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Jimmy Bitter and the Tar Heels go up against defending NCAA champion Duke Saturday in Durham.
Jimmy Bitter and the Tar Heels go up against defending NCAA champion Duke Saturday in Durham.
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Carolina Set For Showdown With #4 Duke Saturday
Release: 03/14/2014

Arch Rival Duke Next Up For Tar Heel Men's Lacrosse Team


Game 7

North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1, #4 USILA Coaches Poll/#5 Warrior Media Poll) at Duke Blue Devils (5-2, #6 USILA Coaches Poll/#4 Warrior Media Poll)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

2:00 p.m.

Koskinen Stadium

Durham, N.C.

Live Stats:

Live Telecast: ESPNU

Follow The Tar Heels On Twitter:  UNCTarHeelLax or UNCMensLacrosse

2014 UNC Lacrosse Media Guide:  Access Media Guide Link on Lacrosse Home Page of

Buy UNC Season & Individual Game Tickets:  Visit Ticket Center

The Coaches

North Carolina:  Joe Breschi, North Carolina '90; 6th year at UNC, 64-26;  17th year overall, 156-80

Duke:  John Danowski, Rutgers '76;  8th year at Duke, 116-31;  32nd year overall, 335-170

Television Information


Play by Play:  Mike Corey

Analysis:  Matt Ward

TAR HEELS RENEW RIVALRY WITH DUKE SATURDAY IN DURHAM:  The North Carolina men's lacrosse team renews its long rivalry with the Duke Blue Devils Saturday at 2 p.m. when the two teams meet up in Koskinen Stadium.

The game is a matchup of the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference champion Tar Heels and the 2013 NCAA champion Blue Devils.

UNC enters the match with a 5-1 record while Duke is 5-2.  The Tar Heels are ranked #4 by the USILA coaches poll and #5 by the Warrior media poll.  The Blue Devils are ranked fourth in the Warrior media poll sponsored by Inside Lacrosse and sixth by the USILA coaches.

CAROLINA VERSUS DUKE:  Since the Tar Heels became a varsity program in 1949, it has posted a 39-30 record against Duke.  While the Tar Heels were dominant in the early years, the Blue Devils have turned the tables over the past two decades, winning 25 of their last 32 games against Carolina dating back to the 1995 ACC Tournament championship game.  UNC beat Duke 18-17 in the ACC Tournament semifinals last year in the most recent meeting.  On Saturday, Carolina will be looking for back-to-back wins against Duke for the first time since it won three in a row against Duke from 2002-2004.  Carolina is seeking its first win a regular-season game against Duke since a 13-7 win at Durham in 2010.

UNC HOME TICKET INFORMATION:  Tickets are on sale now for for the remaining North Carolina lacrosse home games at the Ticket Center.  Tickets will also be available on game days one hour before the start of each game.

Remaining home games are Harvard on March 18 at Fetzer Field at 7 p.m., Maryland on March 22 at Kenan Stadium at 2 p.m. and Virginia on April 5 at Fetzer Field at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $5 general admission.  All UNC Faculty, Staff and Students are admitted free of charge by showing their UNC One Cards at the gate.

LIVE COVERAGE FOR SATURDAY VERSUS DUKE:  For fans of Carolina lacrosse that cannot be there in person at Koskinen Stadium on Saturday please follow along with live stats with links available at both and at

The game between the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils will also be telecast live on ESPNU with a simulcast on ESPN3. Fans can find links for the live feed of the game on both and WatchESPN.

Mike Corey is the play by play announcer for Saturday's game while Matt Ward is the color analyst.  This is the same ESPNU on air talent which called last year's wild 18-17 ACC Tournament game between the two teams that was won by UNC at Kenan Stadium.

LAST YEAR'S REGULAR SEASON GAME:  Last year's regular-season game between the two teams was another Duke victory as the Blue Devils continued their recent success over the Tar Heels.

No. 17 Duke controlled the ground ball battle and the face-off X as keys in an 11-8 win over No. 8 North Carolina in men's lacrosse action at Fetzer Field on March 13, 2013 before a crowd of 2,322 on a cold and windy night.

The Blue Devils improved to 4-4 with the win and 1-1 in the ACC while Carolina falls to 3-3 on the season and 0-1 in the league.  Duke's series success against the Tar Heels continued as it was its fifth win in a row over Carolina and its 16th win in the last 17 meetings with UNC dating back to the 2005 campaign.

A 4-1 scoring run in the second quarter by the Blue Devils built an 8-4 halftime lead that Carolina was unable to overcome.  The Tar Heels twice pulled within one goal in the second half but could never get an equalizing tally.

Four different Duke players had multiple-goal games with Jordan Wolf scoring three times, Josh Dionne twice, Josh Offit twice and David Lawson twice.  Jake Tripucka led the Blue Devils with two assists.

Marcus Holman led the Tar Heels with two goals and two assists while Joey Sankey scored a pair of goals and Jimmy Bitter had two assists.

Both goalkeepers played the entire game with Kyle Turri making eight saves for the Blue Devils and Kieran Burke registering eight saves for the Tar Heels.

The Tar Heels outshot the Blue Devils 33-29.  UNC outshot Duke 15-2 in the third quarter but could capitalize for just three tallies but those did pull the Heels within a goal at 8-7.   The momentum then shifted in the fourth quarter as Duke possessed the ball virtually the entire way, outshooting Carolina 9-2 and winning all five face-offs.  UNC had the ball in its offensive end only four times in the final period of the game as it was trying to mount is comeback.  The Tar Heels turned the ball over twice and got two shots off, one resulting in a goal.

The key difference in the game was Duke's complete control of the ground balls 39-24 and a monster performance by face-off man Brendan Fowler.  Fowler won 17 of 23 face-offs and had a career-high 13 ground balls for the Blue Devils.  Five other Blue Devils had three or more ground balls.  Carolina used three different face-off men against Fowler but without much success.

LAST YEAR'S ACC TOURNAMENT MATCHUP:  The second meeting between the two teams in 2013 resulted in the highest scoring game in ACC Tournament.  It arguably had as many momentum shifts as any contest in the conference tournament's history.

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, 2013 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 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.

Second-seeded Carolina (11-3) went on to beat fourth-seeded Virginia (7-7) by a 16-13 score two days later in the championship game.

Holman's late heroics overcame a monumental comeback effort by the Blue Devils (11-5) who had won nine straight games coming into Friday's 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.  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.  Jimmy Bitter had three goals and an assist for the Tar Heels while Joey Sankey had two goals and two assists.

Jordan Wolf led the Blue Devils with five goals and two assists while Josh Offit had three goals and two helpers.  Josh Dionne also had a hat trick for the Blue Devils.

Duke outshot the Tar Heels 47-44, including an edge of 29-13 in the second half when it outscored the Heels 11-5 after UNC had raced to a 13-6 halftime lead.  The Blue Devils also won the ground ball battle 38-29, including 15 pickups by face-off man Brendan Fowler who was 25 of 38 at the X.

Kyle Turri started for the Blue Devils and made six saves while allowing 14 goals in 52:54.  Turri was replaced by Luke Aaron for the last 7:06 of the first half.  Aaron allowed four goals and did not make a save.  Freshman Kieran Burke went all 60 minutes for the Tar Heels and made 12 saves while allowing 17 goals.  But after Duke went up 17-16 with 6:12 to play, Burke stopped the last three Duke shots on goal, giving his team a chance to rally.

It was UNC's first win over the Blue Devils since 2010, ending a five-game losing streak in the series, and only the second win by Carolina over the Blue Devils in the last 18 meetings between the two teams dating back to 2005.  UNC also broke a 10-game losing streak to the Blue Devils in tournament play.  The Heels had lost their last six meetings to Duke in the ACC Tournament and last four meetings in the NCAA Tournament.  Carolina's last win in tournament play over their arch-rivals came in the 1996 ACC Tournament semifinals when Carolina won 18-8 in Charlottesville, Va.  The win for Carolina was its first over their neighbors from Durham in Chapel Hill since a 14-9 Tar Heel win on March 19, 2003.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE TAR HEELS:  The fifth-ranked University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team outscored Bucknell 18-2 over the last 48:02 of the game to emerge with a 20-4 win over the Bison on Tuesday, March 11 at Fetzer Field.

Joey Sankey, Luke Goldstock and Patrick Kelly each had hat tricks for the Tar Heels in the victory.  That gives Sankey 12 for his career while Goldstock and Kelly had three-goal games for the first time as Tar Heels.  Carolina's starting attack unit of Sankey, Pat Foster and Jimmy Bitter combined to produce 15 points as Sankey had three goals and three assists, Foster had two goals and three assists and Bitter had two goals and two assists.  Foster's three assists matched his career high initially set against Penn State on February 11, 2012 and his five points were also a career high.

Altogether, UNC got 11 goals from non-starters with both Goldstock and Kelly recording three goals and an assist.  Freshman Michael Tagliaferri had a goal and two assists.

Bitter and Sankey ran their streaks for games with a point to 32 and 27, respectively.  Bitter has scored goals in 27 of the past 29 games and Sankey has tallied goals in 24 of the past 27.

After having three brilliant saves made against him in the first half by Bucknell goalkeeper Sam Grinberg, UNC midfielder Chad Tutton finally got on the board against backup netminder Frank Morelli with 10:02 left in the game.  The goal allowed Tutton to run his scoring streak to 19 straight games and even more amazingly to 31 of the past 32 contests.

FOSTER'S CLUTCH PLAY THE PAST TWO GAMES:  Pat Foster scored three goals for the Tar Heels in their win over Princeton March 7 and followed that up with a five-point performance against Bucknell four days later. 

Foster's hat trick versus Princeton was the third of his career and his first three-goal game since April 17, 2011 versus Lehigh. He also had a career high three ground balls in the game versus the Tigers.

Foster followed that up with two goals and three assists versus Bucknell this past Tuesday.  His three assists matched his career high initially set against Penn State on February 11, 2012.  His five points eclipsed his previous career high of four versus Maryland on March 26, 2011.

Foster has recorded 12 goals in the first six games of the 2014 season.  That's more double the number of goals he had in both 2012 and 2013 when he had five each.  He has 15 games as a freshman in 2011.

CAREER GAMES FOR GOLDSTOCK AND P. KELLY:  Freshman attackman Luke Goldstock and sophomore midfielder Patrick Kelly each had four-point games against Bucknell this past Tuesday.  That was a career high point total for Goldstock, who got two extra-man goals, and it matched Kelly's high of four previously set against Furman on February 9.

Both Goldstock and Kelly notched their first career hat tricks in goals verus the Bison.

KELLY STEPS UP AT FACE-OFF X IN PAST TWO GAMES:  After a tough day in the face-off circle for the Tar Heels against Notre Dame in the 11-10 loss on March 1, UNC head coach Joe Breschi turned to freshman Stephen Kelly to handle virtually all face-off duties for Carolina in its win over Princeton on March 7.  Kelly backed that up with another good day in the circle against Bucknell this past Tuesday.

Kelly won 15 of 26 face-offs and recorded a game-high 13 ground balls versus the Tigers.  Against Bucknell he won 14 of 18 face-offs and scooped up double digit ground balls with 10.

The 15 face-off victories against Princeton were the most won in a game by a Tar Heel player since R.G. Keenan won 15 against Lehigh on May 11, 2013.  It marked the 58th time in UNC lacrosse history that a player has won as many as 15 face-offs in a game.  Kelly is the 12th different UNC player in history to win as many as 15 face-offs in a game.

The 13 ground balls by Kelly were the most in a game by a UNC player since Shane Walterhoefer had 15 against Providence on March 11, 2009.  It marked the eighth occasion that a Tar Heel player has had as many as 13 ground balls in a single game.  Kelly is the fifth different Tar Heel player to accomplish the feat.

Kelly is the first UNC player to have back-to-back double digit ground ball games since R.G. Keenan had 10 against both UMass on Feb. 16, 2013 and against Fairfield on Feb. 23, 2013.

In the past two games combined, Kelly has won 29 of 44 face-offs and claimed 23 ground balls.

TWO TAR HEELS ON TEWAARATON WATCH LIST:  A pair of standout Tar Heel offensive players were named on Februrary 27 to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List presented by Panama Jack.  Junior attackman Joey Sankey and junior midfielder Chad Tutton were both named to the 50-man Watch List.

The list includes two players who were finalists in 2013 - Tom Schreiber of Princeton and Lyle Thompson of Albany.

UNC's Marcus Holman was also a finalist for the award in 2013, only the second in UNC history.  The other Tar Heel was Jed Prossner.

Additions to the list will be announced March 20 and April 10 and the field narrowed to 25 individuals on April 24.  The five men's finalists will be announced on May 8.

CREIGHTON A CANDIDATE FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD:  Senior tri-captain Ryan Creighton (West Chester, Pa.) has been named one of 20 candidates for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award.  The award annually honors one men's lacrosse player who exemplifies four areas of excellence -- community, classroom, character and competition.

Creighton is seeking to become the fourth Tar Heel student-athlete in history to win a Senior CLASS Award.

Tyler Hansbrough won the award for men's basketball in 2009, Ali Hawkins for women's soccer in 2010 and Kealia Ohai for women's soccer in 2013.

ANOTHER SEASON OPENING WIN:  Carolina's victory over Furman on February 9 was the 16th in a row for the Tar Heels in a season opener.  UNC has won every season opener since the 1999 season.  Carolina's last loss in a season opener came on February 22, 1988 when the Tar Heels fell to Butler 13-12 at Fetzer Field.

HAT TRICKS FOR THE HEELS:  UNC junior Joey Sankey recorded hat tricks in each of the first three games of the season for the Tar Heels and added another against Bucknell.  Those three-goal games ran his career total to 12, the most of any current Tar Heel.  Junior midfielder Chad Tutton notched his ninth career hat trick in the victory over Manhattan and his 10th in the victory at Princeton.

Also recording a hat trick versus the Jaspers was Tutton's fellow Canadian, freshman midfielder Shane Simpson.

Junior Jimmy Bitter notched his first hat trick of the season against Dartmouth and followed that up with another three-goal performance against Notre Dame, giving him 10 for his career.

Against Princeton on March 7, senior attackman Pat Foster recorded his third career hat trick and the first since his freshman year when he recorded them against Maryland and Lehigh.

Luke Goldstock and Patrick Kelly each put up their first career hat tricks against Bucknell last Tueday.

CAROLINA AS A TEAM IN THE NCAA STATISTICS:  Five games into the 2014 season, Carolina ranks in the Top 10 of NCAA team statistical categories in 10 different areas.  The NCAA releases statistics weekly and these figures do not reflect the Bucknell game this past Tuesday.

Those team rankings are as follows:

Assists Per Game:  10th, 7.60

Ground Balls Per Game:  5th, 36.20

Man-Up Offense:  4th, .583

Points Per Game:  2nd, 23.80

Scoring Defense:  4th, 7.00

Scoring Margin:  1st, 9.30

Scoring Offense:  2nd, 16.20

Shot Percentage:  7th, 0.351

Turnovers Per Game:  1st, 10.60

Winning Percentage:  8th, 0.800

BURKE IN THE NCAA STATS:  North Carolina sophomore goalkeeper Kieran Burke, who has started 23 straight games for UNC over the past two seasons, ranked fifth in NCAA Division I in goals against average at 7.18 beginning the week and he was 26th in save percentage at .544.

KUDOS TO MARCUS:  The Tar Heel lacrosse program received great news on February 5 when 2013 alumnus Marcus Holman was named to the U.S. National Team that will play this coming summer in the 2014 World Lacrosse Games in Denver, Colo.  Holman is one of 30 U.S. players named to the team and one of six attackmen chosen.  The U.S. National Team is being coached this year by Furman head mentor Richie Meade, a 1976 University of North Carolina graduate.

Holman is the son of UNC assistant coach Brian Holman and brother of former Tar Heel lacrosse player Matt Holman and current UNC women's lacrosse standout Sydney Holman.

THE POLLS:  The three national polls were released this past Monday.  North Carolina is ranked fourth this week in the USILA coaches' poll. Carolina is fifth in the Warrior media poll sponsored by Inside Lacrosse and the Tar Heels are ranked sixth by Lacrosse Magazine.

DEFENSE DID ITS JOB IN OPENING THREE GAMES:  Carolina limited Furman to three goals in the Tar Heels' season-opening victory over the Paladins February 9 and surrendered only five against the Manhattan Jaspers and the Dartmouth Big Green in the following two matchups.

The three goals allowed against Furman were the fewest goals allowed in a game by Carolina since March 18, 2008 when the Tar Heels beat Marist 12-3 at Fetzer Field.

UNC held each of its first three opponents to five goals or less.  The last time UNC accomplished that feat was the 2010 season when it limited it first four opponents of the campaign to five goals or less.  The Tar Heel were on a similar pace against Notre Dame with the Fighting Irish sitting at three goals more than halfway through the third quarter.  But Notre Dame went on a 8-1 scoring run over the next 18 minutes to rally for an 11-10 victory over the Heels.

After holding Bucknell to just four goals this past Tuesday, Carolina heads into the game against Duke with the fourth-ranked scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 6.50 goals per game.

SIX DOUBLE DIGIT SCORING GAMES:  North Carolina has scored in double digits in each of the first six games of the 2014 season.  The last time Carolina did that to open a season was 2007 when UNC scored 10 or more goals in the opening seven games of the season.

Dating back to last season, Carolina has scored in double digits in goals in 17 straight games.

Duke, in fact, was the last opponent to hold Carolina under 10 goals in the Blue Devils' 11-8 win over the Tar Heels on March 13, 2013.

BURKE EXCELS IN THE CAGE:  North Carolina sophomore goalkeeper Kieran Burke started his 23rd successive game for Carolina in the Tar Heels' match against Bucknell last Tuesday.  After a subpar performance in UNC's 13-11 win at Princeton the previous Friday, Burke regained his form against the Bison, making 12 saves and allowing only four goals in 52:10 of play.

Burke has been excellent for the Tar Heels this season.  In 311 minutes of action he has made 49 saves and allowed 35 goals.  He has a save percentage of .583 and a goals against average of 6.75.

SCORING DROUGHT FOR PALADINS:  The North Carolina defense held Furman scoreless for a period of 34:12 in a 19-3 victory over the Paladins on February 9.  After Ben Levin scored for the Paladins with 2:49 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 2-2, the Tar Heels kept Furman off the scoreboard until 13:37 remained in the game when Kenny Meinsen scored for the Paladins.

The last time a Carolina team had held an opponent scoreless for that long a period of time was April 13, 2013 when UNC blanked Hofstra for the last 34:38 of the game in a 14-5 victory over the Pride at Hempstead, N.Y.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION:  North Carolina's 21-goal offensive effort versus Manhattan on February 16 marked the largest goal output for UNC in head coach Joe Breschi's six years as head coach.  The Tar Heels had scored 20 goals in a game three times previously during his tenure.

The 21 goals were the most for UNC in a game since April 26, 2001 when UNC beat NCAA Division II school Pfeiffer 27-7 at Henry Stadium.  The last time Carolina had scored more than 21 goals against an NCAA Division I team was April 16, 1997 in a 22-2 victory at VMI.

UNC has scored as many as 20 goals in a game five times during Coach Breschi's tenure including twice this season (Manhattan and Bucknell).

TUTTON'S SCORING STREAK:  With a fourth quarter goal against Bucknell this past Tuesday, junior midfielder Chad Tutton has now scored in 19 successive games dating back to March 9, 2013.  That is the fifth longest current goal scoring streak amongst NCAA Division I players.  The junior midfielder has scored 35 goals in that 19-game streak.

Tutton has scored goals in 31 of the past 32 games he has played in.  The only game in that streak when he did not score came at Notre Dame on March 2, 2013.

The stellar Canadian midfielder had scored in 12 successive games from March 21, 2012 through February 23, 2013 prior to having his scoring streak broken against the Fighting Irish a year ago.  He began his current streak against Princeton a week later.

Just a junior, Tutton has two of the 15 longest goal-scoring streaks in Tar Heel lacrosse lore.

His current 19-game goal-scoring streak is the seventh longest in UNC history and his previous 13-game streak equaled the 14th longest by a Tar Heel.

POINTS STREAKS FOR JOEY AND JIMMY:  Carolina junior attackmen Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey have two of the 14 longest point scoring streaks currently active in NCAA Division I.

Bitter has recorded points in 32 successive games dating back to March 16, 2012.  That is the 10th longest streak in the nation.

Sankey has recorded at least one point in a game in 27 consecutive contests.  His scoring streak began on April 20, 2012.  Sankey's streak is the 14th longest in NCAA Division I.

Sankey and Bitter were the two fastest Tar Heels in history to reach the 50 goal total in their careers.  Both are moving up the career points charts as well.  Sankey has 126 career points and Bitter joined the 100-point club at UNC with his four-point performance against Notre Dame on March 1 and now has 111 career points.

Sankey has 72 career goals and Bitter has 70.

Chad Tutton has the 28th longest point-scoring streak in NCAA Division I having posted at least one point in 19 games in a row.

MORE ON JIMMY AND JOEY:  Since entering the Tar Heel starting lineup on a full-time basis on March 18, 2012 versus Dartmouth, Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey have been remarkably consistent performers, especially when paired with their old line mate, Marcus Holman, 2013 Tewaraaton Trophy Finalist, during 2012 & 2013.

The duo has continued that consistent play in 2014.

In addition to his long point streak, Sankey has scored goals in 24 of the past 27 games he has played in.  Bitter, who has a longer point streak than his line mate, has scored goals in 27 of the past 29 games.  He also has 10 career hat tricks, a total just behind fellow junior Sankey, who has 12, and equal to junior middie Chad Tutton, who also has 10.

KEENAN PASSES 600 MARK IN FACE-OFF WINS:  Senior midfielder R.G. Keenan started his senior season with an outstanding performance at the X against the Furman Paladins.  He won 11 of 17 face-offs.  Keenan's 11 wins gave him 605 face-off victories in his career.  He ranks second on the Tar Heel record board behind only Shane Walterhoefer, who won 723 face-offs from 2006-09.

Brothers Frankie and Stephen Kelly combined to win five of eight face-offs against Furman, giving the Tar Heels a solid 1-2-3 punch at draws.  Keenan has missed the past five games due to injury, leaving responsibility for the face-off duties to the Brothers Kelly.

FRANKIE'S CAREER DAY:  Senior midfielder Frankie Kelly, easily one of the most personally popular of all Tar Heel players, stepped in for R.G. Keenan in the Manhattan match and the Tar Heels did not miss a beat.

Kelly had a career high for face-off wins in a game, going 14 of 18 from the X.  Kelly's previous career high was 12 wins versus Dartmouth on March 21, 2012.  Kelly won 77.7 percent of his face-offs against the Jaspers, a career best percentage.  He won 72.7 percent in a match against Presbyterian on April 14, 2012.

Kelly also was excellent in the face-off circle in the Tar Heels' next game versus Dartmouth.  He won 11 of 18 face-offs and scooped up five ground balls.  The 11 face-off wins were the third most he has ever won in a match.

His younger brother, Stephen Kelly, a freshman, was also excellent against the Big Green, winning 7 of 8 face-offs to go along with seven ground balls, a game high on the stat sheet.

PLAYING ITS DEPTH:  One of the plusses of posting comfortable wins over Furman, Manhattan and Dartmouth to start the season was the fact Coach Joe Breschi could play his roster in the three wins and get plenty of experience for his younger players.  Thirty-eight players saw action for the Tar Heels against Furman and Manhattan and 36 played in the win over the Big Green.  The Tar Heels continued to play a deep roster versus Notre Dame as 25 players saw action.  Carolina played a slightly shorter bench in the win at Princeton, employing 23 players.

In its most recent game, the win over Bucknell, UNC was able to get 34 players on the field.

UNC VERSUS IVY LEAGUE FOES:  Princeton, who UNC defeated 13-11 on March 7, was the second of three teams from the Ivy League UNC plays in 2014.  Carolina beat the Dartmouth Big Green 18-5 on February 22 and the Princeton Tigers 13-11 on March 7.  UNC will host Harvard on Tuesday, March 18.

Carolina's records versus Ivy League teams are as follows:  Brown (3-0), Cornell (3-4), Dartmouth (11-3), Harvard (1-1), Pennsylvania (8-5), Princeton (9-7) and Yale (0-3).  UNC is 35-23 all-time against Ivy League squads.

HEAD COACH JOE BRESCHI:  Joe Breschi is now in his sixth 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 first five seasons in Chapel Hill.

He earned his 150th career coaching victory when Carolina beat Virginia in the ACC Tournament championship match on April 28, 2013.  He was named ACC Coach of the Year in both 2010 and 2013.

Breschi Coaching Facts:

  • 64-26 in five seasons at UNC (71.1)
  • 156-89 in 17 seasons overall (63.7)
  • 6-10 in ACC regular-season games
  • 4-4 in ACC Tournament games
  • 3-5 in NCAA Tournament games at UNC; 4-8 in NCAA Tournament games overall
  • 14-11 in one-goal games at UNC
  • 33-23 versus ranked teams at UNC; 31-3 versus unranked teams at UNC
  • 53-9 versus non-conference teams at UNC
  • 39-8 in home games at UNC

13 WINS IN 2013:  North Carolina won 13 matches last season.  That was the most wins in a season since Coach Joe Breschi's squad won 13 games in his second season as head coach in 2010.

Those two 13-win seasons gave Tar Heels their most wins in a single campaign since the 1993 team went 14-2.

MOST GOALS AGAINST A TOP 10 TEAM IN 17 YEARS:  Carolina's 18 goals against Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals on April 26, 2013 were the most it had scored against a Top 10-ranked team since April 6, 1996 when the Tar Heels beat #1-ranked Virginia 19-18 at Fetzer Field.

TUTTON'S MIDFIELD GOALS:  Midfielder Chad Tutton scored 28 goals in his sophomore campaign, ending the season on a 13-game goal scoring streak. That was the most goals by a Tar Heel midfielder since Sean DeLaney scored 35 goals in 2009.

WINNING THE ONE-GOAL GAMES:  Carolina has a record of 14-11 in games decided by one goal in Coach Joe Breschi's six seasons as head coach.  That included a 4-3 mark in one-goal games last season.

SECOND-LONGEST WINNING STREAK IN 20 YEARS:  North Carolina won 10 successive games during the 2013 season before falling to Denver in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal.  That equaled the longest winning streak for UNC since the 1992 season.

UNC won all 16 games during the 1991 season and then followed that up with wins in the first two games of 1992 before its 18-game winning streak was halted at Syracuse.  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.  Carolina matched that winning streak during the 2013 campaign.

HIGHEST SCORING AVERAGE IN 17 YEARS:  North Carolina averaged 13.35 goals per game last season.  That was the highest scoring average for the Tar Heels since the 1996 team scored 15.29 goals per game.  UNC scored 227 goals in 17 games last season.

JUNIOR DUO CLIMBING CAREER GOAL & POINT CHARTS:  Junior attackmen Joey Sankey and Jimmy Bitter continue to climb UNC's career charts in goals and points.

Here are Sankey's career ranks in points, assists and goals:

Goals:  Tied 28th, 72 career goals

Assists:  Sankey, 23rd, 54 career assists

Points:  Sankey, 23rd, 126 career points

Here are Bitter's career ranks in points and goals:

Goals: Tied 38th, 70 career goals

Points:  Tied 30th, 111 career points

Jimmy Bitter finished his sophomore year with 59 goals while Joey Sankey wrapped up his second year with 58 goals.

Those were the two highest goal totals by any sophomore in UNC lacrosse history.

CAROLINA SCORING TIDBITS:  Following are some details on top UNC players and their personal scoring streaks heading into the Duke game.

Jimmy Bitter

  • Has scored a goal in 27 of the past 29 games
  • Has recorded a point in 32 successive games (streak began March 16, 2012)

Joey Sankey

  • Has recorded a point in 27 successive games (streak began April 20, 2012)
  • Has scored goals in 24 of the past 27 games

Chad Tutton

  • Has recorded a point in 32 of the past 33 games
  • Has scored a goal in 19 successive games
  • Has scored a goal in 31 of the past 32 games

UNC's CAREER HAT TRICKS:  Joey Sankey leads all current Tar Heel players with 12 career hat tricks.  Jimmy Bitter with 10 and Chad Tutton with 10 rank right behind Sankey.

The only other Tar Heels will career hat tricks are Pat Foster with three and Ryan Creighton, Shane Simpson, Luke Goldstock and Patrick Kelly with one each.

KEENAN'S UPDATED FACEOFF & GROUND BALL NUMBERS:  R.G. Keenan has won 605 face-offs in his career.  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 325 career ground balls, the third most in UNC history.

Keenan's 605 face-off wins are the second most amongst active NCAA Division I players, his 327 ground balls are the second most amongst active players and his 6.41 career ground balls per game is the fourth highest active total.

Keenan's 1,052 face-off attempts are the most amongst any NCAA Division I player.

ANOTHER DOUBLE DIGIT WIN SEASON UNDER COACH BRESCHI:  Despite playing against one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2013, the Tar Heels 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 finished with a 13-4 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 13-4 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 56 times in Joe Breschi's six-year coaching tenure.  UNC is 33-23 in those games.  Conversely, the Tar Heels are 31-3 against unranked opponents in his six seasons.

Breschi is 64-26 overall at Carolina in his six 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 14-11 in games decided by one goal over the past six years.


FOURTH QUARTER RALLY LIFTS TAR HEELS PAST TIGERS:  Pat Foster and Chad Tutton each recorded hat tricks and Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey each had four points as 6th-ranked North Carolina defeated 13th-ranked Princeton 13-11 at Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium on Friday, March 7.  The game was played before a crowd of 1,717 fans and a national television audience on ESPNU.

Tutton recorded his second hat trick of the season and 10th of his career in the win over the Tigers.  For the second straight year, the junior midfielder from Courtice, Ontario scored the game-winning goal against Princeton.  He scored with 3:50 to play in the game to break an 11-11 tie as Carolina went on to beat the Tigers for the fifth straight season.

A year ago, Tutton scored the game-winner against the Tigers with three seconds to play as the Tar Heels won 16-15 at Fetzer Field.

North Carolina had three-goal leads in the game in the first quarter and the third quarter.  Princeton erased both of those leads with four-goal runs, the latter which put the Tigers up 11-10 with 14 minutes to play in the game.  UNC's Shane Simpson tied the game for the Heels with 10:09 to play before goals by Tutton and Jimmy Bitter gave the Tar Heels their final two-goal cushion.

UNC DROPS FIRST GAME OF SEASON TO FIGHTING IRISH:  North Carolina suffered its opening loss of the season when it fell to Notre Dame 11-10 at Fetzer Field March 1.  This marked the second straight year that the Fighting Irish have rallied late to beat the Tar Heels.

UNC led 8-3 midway through the third quarter but the Irish went on an 8-1 scoring run to take an 11-9 lead with 4:14 to play.  Jimmy Bitter, who had a hat trick, got one back for the Tar Heels but Notre Dame was able to kill most of the last four minutes off the clock and hold on for the 11-10 win.

TAR HEELS EXCEL AGAINST THE BIG GREEN:  North Carolina improved to 3-0 on the season with a workmanlike 18-5 victory over the Dartmouth Big Green at Fetzer Field on Saturday, February 22.

Carolina improved to 11-3 all-time against the Big Green and won its 11th game in a row in the series.

Carolina's 13-goal margin of victory was the largest for the Tar Heels against Dartmouth since March 25, 1990 when UNC downed the Big Green 23-5 at Fetzer Field.

The Tar Heels outshot the Big Green 52-20 in the match and led in ground balls 43-26 and face-offs 18-9.

Offensively, the Tar Heels got a big game from Joey Sankey with three goals and four assists as he tied his career highs for assists and points in a match.  Jimmy Bitter kicked in with a hat trick for Carolina while Pat Foster, Chad Tutton, Michael Tagliaferri and Walker Chafee each recorded a pair of goals.

Senior Frankie Kelly was a positive factor for the Tar Heels at the face-off X as he won 11 of 18 draws and scooped up five ground balls.  His younger brother, Stephen, a freshman was also stellar in the face-off circle with 7 of 8 face-off wins and seven ground balls.

Sophomore Kieran Burke made his 20th straight start in goal for Carolina and made eight saves while allowing only three goals in 49:04 of action.  Duncan Saunders finished up in goal for the Tar Heels.

TAR HEELS TAKE CARE OF MANHATTAN:  Carolina won its eighth straight home opener with a 21-5 win over Manhattan on Sunday, February 16 at the Navy Field Turf facility in the first ever meeting between the two teams.

Just as it did against Furman the previous Sunday, the Tar Heels came out as a serious bunch and built a huge first-half lead, allowing Coach Breschi to play his entire roster.  Carolina led 7-1 after the first quarter and 13-3 at halftime and then outscored the Jaspers 8-2 in the second half.

Twelve different Tar Heels scored goals against the Jaspers and nine players had assists.  Three Tar Heels - Joey Sankey, Chad Tutton and Shane Simpson - had hat tricks.  Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey each had two assists.

Carolina had a 66-28 edge in shots and a 40-29 advantage in ground balls.  Carolina was also excellent at the X, winning 18 of 30 draws despite the fact three-year face-off starter R.G. Keenan sat out the match with an injury.

CAROLINA OPENS SEASON WITH IMPRESSIVE WIN OVER FURMAN:  North Carolina opened its season with a 19-3 win at first-year program Furman on Sunday, Feb. 9.  One of the most noticeable things in the box score in UNC's victory was the balanced nature of the scoring.  The Tar Heels had 14 different players score goals in the game.  Junior attackman Joey Sankey led the Tar Heels with three goals and the other multiple goal scorers with two each were senior midfielder T.J. Kemp, sophomore attackman Spencer Parks and sophomore midfielder Brent Armstrong.

Carolina's leading scorer points wise against the Paladins was sophomore attackman Patrick Kelly who had a career-high four points.  Kelly scored a goal and led the Tar Heels with three assists.  Those were the first three assists of Kelly's career.

A quartet of freshmen scored their first career goals against the Paladins - attackman Luke Goldstock and midfielders Michael Tagliaferri, Shane Simpson and Peyton Klawinski.

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