth were also a career high for a game as he added assists on three goals, contributing on seven of North Carolina's 13 tallies versus the Big Green. It was Sankey's second ACC weekly honor of the season and also of his career. Sankey was also named as the National Player of the Week by the Baltimore Sun.
Burke had two of the best games of his eight-game career as he led North Carolina in the wins over Dartmouth and No. 1 Maryland. In the victory over Dartmouth, he made 10 saves and allowed only five goals in 56-plus minutes. His .667 save percentage in the game was the best of his freshman campaign to date. The native of Fort Salonga, N.Y., then followed that by making 15 saves and allowing only eight goals in a win over Maryland, the first loss of the season for the Terrapins. He faced 37 shots in the game, improving his record to 4-3 and matching his career high for saves set earlier this year against Notre Dame. It is the first weekly award for Burke.
SANKEY & HOLMAN LEAD HEELS PAST DARTMOUTH: Marcus Holman scored his 100th career goal and Joey Sankey had career highs for goals in a game and points in a game as the Tar Heels beat Dartmouth 13-5 on March 18.
Holman became only the ninth Tar Heel in history to score 100 goals when he tallied an unassisted goal with 35 seconds left to play in the second quarter, giving the Tar Heels a 5-3 lead at intermission. Prior to the next face-off the officials took that ball out of play to give Holman a well-earned keepsake. His four goals on the day gave him 102 for his career, at that point tying him with Jeff Sonke (1998-2001) and Mike McCall (2002-05) for sixth place on Carolina's career goal scoring list. Holman's four goals earned him another hat trick, giving him 14 career hat tricks.
Joey Sankey's four goals were a new career high and his sixth career hat trick. He had scored three goals in a match on five previous occasions (versus Mercer, Lehigh, Duke and Maryland in 2012 and versus Air Force in 2013). His three assists were one short of his career high set against Princeton on March 9. His seven points broke his previous career high of six (vs. Mercer and Duke last season and Princeton this year).
FIRST CAREER GOALS VERSUS THE BIG GREEN: A pair of North Carolina players tallied the first goals of their careers in the Tar Heels' 13-5 win over Dartmouth on March 18. Senior defensive midfielder William Scroggs scored in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a fast break to notch his initial tally. Later in the fourth quarter, freshman attackman Patrick Kelly scored an unassisted goal, earning the first marker of his career.
GOOD ON THE DEFENSIVE END: Carolina allowed only five goals in its 13-5 win over Dartmouth March 18. That was the fewest goals given up by UNC since a 19-5 win over Michigan on May 5, 2012. The last time Carolina had allowed fewer than five goals was February 13, 2010 when the Tar Heels beat Bryant 5-4 in Chapel Hill.
Goalkeeper Kieran Burke had 10 saves in the win over the Big Green while allowing five goals. His .667 save percentage was the best of his seven-game career at that time
In Carolina's 10-8 win over Maryland, the Tar Heels gave up their fewest goals in a winning effort against an ACC team since March 26, 2011 when Carolina won 11-6 at Maryland. Burke matched his career high for saves in a game with 15 versus the Terps.
GIVING UP 15 AND WINNING: Princeton's high-powered offense was all the Tar Heels could handle as the Tigers proved their mettle on the offensive end of the field in Carolina's 16-15 win over the Tigers on March 9. But the Tar Heels battled back to score one more time than Princeton to come out with the victory. The 15 goals were the most conceded by Carolina in a victorious situation since UNC beat top-ranked Virginia 19-18 at Fetzer Field on April 6, 1996.
OFFENSIVE STANDOUTS VERSUS PRINCETON: Carolina had nine different goal scorers in the win over Princeton March 9 with Jimmy Bitter, Chad Tutton and Davey Emala each scoring three goals. Bitter also had three assists in the game, giving him six points in the match, just one short of his career high set against Hofstra on April 14, 2012. Joey Sankey finished with six points, as well, on two goals and four assists. Sankey's six points matched his career high in a game, a total he eclipsed in the win over Dartmouth on March 18. Sankey's four assists were a career high for the sophomore attackman. On six different occasions as a freshman, he had recorded three assists in a game. Emala's three goals were the most he had scored since tallying four in the opening game of his junior season against Penn State on February 11, 2012. Tutton also matched his career high for goals in a game. He also had three against Mercer, Virginia and Duke last season.
KEENAN'S CAREER DAY: Another key in the win over Princeton was R.G. Keenan's work at the face-off X for Carolina. Facing four different Princeton face-off men, Keenan won 20 of his 34 attempts and had a game-high eight ground balls. The 20 face-off victories were a career high for Keenan, who took every draw in the game for Carolina. His previous best total was 19 face-off victories against Penn State on February 11, 2012. It marked only the sixth time in UNC history that a Tar Heel player has won 20 or more face-offs in a match. Shane Walterhoefer did it four times, including a school record 23 wins against Ohio State in 2008 while Todd Oudemool was the long-time record holder with 22 wins against Towson in 1989. Keenan has won 15 or more face-offs in a game 12 times in his career.
SANKEY SHARES ACC PLAYER OF WEEK NOD: North Carolina sophomore attackman Joey Sankey shared Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week honors on March 12, 2013. Sankey had a career-high four assists and matched his career high with six points in Carolina's 16-15 upset win over No. 5 Princeton on March 9. His previous career high for assists was three, and his six points matched a career high he achieved twice in his freshman year. He also led all-non Tar Heel faceoff men with five ground balls in the contest. The native of Warminster, Pa., has tallied multiple goals in six of seven games played this season.
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 on February 8. Sophomore Jimmy Bitter scored five goals against the Falcons, breaking his previous career high of four goals 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.
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. Holman equaled that six-assist total against Brown on March 27.
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.