Carolina Heads To Albany For NCAA Tournament First Round
2017 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA MEN'S LACROSSE GAME NOTES
Game 15: North Carolina Tar Heels (8-7, ACC Tournament champion, ranked #10 in USILA/NIKE Division I Men's Lacrosse Coaches Poll for Week 13, ranked #9 in Maverik Media Poll for Week 13) at Albany Great Danes (14-2, America East regular season and Tournament champion, ranked #4 in USILA/NIKE Division I Men's Lacrosse Coaches Poll for Week 13, ranked #4 in Maverik Media Poll for Week 13)
2017 NCAA Tournament First Round
Saturday, May 13, 2017
7:30 p.m. EDT
Bob Ford Field at Tom and Mary Casey Stadium
KEY LINKS FOR SATURDAY'S GAME
Live Stats: GoHeels.com
Telecast: ESPNU, ESPN3, WatchESPN
Tickets: Purchase Tickets
UNC Media Guide: 2017 Media Guide Link
UNC Game Notes: PDF Version
Player Roster & Coaches' Bios: GoHeels.com Roster Page
2017 Statistics: Link on GoHeels
TAR HEELS EARN AT-LARGE BID TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP; HEAD TO ALBANY: The 2017 University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team has earned an at-large bid for the NCAA Championship and will play Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the #8 seed Albany Great Danes in the opening round of the tournament.
North Carolina is in the NCAA Tournament for the 32nd time since earning its first bid in 1977. The Tar Heels are in the tournament for the 11th straight year and the ninth successive year since head coach Joe Breschi arrived as head coach in the summer of 2008.
Saturday's game will be played at Bob Ford Field at Tom and Mary Casey Stadium in Albany, N.Y. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU with simulcasting on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Chris Cotter will be the play-by-play announcer and Paul Carcaterra will be the color analyst.
GAME DETAILS: North Carolina earned one of the eight at-large bids to the NCAA Championship. The Tar Heels are 8-7 on the season. Carolina finished fourth in the ACC regular season standings while the Tar Heels captured the ACC Tournament championship with a 16-15 victory over #1 seed Syracuse in the semifinals and a 14-10 win over #3 seed Notre Dame in the championship game. UNC finished the regular season ranked #10 in the USILA coaches' poll and #9 in the Maverik media poll.
Albany is in the NCAA Tournament field for the ninth time in its lacrosse history. The Great Danes finished the year ranked #4 in both the USILA coaches' poll and the Maverik media poll. Albany earned the automatic bid from the America East Conference. It won both the AE regular-season and tournament championships. Albany is 14-2 overall this season.
Albany is the #8 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and the Tar Heels are unseeded for the second straight year and the third time in the last four years.
CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: North Carolina has qualified for the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Tournament for the 32nd time in school history in 2017. The Tar Heels earned their first NCAA Tournament bid in 1977 after moving up to the NCAA Division I level in 1974 and have been named to the tournament field 31 more times since then. The ininitial NCAA Division I Tournament was held in 1971. With its 32nd bid in 2017, Carolina has the fifth most NCAA Tournament appearances in history.
The only schools with more NCAA Tournament appearances than Carolina are Johns Hopkins with 45, Maryland with 40, Virginia with 37 and Syracuse with 36.
Carolina is 33-26 all-time in NCAA Tournament play after last Memorial Day's 14-13 overtime victory over the University of Maryland in the 2016 NCAA championship game on May 30, 2016. UNC earned its 30th all-time NCAA tournament win with a 10-9 victory over Marquette on May 14, 2016 in the NCAA first round. The Tar Heels have won five NCAA Tournament championships in 1981, 1982, 1986, 1991 and 2016.
The match against Maryland on May 30, 2016 marked Carolina's sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament championship game. Carolina's record in NCAA championship games is now 5-1 after the win over the Terrapins.
Carolina's bid in 2017 is its 11th invitation in a row, a streak which began in 2007 under previous head coach John Haus. The Tar Heels have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of head coach Joe Breschi's nine seasons as head coach from 2009 through 2016.
UNC UNSEEDED FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR: North Carolina earned an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA Championship and it marked just the fifth time in Tar Heel history that they had gone into the tournament as an unseeded team. The top eight teams in the bracket are seeded each year.
Carolina has earned Top 8 seeds in 27 of the 32 NCAA Tournaments for which it has been selected. UNC has been unseeded in 1995, 1998, 2014, 2016 and 2017. The win over Marquette in the NCAA first round last year marked the first time in school history the Tar Heels won a game in the tournament as an unseeded squad. It was also Carolina's first true road win in an NCAA Tournament since it beat Syracuse in the 1991 NCAA semifinals at the Carrier Dome.
BEATING A HIGHER SEEDED TEAM: North Carolina's 10-9 victory over Marquette on May 14, 2016 marked the first time the Tar Heels had beaten a higher seeded team in the NCAA Tournament since the quarterfinal round in 1989. Sixth-seeded Carolina beat third-seeded Loyola 12-5 in the tournament quarterfinals in Baltimore, Md., during UNC head coach Joe Breschi's junior year as a Tar Heel defenseman.
The 13-9 NCAA quarterfinal win over Notre Dame on May 22, 2016 gave Carolina back-to-back wins over higher-seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1986 when #5 seed Carolina beat #4 Maryland, #1 Johns Hopkins and #3 Virginia in succession to win the NCAA championship. With an 18-13 win over #7 seed Loyola in the NCAA semifinals on May 28, 2016, Carolina defeated three higher seeded teams for the first time since the 1986 team accomplished the feat. The win over #1 Maryland in the championship game gave UNC wins over four #7 seeds in the 2016 tournament.
When Joe Breschi was the head coach at Ohio State in 2008, the unseeded Buckeyes routed #8 Cornell in the first round in Ithaca, N.Y., en route to claiming a spot in the NCAA quarterfinals.
LAST TIME OUT FOR CAROLINA - TAR HEELS CLAIM ACC CHAMPIONSHIP: Led by Chris Cloutier's Most Valuable Player performance, the #18 North Carolina Tar Heels defeated #6 Notre Dame 14-10 on Sunday afternoon, April 30 in the ACC Championship men's lacrosse title game at Koskinen Stadium on the Duke University campus. A crowd of 2,325 fans was in attendance to see the #4 tournament seed Tar Heels down the #3 seed Fighting Irish just eight days after Notre Dame had defeated Carolina 14-13 in the regular-season meeting between the two teams in South Bend, Ind.
Cloutier, who had three goals and two assists in the championship game, was joined on the All-Tournament Team by senior attackman Luke Goldstock, senior long-stick midfielder Jack Lambert and sophomore attackman Andy Matthews.
With the win, the Tar Heels become NCAA Tournament selection eligible at 8-7, winning their first ACC championship since 2013. Notre Dame fell to 8-4 on the season. It was the 13th ACC men's lacrosse championship overall for the Tar Heels. They won conference titles in 1981, 1982, 1985 and 1988 when the league crowns were based on the regular-season standings. UNC has won ACC Tournament titles in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2013 and 2017.
Coach Joe Breschi's Tar Heels exploded out of the gate with four goals in a row and held at least a two-goal lead the rest of the game. After that initial scoring run by the Tar Heels, the closest the Fighting Irish could get was 4-2 early in the second frame and 8-6 heading into the fourth quarter. But UNC senior Stephen Kelly won 10 of 11 face-offs in the fourth quarter and the Tar Heels outscored the Fighting Irish 6-4 in the final quarter to pull away for the 14-10 win.
Luke Goldstock led the Tar Heels with four goals, all in the fourth quarter, as he recorded his 19th career hat trick. The four goals for Goldstock gave him 118 career goals. He is now fifth all-time in Tar Heel history. Marcus Holman (2010-13) is in fourth place with 121 career goals. With four points in the game, Goldstock moved past both Mac Ford and Jed Prossner into 11th place in career points with 176. Billy Bitter (2007-10) ranks 10th with 178 career points.
Chris Cloutier had three goals and two assists in the championship game, in the process recording a 10th career hat trick. He had all of his goals in the first half, pacing the Tar Heels to a 7-3 lead at intermission. He then assisted on back-to-back goals by Goldstock in the fourth quarter that gave UNC its fourth five-goal lead of the game at 13-8 with 6:52 to play. With his five points in the game, Cloutier ran his career total to 102, becoming the 42nd Tar Heel in history to hit the century mark in points.
Cloutier finished the tournament's two games with nine points (6 goals, 3 assists) while Goldstock had eight points in two games (6 goals, 2 assists). Sophomore Andy Matthews had a goal and three assists in the semifinals against Syracuse and the same statistics again in the championship game against Notre Dame. All the Tar Heel attackmen earned their way on to the All-Tournament Team.
Freshman William Perry had two goals, both on extra-man opportunities, and an assist in the championship contest while Justin Anderson, Timmy Kelly and Tanner Cook each had a single goal. Senior long-stick defensive midfielder Jack Lambert was one of the heroes of the weekend for the Tar Heels as he had two goals in the semifinal win over Syracuse and a goal and two assists in the championship game victory over Notre Dame. Coming into the weekend, Lambert had a single point in his career, a goal earlier this season against Maryland. Brendan Gleason led Notre Dame with his first career hat trick. Bryan Costabile had two goals and an assist for the Irish.
Stephen Kelly came back from a rough first half versus the Fighting Irish to end the game with 11 ground balls and a 14 of 26 performance at the face-off X. He won 10 of 11 face-offs in the fourth quarter, allowing the Tar Heels to dominate possession and protect and extend their lead. Kelly has now won 711 face-offs in his career (12 behind UNC career leader Shane Walterhoefer who had 723 from 2006-09). Kelly has 374 career ground balls, the third most in UNC history.
Tar Heel senior goalkeeper Brian Balkam made 11 saves for the Tar Heels in the victory while Shane Doss had 12 saves for the Fighting Irish.
UNC outshot the Fighting Irish 44-31. Notre Dame had a 37-34 edge in ground balls. Both teams won 14 face-offs. UNC committed 15 turnovers and was 21 of 25 in the clearing game. Notre Dame was guilty of 13 turnovers and was 17 of 19 in the clearing game.
UNC went 3-for-5 on extra-man opportunities while Notre Dame was 1-for-6 on the EMO.
Carolina continued to perform well offensively Sunday against the Fighting Irish who have surrendered their two highest goal totals of the season to UNC with 14 tallies against them on Sunday and 13 against them on April 22 in the regular-season meeting.
The Tar Heels started the game on a four-goal scoring run in the opening 7:17 of the game. Andy Matthews scored an unassisted goal 58 seconds into the match to draw first blood. Carolina earned a man-up opportunity after a holding call on Mikey Wynne and converted on it with a goal by William Perry, assisted by Matthews, with 11:34 left in the first quarter. Cloutier started his hat trick off an assist by Perry with 9:42 left in the period and two minutes later the Tar Heels scored in transition with Lambert scoring his third goal of the weekend off an assist by Michael Tagliaferri.
After Notre Dame scored the next two goals, UNC ran off three straight goals to go up 7-2. Justin Anderson tallied unassisted with 11:41 left in the second period before Chris Cloutier scored his second goal of the contest, assisted by Matthews, at 9:20. Cloutier finished off his first-half hat trick with an unassisted goal at 4:36 of the period and Drew Schantz answered for Notre Dame 34 seconds later, making it 7-3 Tar Heels at halftime.
Timmy Kelly opened the scoring for UNC in the second half but after his goal at 12:49 at the third quarter, the Tar Heels would be kept off the scoreboard for over 13 minutes, a span extending into the fourth period. Meanwhile, the Irish put three goals on the scoreboard, including a pair in the last minute and a half of the third quarter.
With its lead cut to just two goals heading into the fourth quarter, UNC responded with three goals in a span of 2:19 early in the fourth quarter. Tanner Cook scored a man-up goal at 14:20 after claiming a loose ground ball on the crease. That was followed up by a Luke Goldstock transition goal off an assist by Jack Lambert at 13:19. Carolina earned another man-up situation shotly afterwards and William Perry converted for the second time on the man advantage, again off an assist by Matthews. Perry's goal proved to be the eventual game-winner and it put UNC up 11-6 with 11:07 to play. It was the third of four times UNC would lead by five in the contest.
Notre Dame answered with two goals just 41 seconds apart to pull within 11-8 but Goldstock and Cloutier would make sure the Irish would get no closer. Goldstock scored back-to-back goals off Cloutier assists at 8:07 and 6:52 of the final period. Goldstock would go on to score once more, again in transition off an assist by Lambert, at 2:27.
The ACC championship was one of three won on Sunday, April 30 by the University as women's lacrosse defeated Syracuse for its second straight conference championship and the women's tennis team downed Georgia Tech to also claim a second straight ACC title.
CAROLINA ALL-TIME IN THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP: Through 2017, North Carolina has an all-time record of 21-19 in ACC Tournament games.
The Tar Heels have won ACC Tournament championships in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2013 and 2017. Carolina has qualified for every ACC Tournament in history except the 2014 affair when UNC and Virginia played in the ACC Showcase game after the Tar Heels finished fifth in the ACC standings. The top four seeds qualify for the ACC Tournament since the league expanded beyond four teams in 2014.
UNC and Syracuse met Friday, April 28 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament for the third straight year. Syracuse had beaten Carolina 9-8 in the 2015 semifinals at Chester, Pa., and then beat the Tar Heels 10-7 in last year's semifinals at Kennesaw, Ga.
With this year's 16-15 semifinal win over Syracuse, the Tar Heels played Notre Dame on Sunday, April 30 in the ACC Championship game, Carolina's first ever meeting against the Fighting Irish in ACC Tournament play.
Prior to 2017, UNC's last tournament championship came in 2013 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels won a pair of shootouts to claim that title, beating Duke 18-17 in the semifinals and Virginia 16-13 in the championship game.
Altogether UNC has claimed nine ACC Tournament championship since the league went to the conference tournament format in 1989.
FOUR TAR HEELS NAMED TO ALL-ACC TOURNAMENT TEAM: A quartet of UNC players were named to the All-Tournament Team as the Tar Heels claimed the 2017 ACC title. Junior attackman Chris Cloutier was tapped as the tournament's Most Valuable Player while senior attackman Luke Goldstock, sophomore attackman Andy Matthews and senior long-stick midfielder Jack Lambert were also named to the team.
Cloutier had nine points in the tournament with three goals and an assist in the semifinal versus Syracuse and three goals and two assists in the championship game win over Notre Dame. Goldstock had eight points in the two games after he had two goals and two assists in the semifinals against Syracuse and four goals, all in the fourth quarter, against Notre Dame. Matthews had identical stat lines in both games as he notched a goal and three assists in both contests. Lambert had two goals and three ground balls versus Syracuse and a goal and two assists versus Notre Dame. Lambert had five points on the weekend after coming into the two games with a single goal in his career.
CLOUTIER TAPPED AS NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: University of North Carolina junior attackman Chris Cloutier was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/BSN Sports National Offensive Player of the Week for April 24-30, 2017 on May 2, 2017.
Cloutier, a native of Kitchener, Ontario, won this week's honors after being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 ACC Championship the previous weekend in Durham, N.C. Cloutier led UNC to a win over top-ranked Syracuse 16-15 in the semifinals and sixth-ranked Notre Dame 14-10 in the championship game.
He scored three goals and one assist in the win over top-ranked Syracuse in the semifinals. In the win over nationally-ranked Notre Dame, Cloutier had three goals and two assists. With his five points in the ACC Championship game, he ran his career total to 102.
THREE TAR HEELS NAMED ALL-ACC: Nine student-athletes on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List headlined the 2017 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Team as announced Thursday, April 27 by the league office. The team was determined by a vote of the ACC's five head coaches.
Three members of coach Joe Breschi's 2017 North Carolina Tar Heel team were named to the All-ACC Team. Senior attackman Luke Goldstock of Niskayuna, N.Y. and senior short-stick defensive midfielder Tate Jozokos of Wolfeboro, N.H. were both named to the team for the first time in their careers. Senior defenseman Austin Pifani of Roslyn, Pa., is a repeat member of the All-ACC Team having made the All-ACC Team in 2016.
Luke Goldstock is second on the team in goals with 30 and in points with 43 and he is tied for second in assists with 13. Goldstock has started all 15 games this year.
Tate Jozokos is the leader of Carolina's short-stick defensive midfielder corps in 2017. He has played in all 15 games and has 37 ground balls, second only to Stephen Kelly's team-leading 99 ground balls. He also has nine caused turnovers and has scored two goals and added two assists.
Austin Pifani is a four-year starter at close defense. He has started all 15 games this year and has 31 ground balls, fourth on the team behind Kelly, Jozokos and Chris Cloutier. He also has 21 caused turnovers to lead the Tar Heel team. No other Tar Heel is in double digits in caused turnovers. Pifani needs one more caused turnover to moved into second place all-time in career caused turnovers at Carolina.
PIFANI NAMED ACC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: A long and distinguished career was honored on Tuesday afternoon, May 2 as University of North Carolina men's lacrosse senior defenseman was named as the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Defenseman of the Year. Pifani is a senior from Roslyn, Pa. He was a captain of the Tar Heels' 2016 NCAA championship team and also a captain for the 2017 UNC ACC championship team.
“It is an extreme honor to receive this award. I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, family, and the rest of the UNC support staff because without them I would not be in this position,” says Pifani.
The Abington High School graduate has started every game he has played in during his Tar Heel career. He missed three games in his junior senior due to injury but started 15 times in 2014, 17 times in 2015, 15 times in 2016 and 15 times so far this year.
Pifani has 126 career ground balls, including 31 in 2017. He has 64 career caused turnovers, including 21 in 2017.
He is tied for 64th in career ground balls at UNC and is tied for second place in career caused turnovers with Michael Jarvis (2007-10).
Pifani is the first Tar Heel to win the defensive player of the year award in the league since the awards were split into offensive and defensive accolades.
Previous Tar Heel defensemen to win ACC Player of the Year awards are Randy Cox in 1984, Graham Harden in 1991 and Alex Martin 1992.
“Being a member of the University of North Carolina lacrosse family is an honor in itself. For my name to be mentioned amongst some of the greatest defensive players to ever receive this award in the ACC and from UNC such as Randy Cox, Graham Harden and Alex Martin is truly humbling,” Pifani continues. “It is such an incredible feeling to be able to bring this award home to UNC for all of the players who have worn the Carolina name across their chest.”
Pifani was named All-ACC in both 2016 and 2017. He is a finalist for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award.
CAROLINA VERSUS NUMBER ONE: For the third time this season, North Carolina played against the #1-ranked team in the USILA coaches poll when it defeated Syracuse 16-15 on Friday, April 28 in the ACC Tournament semifinals. It was also the 12th time UNC had played the nation's #1-ranked team since midway through the 2012 season.
With a 13-9 victory over top-ranked Denver on March 4, 2017, the University of North Carolina recorded a victory against a team ranked #1 in the USILA coaches' poll for the sixth straight year. UNC would go on to play Syracuse twice in the 2017 when the Orange was ranked #1.
Since beating Johns Hopkins 13-9 on April 1, 2012 at the Meadowlands, UNC is now 8-4 against the nation's top-ranked teams in its last 12 games against teams ranked at the top of the USILA coaches rankings.
North Carolina played a #1-ranked USILA team for the second time this season and the 11th time since 2012 when the Tar Heels faced off on April 15 against top-ranked Syracuse. The Orange prevailed in overtime 12-11. The 12th occasion occurred on Friday, April 28 in the ACC Tournament semifinal. That game resulted in a wild UNC 16-15 victory over SU.
With the Tar Heels' 17-15 win against #1 Notre Dame on April 23, the 2016 season marked the fifth straight year UNC had emerged victorious against a team ranked #1 in the nation in the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association coaches' poll. In fact, the game against Notre Dame was the second time in 2016 that the Tar Heels played host to the #1 team in the USILA poll in Chapel Hill. Carolina played then #1 Denver on March 5 at Fetzer Field with the Tar Heels falling to the Pioneers 13-12 in overtime.
The 2016 NCAA championship game versus Maryland on May 30, 2016 marked three times last season that UNC had faced a team ranked #1 in the USILA national coaches poll.
According to research by UNC Athletic Communications, UNC is now 14-21 all-time against teams ranked #1 in the USILA coaches poll after the April 28 victory against Syracuse. Carolina's first meeting against a #1 USILA ranked team came in 1974.
Carolina has had wins against #1 teams in each of the six years from 2012-17. Those wins came against Johns Hopkins 13-9 on April 1, 2012, against Maryland 10-8 on March 23, 2013, against Maryland 11-8 on March 22, 2014, against Denver 12-10 on February 27, 2015, against Notre Dame 17-15 on April 23, 2016, against Maryland 14-13 in overtime on May 30, 2016, against Denver 13-9 on March 4, 2017 and against Syracuse 16-15 on April 28, 2017.
Prior to the win against Johns Hopkins in 2012, Carolina had not beaten a #1-ranked team since April 6, 1996 when UNC beat Virginia 19-18 at Fetzer Field.
UNC VERSUS #1 TEAMS ALL-TIME IN USILA POLL (14-21)
March 13, 1974 - Maryland 16, UNC 8 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
May 24, 1980 – Virginia 11, UNC 10, two overtimes (at Charlottesville, Va.)
May 30, 1981 – UNC 14, Johns Hopkins 13 (at Princeton, N.J.)
May 21, 1983 – Johns Hopkins 12, UNC 9 (at Baltimore, Md.)
April 6, 1985 – UNC 11, Johns Hopkins 10 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
May 19, 1985 – Syracuse 14, UNC 13, overtime (at Syracuse, N.Y.)
May 24, 1986 – UNC 10, Johns Hopkins 9, overtime (at Newark, Del.)
April 8, 1989 – Johns Hopkins 16, UNC 10 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
May 26, 1990 – Syracuse 21, UNC 10 (at Piscataway, N.J.)
March 9, 1991 – UNC 10, Syracuse 3 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
March 6, 1993 – UNC 14, Syracuse 10 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
March 3, 1994 – Syracuse 17, UNC 10 (at Syracuse, N.Y.)
April 6, 1996 – UNC 19, Virginia 18 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
March 12, 1997 – Princeton 10, UNC 9 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
May 8, 1999 – Loyola 10, UNC 7 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
April 19, 2002 – Virginia 10, UNC 3 (at Durham, N.C.)
March 29, 2003 – Johns Hopkins 11, UNC 10 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
May 22, 2004 – Johns Hopkins 15, UNC 9 (at Charlottesville, Va.)
April 2, 2005 – Johns Hopkins 7, UNC 5 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
April 8, 2006 – Virginia 21, UNC 13 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
March 15, 2008 – Duke 19, UNC 9 (at Durham, N.C.)
April 6 2009 – Virginia 11, UNC 10 (at East Rutherford, N.J.)
April 10, 2010 – Virginia 7, UNC 5 (at East Rutherford, N.J.)
April 1, 2012 – UNC 13, Johns Hopkins 9 (at East Rutherford, N.J.)
April 7, 2012 – Virginia 15, UNC 10 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
March 23, 2013 – UNC 10, Maryland 8 (at College Park, Md.)
March 22, 2014 – UNC 11, Maryland 8 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
February 27, 2015 – UNC 12, Denver 10 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
April 18, 2015 – Notre Dame 15, UNC 14 (at Notre Dame, Ind.)
March 5, 2016 – Denver 13, UNC 12, Overtime (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
April 23, 2016 – UNC 17, Notre Dame 15 (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
May 30, 2016 - UNC 14, Maryland 13 - overtime, (at Philadelphia, Pa.)
March 4, 2017 – UNC 13, Denver 9 (at Denver, Colo.)
April 15, 2017 – Syracuse 12, UNC 11 – overtime (at Chapel Hill, N.C.)
April 28, 2017 – UNC 16, Syracuse 15 (at Durham, N.C.-ACC Tournament Semifinal)
UNC HONORS 2017 SENIORS APRIL 15: The game on April 15 against the Syracuse Orange marked the final regular-season home game for 11 Tar Heel seniors who are graduating from the Tar Heel program at the end of this season.
UNC's 2017 senior class includes.
#1, Luke Goldstock, Senior, Attackman, Niskayuna, N.Y.
#3, Brett Bedard, Senior, Short Stick Defensive Midfielder, Annapolis, Md.
#7, Mark Rizzo, Fifth-Year Senior, Defenseman, Hewlett, N.Y.
#17, Austin Pifani, Senior, Defenseman, Roslyn, Pa.
#18, Jack Lambert, Senior, Long-Stick Defensive Midfielder, Cross River, N.Y.
#21, Michael Tagliaferri, Graduate Student in MBA Program, Midfielder, Danville, Calif.
#23, Luke Walsh, Senior, Midfielder/Attackman, Buffalo, N.Y. (attended Denison his freshman year)
#24, Stephen Kelly, Senior, Midfielder/Face-off, Lutherville, Md.
#28, Tate Jozokos, Senior, Short Stick Defensive Midfielder, Wolfeboro, N.H.
#30, Brian Balkam, Senior, Goalkeeper, St. James, N.Y.
#42, Peyton Klawinski, Senior, Midfielder, Memphis, Tenn.
Rizzo and Tagliaferri came into the UNC program in the fall of 2012. Eight seniors joined the Carolina program in fall 2013 and Luke Walsh transferred into the University in fall 2015.
Ryan Macri, two-year starting defenseman, is in his fourth year in the UNC program but did not play in 2014. He will return as a fifth-year senior in 2018.
RECOGNIZING GRAHAM HARDEN: At halftime of the April 15 game against Syracuse, the UNC lacrosse program honored 1991 National Defenseman of the Year Graham Harden for his long-time contributions to the lacrosse program at Carolina. Harden, a native of New Canaan, Conn., was one of three Harden brothers to play lacrosse at Carolina, joining Boyd, Class of 1988, and Holmes, Jr., “H”, Class of 1993.
Graham Harden starred on UNC's undefeated NCAA championship team in 1991, being named All-ACC and first-team All-America and winning the Schmeisser Cup as the nation's top defenseman at the end of that campaign. Carolina went 16-0 that season and beat Towson 18-13 for the NCAA championship.
In the summer of 2016, Harden was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), and he is currently in a valiant fight against the insidious disease. Graham jersey number (#37) was honored by Coach Breschi and the team at halftime of the UNC-Syracuse game on April 15. G-Force tee-sheets were sold at the game with all proceeds going to Game On! Graham Harden and Gforce vs ALS to benefit Graham and his family.
Graham's wife, Dawn, is also a Carolina alumnus. The family lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have three children. Kendall, the oldest, is in her second year as a student assistant in the athletic communications office at the University of North Carolina. She just completed her junior year at UNC.
STRONG ALUMNI WEEKEND TURNOUT: The weekend of April 14-16 was designated as the annual alumni weekend for the Tar Heel men's lacrosse program. Over 300 Tar Heel lacrosse alumni and their families attended the game on April 15 versus Syracuse, helping give the Tar Heels their top home attendance figure of the season at 4,338 in 5,700-seat Fetzer Field.
HONORING THE 1982 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: The 2017 season marks the 35th anniversary of the Tar Heels' 1982 national championship season. UNC honored members of the 1982 NCAA championship team between the first and second quarters of the UNC-Syracuse game on April 15 with members of the team being recognized on the Fetzer Field track and a national TV audience on ESPNU.
The 1982 squad completed its season 14-0 and edged Johns Hopkins 7-5 in the title game at Charlottesville, Va. The 1982 team won its second successive ACC championship en route to its 14-win season and it ended the year with 26 wins in a row over the course of the 1981 and 1982 campaigns. In the 1982 NCAA Tournament, UNC beat Navy 16-2 in the quarterfinals, Cornell 15-8 in the semifinals and Johns Hopkins 7-5 in the championship game.
THE FINAL GAME AT FETZER: Fetzer Field has served as the primary home of the University of North Carolina men's lacrosse program since the varsity program's founding in 1949. Despite exhaustive efforts at research, an exact record for games played at Fetzer is not fully known or researchable due to gaps in athletic communications records from the 1940s to 1970s. The all-time home record for UNC lacrosse since 1949 is 285-128-2. That includes games played at Fetzer Field, Kenan Stadium, Navy Field, Henry Stadium and Finley Field.
Fetzer Field was built as a track and field facility in 1935 as a Works Projects Administration (WPA) project during the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration in the Great Depression.
Over the decades, several more sports began to compete at Fetzer Field - men's soccer in 1947, men's lacrosse in 1949, women's soccer in 1979 and women's lacrosse in 1996.
Fetzer Field will be torn down later this month in May 2017 at the conclusion of all NCAA women's lacrosse tournament games. A new soccer/lacrosse specific stadium will be built on the same spot with opening planned for August 2018 in time for the 2018 men's and women's soccer campaigns. A new track and field facility will be built on Old Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill near the Ronald McDonald House and a new field hockey stadium will be built on Ehringhaus Field. An indoor practice facility for football and outdoor football practice fields will also be a part of the overall athletics construction project beginning this month and those will be located on the existing site of Navy Field and Henry Stadium.
Plans are still being formulated as to where the Tar Heels will play their home games in 2018 for the men's and women's lacrosse teams.
HOME/ROAD DIFFERENTIAL: Given Carolina's long-term success in Chapel Hill, the 2017 home season for the Tar Heels went in the exact opposite direction.
Carolina struggled at home this season, going just 2-6 in its eight home games. Conversely, the Tar Heels won all but one game away from Chapel Hill this season, going 3-1 on the road and 3-0 on a neutral field in its seven games away from Chapel Hill.
The results in Chapel Hill this season included a 15-8 win over Lehigh on February 18, a 13-5 loss against Johns Hopkins on February 25, an 11-9 loss to Hofstra on March 11, a 6-5 setback versus Richmond on March 13, a 17-6 victory over Dartmouth on March 18, a 15-7 loss against Maryland on March 25, a 12-8 loss to Duke on April 2 and a 12-11 overtime loss to Syracuse on April 15. UNC is 8-7 overall this season with a 3-1 road record and a 3-0 mark at neutral sites this year.
TV SATURDAY: Saturday's game against Albany will be nationally televised on ESPU. Chris Cotter will be the play-by-play announcer while Paul Carcaterra will be the color commentator.
There will be a simulcast on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN application. Live stats can be found on GoHeels.com and the NCAA.com, the websites for UNC and the NCAA, respectively.
UNC HEAD COACH JOE BRESCHI GARNERS 100TH TAR HEEL WIN AGAINST CAVALIERS: University of North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi is now in his ninth year as the head coach of the Tar Heels after coaching at Ohio State for 11 seasons. Breschi is a 1990 graduate of the University of North Carolina and was the sole captain of the 1990 Tar Heel team as a senior defenseman when he was also a first-team All-America selection.
He has built an excellent program at Carolina which has gone to nine straight NCAA Tournaments from 2009-2017. In the 12 seasons prior to his arrival (1997-2008), Carolina had only gone to the NCAA Tournament four times (1998 under Dave Klarmann and 2004, 2007 and 2008 under John Haus).
In April 9th's 15-12 victory over Virginia at Charlottesville, Va. Breschi earned his 100th victory as head coach of the Tar Heels.
In his nine seasons at Carolina, Breschi is 102-47, a winning percentage of .685.
Breschi earned his 100th win as the Tar Heel head coach on his 49th birthday and also in his 300th game as a collegiate head coach.
BRESCHI'S 300TH GAME AS A COLLEGIATE HEAD COACH: The April 9 game against Virginia was also the 300th game coached on the collegiate level by UNC head coach Joe Breschi. He coached 155 games at Ohio State in 11 seasons from 1998-2008. The ACC Tournament championship match against the Notre Dame was his 159th game as the head coach of the Tar Heels.
THIS WEEK'S RPI: The Tar Heels were ranked No. 10 this past Tuesday in the final regular season 2017 NCAA Rating Percentage Index for men's lacrosse with an 8-7 record.
On Friday, April 28, the Tar Heels faced off against the No. 1 Team in this year's RPI, the Syracuse Orange, at Koskinen Stadium on the Duke campus with UNC pulling off a 16-15 upset. The game against the Orange marked the third straight game in which the Tar Heels had faced the No. 1 team in the NCAA RPI. Syracuse was No. 1 in the RPI on April 15 when the two teams faced off in Chapel Hill, N.C. Notre Dame was the No. 1 team in the RPI when the squads played in South Bend on April 22. On Sunday, April 30 in the ACC Tournament championship game, UNC meet Notre Dame, the #2 team in that week's RPI standings.
UNC clearly played one of the nation's most difficult schedules in 2017. The Tar Heels will play their NCAA first round game on Saturday against Albany, No. 3 in the RPI.
During the regular season, UNC played No. 1 Maryland, No. 2 Syracuse twice, No. 4 Notre Dame twice, No. 7 Johns Hopkins, No. 8 Denver, No. 9 Duke and No. 15 Hofstra among its 15 games.
CAROLINA VERSUS ALBANY THE SERIES: North Carolina and Albany will be playing for the first time in history on Saturday.
STEPHEN KELLY ON CAREER CHARTS: Senior midfielder Stephen Kelly of Lutherville, Md., heads into the Albany game on Saturday with the second most face-off wins in UNC men's lacrosse history. Kelly has won 711 face-offs in his career and he trails only career leader Shane Walterheofer (2006-09) who had 723 face-off wins in his career.
Kelly tied the school record for face-off wins in a game with 23 against Virginia on April 9. Kelly shares that record with Shane Walterhoefer who won 23 face-offs against Ohio State on April 12, 2008. Those 23 face-off wins moved Kelly past R.G. Keenan (2011-14) and into second place in Tar Heel history. Keenan finished his career with 646 face-off wins and he now ranks third in Tar Heel lore.
Stephen Kelly heads into the match against the Great Danes with 374 career ground balls. He tied the school record for ground balls in a game with the career high 15 ground balls he scooped up April 9 against the Virginia Cavaliers. That marked the seventh time in UNC history that a Tar Heel player has claimed seven ground balls in a single game.
Kelly's 374 ground balls are the third highest ground ball total in UNC history. He trails just Jude Collins (1993-96) who had 412 ground balls and Shane Walterhoefer (2006-09) who had 386 ground balls. In the regular-season game at Notre Dame, Kelly scooped up four ground balls and passed R.G. Keenan (2011-14) who had 349 ground balls in his career. Kelly now ranks third and Keenan fourth in career ground balls.
Stephen Kelly has a career face-off winning percentage of .548, the 11th best in UNC history.
KELLY NAMED ACC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK AFTER WIN OVER CAVALIERS: North Carolina senior midfielder Stephen Kelly was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Week in the Atlantic Coast Conference after a record-setting day April 9 in Carolina's 15-12 win over #14 Virginia. Kelly won the award on Tuesday, April 11.
Kelly led the Tar Heels in a 15-12 victory at No. 14 Virginia on April 9 by matching program records for face-offs won in a game with 23 and ground balls in a game with 15. The 23 face-offs won matched Shane Walterhoefer's total against Ohio State on April 12, 2008. Kelly's 15 ground balls marked the seventh time in a game a Tar Heel has scooped up that school record number. Jude Collins and Shane Walterhoefer each had 15 ground balls in a game twice while Michael Burnett, Todd Oudemool and Stephen Kelly have each done it on one occasion.
Kelly now has 711 face-off wins in his career, the second most in UNC history as he passed R.G. Keenan on April 9 to move into second place all-time. Kelly won 11 of 12 face-offs in the first half against the Cavaliers as UNC bolted to a 9-2 halftime lead. He also scored the eventual game-winning goal for the Tar Heels with 12:28 to play in the fourth quarter, giving UNC a 13-8 lead in its eventual 15-12 ACC win.
Entering the NCAA Championship, Kelly now ranks second in UNC history in face-offs won (711) and third in ground balls (374).
LUKE GOLDSTOCK ON CAREER CHARTS: Senior attackman Luke Goldstock of Niskayuna, N.Y. heads into the Albany game on Saturday with 173 career points. That is the 11th highest point total in Tar Heel history.
With four points on April 30 against Notre Dame, Goldstock moved past two UNC greats on the Tar Heel career chart – Mac Ford (1982-85) and Jed Prossner (2002-05) now rank in a tie for 12th place in Carolina with 172 points each.
Goldstock needs two points to tie Billy Bitter (2008-11) on the career points chart. Bitter currently ranks 10th with 175 career points.
Goldstock has scored 118 career goals heading into the Albany match on Saturday and he is currently in fifth place in career goals at Carolina.
With two goals against Syracuse on April 22, Goldstock moved past Jed Prossner and into fifth place in career goal scoring at North Carolina. Prossner (2002-05) scored 113 goals in his career and is now in sixth place in Tar Heel history. Marcus Holman (2010-13) ranks fourth in UNC goal scoring with 121 goals. Goldstock needs three goals to tie Holman for fourth place on the UNC career chart.
Goldstock currently has 55 career assists and stands in a tie for 24th place in Tar Heel history in that statistic. With three assists against Syracuse on April 15, he became just the 25th Tar Heel in history to record 50 or more career assists. Jeff Sonke (1998-2001) also ranks 24th in Tar Heel history in assists with 55. Bryant Will (2002-05) had 58 assists in his career and ranks 23rd in UNC history.
CLOUTIER'S GOAL SCORING & POINTS STREAKS: Junior attackman Chris Cloutier heads into the NCAA Tournament first round game with a 19-game goal scoring streak. That is tied for 10th for longest goal scoring streak in Tar Heel history.
Cloutier's 19-game scoring streak (four games in 2016, 15 games in 2017) is the fourth longest current streak in the nation. He has scored 50 goals during that 19-game scoring streak.
The longest current goal scoring streaks in the nation are Dylan Molloy of Brown at 40 games (season complete), Justin Guterding of Duke at 25 games (at Johns Hopkins Saturday), Gavin McBride of Princeton at 24 games (season complete) and Chris Cloutier of North Carolina at 19 games.
Cloutier is tied for the 19th longest points scoring streak int he nation. Currently Connor Cannizarro of Denver heads that list with points in 55 straight games. Cloutier is tied with Josh Byrne of Hofstra for the 19th longest points streak with each having recorded points in 19 successive games.
CHRIS CLOUTIER ON CAREER CHARTS: Junior attackman Chris Cloutier (Kitchener, Ontario) has scored 75 career goals after tallying three in Carolina's game against Notre Dame on April 30. He is currently ranked in 31st place in Tar Heel history in that category.
Against Notre Dame, he broke a tie with Sean DeLaney (2007-10) and moved ahead of Spencer Deering (1994-97) and Mark Phillips (1993-96) on the Tar Heel career chart. He needs three goals to move him into a tie for 30th place in Tar Heel history with Brendan Carey (1993-96) who tallied 78 in his career.
With five points against Notre Dame on April 30, Cloutier became the 42nd Tar Heel in history to hit the century mark in career points.
Cloutier has 102 career points. That ranks him in 39th place in UNC history. In the ACC Tournament, he passed seven Tar Heels on the career scoring chart to move into 39th place. He needs three points to tie Thomas Wood (2009-12) for 38th place at Carolina as Wood finished his career with 105 points.
AUSTIN PIFANI ON CAREER CHARTS: Senior defenseman Austin Pifani (Roslyn, Pa.) has 64 caused turnovers in his Tar Heel career. That equals the second highest caused turnovers total in UNC history. He trails only Ryan Flanagan who had 108 caused turnovers from 2008-11
Pifani is currently tied with Michael Jarvis who also had 64 caused turnovers from 2007-10.
PIFANI NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST ON APRIL 13: Ten NCAA® men's lacrosse student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as finalists on Thursday, April 13 for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® for collegiate lacrosse.
Among the 10 finalists for the award is University of North Carolina men's lacrosse senior defender Austin Pifani of Roslyn, Pa. Pifani is a two-time Tar Heel team captain, leader of the Carolina defense, two-time All-ACC and three-time All-America honoree. He captained the Tar Heel team to the 2016 NCAA championship. He serves as a captain of the 2017 team and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year on May 2 for this season.
To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must be classified as NCAA Division I seniors and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their athletic platforms to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 20 candidates announced earlier this season. Nationwide fan voting began immediately to help select the winner, and fans were encouraged to submit votes online at the Senior CLASS Award website through May 9. Fan votes will be combined with those of the media and Division I head coaches to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award recipient will be announced during the 2017 NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championships® in Boston, May 27-29. For more information on each of the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
2017 Senior CLASS Award Men's Lacrosse Finalists
Christian Burgdorf, Denver
Dylan Molloy, Brown
Connor Cannizzaro, Denver
Sergio Perkovic, Notre Dame
Isaiah Davis-Allen, Maryland
Austin Pifani, North Carolina
Scott Firman, Syracuse
J.D. Recor, Marist
Michael LeClair, High Point
Eric Scott, Yale
GOLDSTOCK & BALKAM NAMED ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK MARCH 7: Following a win over top-ranked Denver on March 4, North Carolina senior attackman Luke Goldstock was named that week's Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate and junior goalie Brian Balkam shared ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors. The awards were named on Tuesday, March 7.
Goldstock scored four goals and added an assist, all in the first half, to stake the Tar Heels to a 7-3 halftime lead en route to a commanding 13-9 win at No. 1 Denver on March 4 just a week after UNC was held to just five goals, equaling the lowest goal total in the Joe Breschi coaching era against Johns Hopkins the previous Saturday. Goldstock assisted on UNC's opening goal of the game and then scored four of the next six goals, including three in a row to end the first half as UNC went from a 4-3 lead early in the second quarter to a 7-3 advantage at halftime. He scored his four goals on just six shots on goal and also had three ground balls. Goldstock helped the Tar Heels build a solid lead that went as high as five goals in the second half when UNC pulled away for the win.
Despite being outshot 43-34 at No. 1 Denver, UNC pulled off the upset win behind the brilliant play of Tar Heel goalkeeper Brian Balkam. The junior netminder made a career high 17 saves, eclipsing the total of 14 he had last season against Virginia in the 2016 regular season and against Notre Dame in the 2016 NCAA Quarterfinals. After a first quarter in which Balkam had two saves and allowed two goals, he caught fire and made 15 saves and allowed just seven goals over the final 45 minutes of the contest. He made five saves in each of those final three quarters and after UNC went up by four goals at halftime, he never let Denver get closer than three goals and that was with less than four minutes remaining in the contest.
PRE-ALBANY DEPTH CHART: After two scrimmages against High Point and Navy and regular-season games against UMBC, Furman, Lehigh, Johns Hopkins, Denver, Hofstra, Richmond, Dartmouth, Maryland, Duke, Virginia, Syracuse and Notre Dame as well as ACC Tournament games against Syracuse and Notre Dame, UNC head coach Joe Breschi has projected the following depth chart going into the 16th game of the season against the Albany Great Danes.
Attack – Luke Goldstock (Sr.), Chris Cloutier (Jr.), Andy Matthews (So.)
Attack Reserves – Matt Gavin (Fr.), Luke Walsh (Sr.), Jesse Cuccia (So.), Mike Guerin (Fr.)
1st Midfield — Michael Tagliaferri, (Grad Student), Timmy Kelly (So.), Justin Anderson (Fr.)
2nd Midfield — Combination of William McBride (Jr.), William Perry (Fr.), Brian Cannon (Jr.), Tanner Cook (Fr.),
3rd Midfield —Peyton Klawinski (Sr.), Luke Walsh (Sr.), Zach Kissick (Fr.)
Close Defense Starters — Austin Pifani (Sr.), Ryan Macri (Jr.), Jack Rowlett (So.)
Close Defense Reserves – Jake Peden (So.), Joe Kenna (So.)
Face-offs — Stephen Kelly (Sr.), Riley Graham (Jr.)
Long Stick Defensive Midfielders —Kyle Mathie (Jr.), Jack Lambert (Jr.)
Short Stick Defensive Midfielders — Tate Jozokos (Sr.), Brett Bedard (Sr.), Jack Halpert (So.), Cole Haverty (So.), Timmy Gehlbach (Jr.), Cam Macri (Fr.)
Goalkeepers —Brian Balkam (Jr.), Jack Pezzulla (Fr.)
KELLY & PIFANI NAMED TO TEWAARATON TROPHY WATCH LIST: The Tewaaraton Foundation announced the 2017 Tewaaraton Award men's watch list in March 2017. Amongst the men's players on the Watch List were North Carolina Tar Heels Austin Pifani and Stephen Kelly. Pifani is a senior close defenseman from Roslyn, Pa. Kelly is a senior midfielder from Lutherville, Md. Both players were All-ACC selections in 2016 on Carolina's NCAA championship team. Pifani was a third-team All-America last year and Kelly was an honorable mention All-America. Both Pifani and Kelly are captains for the 2017 Tar Heels who are currently 8-7 heading into a match against No. 4 Albany on Saturday. The list includes the top players across all three divisions of NCAA lacrosse and highlight the early contenders for the 2017 Tewaaraton Award, presented by Under Armour.
TAR HEELS SWEEP ACC WEEKLY AWARDS: Following its season-opening 17-6 victory over UMBC, North Carolina's Justin Anderson was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate Stephen Kelly was that week's Defensive Player of the Week. The awards were announced on Monday, February 6, 2017.
Anderson made his long-anticipated Tar Heel debut on February 4 against the Retrievers. After serving a two-year Mormon Church mission in South America after his 2014 high school graduation, Anderson started the first game of his career and scored three goals and added an assist in UNC's 17-6 win. He scored two of his three goals and had an assist during a 12-goal first half for the Tar Heels.
Kelly won 11 of 16 face-offs and had a game high nine ground balls. Kelly won eight of 10 face-off attempts in the first quarter alone, had seven of his nine ground balls in the first quarter and scored 15 seconds into the game to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead they never relinquished. Kelly's eight face-off wins and seven ground balls in the first quarter allowed UNC to outshoot the Retrievers 17-1 in the first quarter while the Tar Heels took a 10-1 lead after the first quarter, putting the game away early.
CAROLINA'S 2017 TV SCHEDULE FINALIZED: Ten of 13 games on the regular season schedule for the 2017 University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team were featured on either ESPNU or ACC Network Extra (with live streaming on ESPN3 and WatchESPN in both cases). The 2017 TV schedule was finalized on Thursday, February 2. Carolina's first appearance on ACC Network Extra was Saturday, February 18 when the Tar Heels defeated Lehigh 15-8 at Fetzer Field.
All games on ACC Network Extra were also shown on ESPN3 and WatchESPN app. Here is the complete list of games on ACC Network Extra and ESPNU for the Tar Heels in 2017. ACC Network Extra is the precursor to the upcoming ACC Network to be debuted nationally in 2019.
Complete ACC Network Extra/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Saturday, February 18, 1 p.m., Lehigh at UNC
Saturday, February 25, 1 p.m., Johns Hopkins at UNC
Saturday, March 11, 2:30 p.m., Hofstra at UNC
Monday, March 13, 7 p.m., Richmond at UNC
Saturday, March 18, 7:30 p.m., Dartmouth at UNC
Complete 2017 ESPNU/ESPNEWS/WatchESPN Schedule
Saturday, March 25, 11:30 a.m., Maryland at UNC
Sunday, April 2, 7 p.m., Duke at UNC
Sunday, April 9, 7 p.m., UNC at Virginia
Saturday, April 15, 4 p.m., Syracuse at UNC
Saturday, April 22, 12 p.m., UNC at Notre Dame
UNC's games against UMBC (scheduled for ACC Network Extra but not televised due to last minute location change to Raleigh, N.C.), Furman (YouTube) and Denver (Altitude TV) were the only three Tar Heel games this year not televised on an ESPN or ACC Network platform.
The ACC Tournament semifinals on April 28 were aired on ESPNEWS and championship game on April 30 was televised on ESPNU.
UNC's 2017 NCAA first round game versus Albany on Saturday will be aired nationally on ESPNU.
CAROLINA GARNERS PRESEASON ACC FAVORITE STATUS - TAKES DIFFERENT ROUTE TO ANOTHER ACC CHAMPIONSHIP: North Carolina, the reigning NCAA Champion, was selected as the pre-season favorite in the 2017 ACC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll which was released on January 31, 2017. The Tar Heels shared the ACC regular-season title with Notre Dame last year before going on to capture Carolina's first NCAA title since 1991. UNC finished last year with a 12-6 overall mark, 3-1 in the ACC.
Carolina would not finish at the top of the league standings, going 1-3 to place fourth in the five-team ACC. But Carolina claimed its 13th official ACC championship nevertheless as it upset #1 seed Syracuse 16-15 in the ACC Tournament semifinals on April 28 and then downed #3 seed Notre Dame 14-10 in the title game on April 30. UNC has won four ACC titles when the official championship was based on regular season play and nine more conference titles when it was based on the post-season tournament winner.
Four Tar Heels were on the 2017 preseason All-ACC Team - all seniors - attackman Luke Goldstock, midfielder Michael Tagliaferri, short-stick defensive midfielder Tate Jozokos and close defenseman Austin Pifani.
Goldstock, Jozokos and Pifani all went on to be named All-ACC in April. Pifani grabbed honors at the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Head coach Joe Breschi's Tar Heels received 23 points, including four first place votes, in balloting among the ACC's five head coaches. Notre Dame followed with 21 points and was selected second. Syracuse (16) was selected third, Duke (9) fourth and Virginia (6) fifth.
ACC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll
1. North Carolina - 23
2. Notre Dame - 21
3. Syracuse – 16
4. Duke – 9
5. Virginia – 6
Preseason All-ACC Team
A – Justin Guterding, Jr., Duke
A - Luke Goldstock, Sr., North Carolina
A – Mikey Wynne, Jr., Notre Dame
M – Michael Taliaferri, Sr., North Carolina
M - Sergio Perkovic, Sr., Notre Dame
M – Sergio Salcido, Sr., Syracuse
D - Austin Pifani, Sr., North Carolina
D – Garret Epple, Sr., Notre Dame
D – Nick Mellen, So., Syracuse
Goalkeeper – Shane Doss, Sr., Notre Dame
Face-off – Ben Williams, Sr., Syracuse
Long-stick Midfielder – Michael Howard, Sr., Virginia
Short-Stick Midfielder – Tate Jozokos, Sr., North Carolina
SIX TAR HEELS NAMED PRESEASON FACE-OFF YEARBOOK ALL-AMERICAS: The men's Division I All-Americas from the 2017 Face-Off Yearbook were unveiled online on January 10, 2017. Six Tar Heels were featured on the preseason All-America Teams led by senior defenseman Austin Pifani on the first-team squad.
Pifani was joined by a fellow close defenseman, sophomore Jack Rowlett, who was on the second team squad. A pair of Tar Heels were featured on the third team squad – senior attackman Luke Goldstock and senior face-off man Stephen Kelly.
Two more members of Tar Heel head coach Joe Breschi's team were tapped for honorable mention All-America honors. Junior attackman Chris Cloutier and senior midfielder Michael Tagliaferri were featured on that squad.
North Carolina was coming off a 12-6 season in 2016 in which the Tar Heels won their fifth overall NCAA championship and its first title since 1991.
CAROLINA'S 2016 ALL-AMERICAS: Six Tar Heels were named to the 2016 U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Coaches Association All-America Team. The selections were as follows:
Second Team - Jake Matthai, Senior, Short Stick Defensive Midfielder
Third Team - Austin Pifani, Junior, Close Defenseman
Honorable Mention - Steve Pontrello, Senior, Attackman; Patrick Kelly, Senior, Midfielder; Michael Tagliaferri, Senior, Midfielder; Stephen Kelly, Junior, Face-Off man.
The 2016 UNC men's lacrosse team was the first of the five Tar Heel teams to win NCAA championships who did not have a first-team All-America selection.
CAROLINA ELECTS 2016-17 TEAM CAPTAINS: The defending NCAA champion University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team elected its captains for the 2016-17 school year in September 2016.
The group includes one redshirt senior, three true seniors and one redshirt junior. Three of the players are defensemen, one is a midfielder and one is an attackman.
Head coach Joe Breschi announced the election of the captains shortly after the team's annual banquet last fall.
Here is a list of the Tar Heel captains for 2016-17:
Mark Rizzo, Redshirt Senior Defenseman, Hewlett, N.Y. - Mark is in his second year as a Tar Heel captain
Ryan Macri, Redshirt Junior Defenseman, Hamilton, Mass.
Luke Goldstock, Senior Attackman, Niskayuna, N.Y.
Austin Pifani, Senior Defenseman, Roslyn, Pa. - Austin is in his second year as a Tar Heel captain
Stephen Kelly, Senior Midfielder & Face-Off Specialist, Lutherville, Md.
TAR HEELS IN THE CLASSROOM DURING LAST SPRING'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMESTER: The North Carolina men's lacrosse team had its best academic semester in history in spring 2016 in addition to sharing the ACC regular-season championship for the third time in Coach Joe Breschi's Tar Heel tenure and winning the NCAA championship for the first time since 1991.
As a team, UNC posted a 3.11 grade point average for the semester. Thirty-two of the 45 players on the roster ended up with semester GPAs of 3.0 or above.
Twenty-four of the 45 Tar Heel players on the 2016 roster were named to the 2015-16 ACC Academic Honor Roll in the summer of 2016. ACC Honor Roll members must earn a 3.0 grade point average over the course of the 2015-16 school year while taking a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester.
THREE ACC WINS: North Carolina went 3-1 in ACC regular season play in both 2015 and 2016. Prior to 2015 & 2016, the last time UNC had won three league regular season games in back-to-back seasons was 1991 and 1992. In fact, Carolina has won three or more games in the ACC regular season only eight times in history – 1976, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2015 and 2016.
AN ACC REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP: Carolina shared the 2016 ACC regular-season championship with Notre Dame. This marked the third time in Coach Joe Breschi's coaching tenure that the Tar Heels had shared a conference regular season title, also doing so in 2010 and 2013. The Tar Heels also won the 2013 and 2017 ACC Tournament championships during Coach Breschi's tenure.
Carolina also shared ACC regular season titles in 1985, 1994, 1996 and 2003. Carolina won outright ACC regular-season championships in 1981, 1982, 1988, 1991 and 1992.
FIVE PLAYERS WITH 25-PLUS GOALS - FIRST TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY: The 2016 Tar Heel team had five players on the roster with 25 or more goals scored. That marked the first time in school history UNC had five players score 25 or more goals in a season.
The group was led by Steve Pontrello with 49 goals followed by Chris Cloutier with 43, Luke Goldstock with 31, Michael Tagliaferri with 27 and Patrick Kelly with 27.
Carolina has had several teams with five players scoring 20 or more goals in the same season.
Prior to 2016, the last time UNC had five 20-plus goal scorers in a season was 2013. Marcus Holman led that Tar Heel team with 37 goals while Joey Sankey had 36, Jimmy Bitter had 32, Chad Tutton had 28 and Davey Emala had 21.
FIVE TAR HEELS NAMED ALL-ACC IN 2016: For the second straight year, North Carolina put five players on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference men's lacrosse team in 2016. The five selections in 2015 and in 2016 were the most for the Tar Heels since the 1993 team placed seven players on the All-ACC squad.
The five Tar Heels named to the All-ACC Team in 2016 were senior short-stick defensive midfielder Jake Matthai, senior attackman Steve Pontrello, junior close defenseman Austin Pifani, junior face-off man Stephen Kelly and junior midfielder Michael Tagliaferri.
TAR HEELS AT KENAN STADIUM: Because of field improvements that are still ongoing, 2017 marked the first year since 2012 that the Tar Heels did not play a game at Kenan Stadium, the home of the football Tar Heels.
North Carolina had improved to 6-0 in games played at Kenan Stadium over the past four seasons after beating Notre Dame 17-15 there on April 23, 2016.
UNC's last loss in the Tar Heel football stadium came on April 26, 2009 when Duke defeated Carolina 15-13 in the ACC Tournament championship game.
The Tar Heels have defeated Virginia twice (2013 ACC Tournament championship game & 2016 regular season game) and Duke (2013 ACC Tournament semifinals), Johns Hopkins (2013 regular season), Maryland (2014 regular season) and Notre Dame (2016 regular season) once each in its past six games at Kenan Stadium. Since his arrival as UNC head coach for the 2009 season, Coach Joe Breschi's teams are 7-2 in games played in Kenan Stadium. UNC hosted the ACC Tournament in Kenan Stadium in both 2009 and 2013 during Breschi's tenure. UNC has won seven of its past eight games played at Kenan.
BIGGEST SECOND HALF COMEBACK IN SCHOOL HISTORY: North Carolina's 17-15 victory over Notre Dame on April 23, 2016 included a fourth quarter comeback that was historic in nature. The Tar Heels trailed the Fighting Irish 15-10 with less than 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter before scoring seven goals in the final 9:18 of the game to prevail 17-15.
UNC has rallied to win from five-goal deficits only two other times in school history. On March 4, 2000, UNC trailed Navy 7-2 with 3:31 remaining in the second quarter before coming back to win 11-10. That was a regular season game.
On April 25, 1992, Carolina trailed Maryland 7-2 with 12:39 to play in the second quarter before rallying to win 11-10. That game came in the ACC Tournament championship game at College Park, Md.
The Tar Heels had twice before rallied in the second half of games from four-goal deficits and come back to win. UNC trailed Bryant 6-2 with 13:41 to play in the third quarter on March 10, 2015 before coming back to win 10-9 at Fetzer Field. Against Navy on March 25, 2012, the Tar Heels trailed the Midshipmen 7-3 with 11:46 to play in the third quarter before rallying to win 9-8 in Annapolis, Md.
In Coach Joe Breschi's nine years as head coach, Carolina's has come back to win from deficits of three or more goals 14 times.
CRUCIAL OVERTIME WIN: Patrick Kelly's goal two minutes into overtime against Duke on April 1, 2016 gave the Tar Heels their first overtime win since March 30, 2013 when it beat Johns Hopkins 11-10 at Kenan Stadium. Carolina had lost its last three overtime games since that win over Hopkins before beating the Blue Devils on April Fool's Day 2016.
In that win over the Blue Jays in 2013, R.G. Keenan won the opening face-off of overtime and then scored six seconds later to lift the Tar Heels to the win.
Prior to Kelly's game-winner against Duke, the last time UNC won an overtime game during the normal run of play (not directly off of a face-off win) came on May 6, 2011 when the Tar Heels defeated Notre Dame 9-8 at Fetzer Field. Freshman Pat Foster scored the game-winning goal in that game 1:03 into the overtime period. Foster's goal was the first game-winning overtime goal by a Tar Heel freshman since Corey Gavitt's game-winner downed Duke 9-8 at Fetzer Field in 1986.
Carolina would go on to have a second game-winning overtime goal in the run of play during the 2016 NCAA Tournament as Chris Cloutier's tally a little more than two minutes into overtime lifted Carolina past Maryland 14-13 in the 2016 NCAA championship contest.
UNC HEAD COACH JOE BRESCHI: Joe Breschi, UNC Class of 1990, leads the Tar Heels in his ninth season at Carolina. Breschi is 102-47 in his nine years at Carolina, a winning percentage of 68.5 percent. He also coached 11 years at Ohio State and is 194-110 overall in 20 seasons as a collegiate head coach. His overall winning percentage at Ohio State and UNC combined is 63.8 percent. On April 9, 2017, UNC head coach Joe Breschi won his 100th game at Carolina. His 100th win came in Carolina's 15-12 victory against Virginia at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. His 190th overall coaching victory came in a 13-9 victory over #1-ranked Denver on March 4, 2017 in Denver, Colo.
Breschi Coaching Facts:
• 102-47 in 9 seasons at UNC (68.5)
• 194-110 in 20 seasons overall (63.8)
• 21-19 in one-goal games at UNC
• 56-41 versus ranked teams at UNC; 46-6 versus unranked teams at UNC
• 78-20 versus non-conference teams at UNC
• 60-16 in home games at UNC
ANOTHER DOUBLE DIGIT WIN SEASON UNDER COACH BRESCHI: Despite playing against one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2016, the Tar Heels reached a double digit win total for the eighth successive year under the tutelage of head coach Joe Breschi, who was hired in June 2008. The win over Notre Dame on May 22, 2016 gave UNC eight successive seasons with 10 or more wins.
Breschi is the first head coach in UNC history to post double digit win totals in each of his first eight 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 as the Tar Heel head coach. Under Breschi's leadership, UNC went 12-6 in 2009, 13-3 in 2010, 10-6 in 2011, 11-6 in 2012, 13-4 in 2013, 10-5 in 2014, 13-4 in 2015 and 12-6 in 2016.
The 2009-16 streak marks the first time that UNC has won 10 or more games in a season in eight straight years in Tar Heel history. UNC won 10 or more games in six straight seasons from 1989-94, the first two seasons under head coach Willie Scroggs and the last four under head coach Dave Klarmann.
UNC VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS UNDER COACH BRESCHI: North Carolina has played nationally ranked (USILA coaches poll) opponents 97 times in Joe Breschi's nine-year coaching tenure. UNC is 56-41 in those games, a winning percentage of 57.7 percent.
Conversely, and as would be expected, the Tar Heels are 46-6 against unranked opponents in Breschi's nine seasons for an outstanding winning percentage of 88.5 percent. Breschi is 102-47 overall at Carolina in his nine seasons as head coach. During Breschi's tenure, UNC's only losses to unranked teams came at Ohio State in 2011, at home to Lehigh in 2012, at Pennsylvania in 2012, at home to Hofstra in 2016, at Massachusetts in 2016 and at home against Hofstra in 2017.
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 11 seasons. The Tar Heels have won 100 of their last 124 games against non-conference teams dating back to April 15, 2006 when the Tar Heels beat Fairfield 18-9 at Kenan Stadium.
In Joe Breschi's nine seasons as head coach, the Tar Heels are a brilliant 79-20 against non-conference teams, a winning percentage of 79.8. The only non-conference losses were to Notre Dame in 2009, to Ohio State and Johns Hopkins in 2011, to Lehigh, Pennsylvania and Denver in 2012, to Massachusetts, Notre Dame and Denver in 2013, to Denver in 2014, to Maryland twice in 2015, to Hofstra, Denver, Massachusetts and Maryland in 2016 and to Johns Hopkins, Hofstra, Richmond and Maryland in 2017.
NEAR DOMINANCE AT HOME UNDER BRESCHI: UNC is 60-16 in home games in Coach Joe Breschi's nine years at the helm of the Tar Heels. That's a winning percentage of 78.9 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 and an NCAA Tournament loss to Denver in 2012, a regular-season loss to Duke in 2013, a regular-season loss to Notre Dame in 2014 regular-season losses to Hofstra and Denver in 2016 and regular-season losses to Johns Hopkins, Hofstra, Richmond, Maryland, Duke and Syracuse in 2017.
The Tar Heels had won 17 successive home games under Breschi's tutelage from 2014-16 before being upset at home by Hofstra on February 20, 2016. That 17-game home winning streak had begun against Bucknell with a 20-4 win on March 11, 2014.
CAROLINA IN HOME GAMES: North Carolina has an all-time record of 285-128-2 in home games. That included a perfect 11-0 record in 2015. In Joe Breschi's eight-year tenure as head coach he has twice led Carolina to unbeaten records at home – 7-0 in 2010 and 11-0 in 2015. Since 1949, UNC has had eight undefeated home seasons, two under the tutelage of Breschi. UNC has a 68.9 percent winning percentage all-time in history in home games.
THE ALL-TIME RECORD: North Carolina has an all-time record of 490-295-2 in the sport of men's lacrosse. That is a winning percentage of .624.
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 21-19 in games decided by one goal over the past nine years.
CAROLINA'S DOUBLE DIGIT SCORING GAMES: In Coach Joe Breschi's nine years as head lacrosse coach at UNC, Carolina's success has in large part been tied to hitting the 10-goal plateau in a game. In fact, UNC's 14-13 loss to Notre Dame on April 22, 2017, marked only the 16th 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 110 of 149 games under Coach Breschi's direction dating back to the opening game of the 2009 season. Carolina is 94-16 in those 110 games, a winning clip of .854. As would be expected, in the 39 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 39 games is 8-31, a winning percentage of .210.
Carolina's last win in which it was held to single digits came against Furman in a 7-3 decision on February 11, 2017. That marked the first game the Tar Heels had won in which both teams scored in single digits since a 9-8 win over Princeton on March 10, 2012.
The 10 goals in the UNC-Furman game were the fewest combined goals in a Tar Heel game since Februrary 13, 2010 when UNC beat Bryant 5-4 in Chapel Hill at Navy Field.
In 2016, UNC was 12-1 when scoring in double digits and 0-5 when being held in single digits. In 2017, UNC is 6-2 when scoring in double digits and 1-5 when being held in single digits.
UNC CLAIMS ANOTHER SEASON OPENING WIN: The Tar Heels beat UMBC 17-6 in their 2017 season opener against UMBC on February 4. UNC has won every season opener since the 1999 season, running its streak to 19 seasons in a row with the win over the Retrievers. Carolina's last loss in a season opener came on February 22, 1998 when the Tar Heels fell to Butler 13-12 at Fetzer Field.
2017 GAME SUMMARIES FOR TAR HEEL VICTORIES
TAR HEELS OPEN WITH DOUBLE DIGIT WIN OVER RETRIEVERS: The top-ranked University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team ran off the first eight goals of the game, in a span of just 10:28, and cruised to a 17-6 win over UMBC in its season opener Saturday afternoon, February 4 at Cardinal Gibbons High School Stadium. In their first game since they beat Maryland in overtime to win the national championship last May, the Tar Heels first had to overcome a severe water shortage in Chapel Hill, leading to the game being moved to Raleigh, and then outscore a determined UMBC team playing its first game under new head coach Ryan Moran. UNC had a balanced scoring sheet throughout the day with 10 Tar Heels tallying goals and five recording assists. Freshman Justin Anderson, who came to Carolina this season after serving a two-year Mormon Church mission coming out of high school, made his long-awaited Tar Heel debut a memorable one as he scored three goals and added an assist. His fellow first midfield unit line mate Timmy Kelly scored a career high three goals, all in the first quarter. Luke Goldstock had two goals and two assists and Chris Cloutier had two goals and an assist while freshman Matt Gavin had a pair of goals in the fourth quarter.
Senior midfielder Luke Walsh had a goal and an assist for the Heels, who played UMBC for the first time since March 2011. Sophomore Andy Matthews made his first career start and had a pair of assists. Stephen Kelly, Brian Cannon, Peyton Klawinski and William Perry all had single goals for the Heels. Max Maxwell led the Retrievers offensively with three goals and an assist while Ryan Frawley, Austin Mitchell and Ben Revak each scored once and Jack Andrews had two assists.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at UNC's Fetzer Field on Saturday afternoon but a water shortage crisis in Orange County, N.C., led the university to be closed at 1 p.m. Friday. On short notice, Cardinal Gibbons High School was able to host the Tar Heel women's and men's lacrosse games in Raleigh, and the Tar Heels put on a nice show for the crowd of 725 fans that turned out.
Senior Stephen Kelly set the tone for the Tar Heels as he won the opening face-off and tallied 15 seconds into the game, giving UNC a lead it would never relinquish. Stephen's first cousin, Timmy Kelly, scored an unassisted goal 46 seconds later and the Tar Heels were off to a great start. In a span of just 4:54 later in the quarter, UNC would go on a 6-0 run, to increase its lead to 8-0 with 4:32 left in the opening period. Brian Cannon made it 3-0 at 9:26 of the quarter. Cannon's goal was followed by a Chris Cloutier goal off an assist by Andy Matthews at 8:16. Anderson, Timmy Kelly (from Anderson), Goldstock (from Cloutier) and Cloutier followed with four more quick goals and the Tar Heels were up 8-0 barely 10 minutes into the game. UMBC's Austin Mitchell scored the Retrievers' first goal of the season at 2:50 before the Tar Heels scored the last four goals of the first half to take a 12-1 lead into intermission. Peyton Klawinski and Timmy Kelly scored late in the first quarter before freshmen William Perry and Justin Anderson notched goals in the second quarter.
The two teams each scored five goals in the second half with UMBC holding a 3-2 advantage in the third quarter and UNC a 3-2 edge in the fourth. Ruston Souder played the entire way in goal for the Retrievers, making 11 saves and allowing 17 goals. UNC split time amongst three goalkeepers. Brian Balkam played the first half for Carolina while freshman Jack Pezzulla made four saves in 25:11 of the second half and Alex Bassil played the last 4:49 for the Tar Heels, making a save on the only shot he faced. UNC outshot the Retrievers 41-24 in the game and had a 19-8 edge in face-offs and a 37-27 advantage in the ground ball war. Senior Stephen Kelly won 11 of 16 face-offs on the day and had a game-high nine ground balls. Sophomore Charles Kelly went seven for 10 in the face-off circle and had four ground balls. Billy O'Hara had a team-high seven ground balls for the Retrievers.
CAROLINA PASSES FIRST ROAD TEST OF THE SEASON WITH WIN OVER FURMAN: Brian Balkam made 12 saves and allowed just one goal in the final three quarters to lead the No. 1-ranked University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team to a 7-3 victory over the Furman Paladins before 507 fans at Paladin Stadium on Saturday, February 11. The Tar Heels improved to 2-0 with the victory while Furman is now 0-3. Balkam, who came into the game with a career high of 14 saves, allowed a pair of goals in the first quarter, which ended in a 2-2 tie. Over the last three quarters, however, he made eight saves and allowed only one goal as the Tar Heels eventually pulled away for the win, outscoring the Paladins 5-1 over the final three quarters. Balkam's career high for saves is 14 set in games against Virginia and Notre Dame in his sophomore year. Chris Cloutier and Justin Anderson each scored two goals for the Tar Heels while Brian Cannon had a goal and an assist. Sophomore attackman Andy Matthews had a pair of assists while Timmy Kelly and William Perry each recorded single goals for UNC. Peyton Klawinski and Michael Tagliaferri each had single assists in the match. For Furman, William Holcomb scored two goals while Lou Yovino had a single tally. Graham Dabbs and Gus Pinsoneault had assists for the Paladins. Tar Heel senior Stephen Kelly won 11 of 14 face-offs in the game and had a game-high 10 ground balls. Senior Austin Pifani led the Tar Heels defensively with three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Carolina outshot Furman 38-26 and had a 32-24 edge in ground balls. Both goalies played spectacularly with Balkam recording 12 saves for UNC and Alec Van de Bovenkam making 16 saves for the Paladins. UNC was 17 for 20 in the clearing game and Furman was 17 of 19 in that area. The Tar Heels committed 16 turnovers and Furman had 14. Carolina had the edge in extra-man play as the Tar Heels scored twice on three opportunities while Carolina's man-down defense was outstanding, holding the Paladins to an 0-for-5 stat in the category. In fact, the man-down unit play may have been the difference in the game, along with Balkam's goalkeeping.
GOLDSTOCK & PERRY SPARK TAR HEELS PAST LEHIGH: The second-ranked University of North Carolina men's lacrosse team spotted Lehigh an early lead, running off five goals midway through the first quarter, en route to a 15-8 victory over the Mountain Hawks in Carolina's home opener on Saturday afternoon, February 21. A crowd of 1,636 fans saw the defending NCAA champion Tar Heels improve to 3-0 on the season while the Mountain Hawks fell to 2-1.
Senior Luke Goldstock scored five goals, just one shy of his career high in a match, while freshman William Perry had his first career hat trick and sophomore Andy Matthews recorded a career-high four assists, all in the first 17 minutes of the game.
After a high-scoring first half in which the Tar Heels outscored the Mountain Hawks 11-7, Carolina limited Lehigh to just one goal in the second half. UNC goalkeeper Brian Balkam made 10 saves and allowed just eight goals in 54:45 before giving way to Jack Pezzulla, while senior defenseman Austin Pifani had a career high four caused turnovers to lead the UNC defensive effort. Lehigh employed two goalkeepers with Chris Kiernan seeing the bulk of the action. He made seven saves and allowed 15 goals in 54:17 minutes of action.
UNC outshot the Mountain Hawks 40-29 in the game while Lehigh had a 30-29 edge in ground balls. UNC's Stephen Kelly won 14 of 23 face-offs for Carolina and had a game-high six ground balls for Coach Joe Breschi's team. Both squads were turnover prone with Lehigh committing 16 miscues and Carolina coughing up the ball 15 times. Both teams were excellent in clearing the ball as Lehigh went 18-for-20 and North Carolina was 15-for-16. Both teams struggled on their extra-man scoring chances as Lehigh went 1-for-4 and Carolina went 0-for-4.
In addition to the scoring efforts from Goldstock, Perry and Matthews, Chris Cloutier had two goals for UNC while Tate Jozokos, Brian Cannon and Luke Walsh each had a goal and an assist. Michael Tagliaferri and Timmy Kelly also scored for Carolina and Brett Bedard recorded his first career assist. Andrew Pettit led Lehigh with three goals and an assist while Andrew Eichelberger notched two tallies and Tristan Rai has a goal and three assists.
TAR HEELS CLAIM KEY ROAD WIN AT DENVER: The sixth-ranked North Carolina men's lacrosse team was led by a career performance from goalkeeper Brian Balkam as it defeated top-ranked Denver 13-9 at sold out Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium Saturday afternoon, March 4. Balkam made 17 saves and Luke Goldstock had four goals and an assist to pace the Tar Heel offense in capturing a signature win for the UNC program.
UNC led from start-to-finish and it posted a win over a #1-ranked team for the sixth straight season, a streak which began against Johns Hopkins in 2012. UNC has now defeated seven top-ranked teams since April 1, 2012 and is 7-3 against top-ranked teams over the past six years. Prior to the win over Johns Hopkins in 2012, UNC had gone 16 years without recording a victory over a #1 team.
Balkam's 17 saves exceeded his previous career high totals of 14 he had against both Denver and Notre Dame in his sophomore season in 2016. The Tar Heels needed all of Balkam's saves as on paper the Pioneers had a statistical advantage, outshooting Carolina 43-34, winning the ground ball battle 25-19 and having a slight edge at the face-off circle 14-10. The Pioneers were 9-for-9 on clears while UNC was 13-14. Carolina finished with a season-low eight turnovers while the Pioneers had just six.
Balkam allowed two goals and made two saves in the opening period as UNC moved out to a 4-2 lead. Over the final three quarters, he made five saves in each frame, totaling 15 over the final three quarters and allowing only seven goals in that time. For Denver, Alex Ready allowed 13 goals while making just six saves as UNC's offense shot with tactical precision against the Pioneeers.
UNC now leads the all-time series against Denver 10-5 and has won two of the past three games against the Pioneers after Denver had won the previous three contests in NCAA play.
Goldstock's four goals and one assist led the Tar Heel offense while Chris Cloutier and Justin Anderson each scored twice for Coach Joe Breschi's team. Andy Matthews had three assists, running his season total to 11. Both Michael Tagliaferri and Timmy Kelly had a goal and an assist for the Heels. William Perry, Brian Cannon and William McBride also scored for UNC. Denver's Ethan Walker had three goals and an assist while Connor Cannizzaro had a pair of goals for the Pioneers.
The Tar Heels started well with a pair of goals in the opening five minutes of the match. Michael Tagliaferri scored 43 seconds into the game, assisted by Luke Goldstock, and then Goldstock scored a goal of his own off an assist by Andy Matthews with 11:01 left in the first quarter. Neither team scored for almost eight minutes before there was a flurry of four goals, two for each team, in the final 3:39 of the period. After Denver pulled within 2-1, Brian Cannon scored for Carolina with an assist from Timmy Kelly at 2:37. Danny Logan scored just 12 seconds later for Denver but Chris Cloutier's unassisted goal made it 4-2 in favor of the Tar Heels with three seconds left in the opening period.
Denver's Connor Cannizzaro pulled the Pioneers within a goal at 7:42 of the second period before the Tar Heels ran off the final three goals of the half, all by Luke Goldstock. The senior attackman scored off an assist by Andy Matthews at 6:31, off an assist by Michael Tagliaferri at 5:38 and off the third assist of the game recorded by Matthews at 2:47. The last of those three goals put UNC up 7-3 at halftime.
The Tar Heels outscored the Pioneers 3-2 in the third quarter to carry a 10-5 lead into the final frame of action. Chris Cloutier scored a man-up goal 31 seconds into the period and William McBride and Timmy Kelly then each answered Denver goals before the end of the game's third 15 minutes. Kelly's unassisted tally with 11 seconds left in the third quarter put UNC up 10-5.
Denver scored three of the first four goals of the fourth quarter. Ethan Walker's third goal of the game pulled Denver within three goals with 3:32 to play but Tar Heel freshman Justin Anderson scored 41 seconds later and the Las Vegas midfielder scored again with 2:04 left into an empty net to salt away the win.
Stephen Kelly had a solid day at the X for the Heels, winning 10 face-offs against Denver's first-team All-America Trevor Baptiste and earn the Heels crucial possessions throughout the game.
HEELS BOUNCE BACK IN WIN COLUMN VERSUS BIG GREEN: Chris Cloutier led the Tar Heels with seven points, matching the second highest total of his career, and junior Riley Graham stepped in at the face-off circle with 18 wins and 12 ground balls, as seventh-ranked North Carolina defeated Dartmouth 17-6 in men's lacrosse action Saturday night, March 18 at Navy Field.
With the win the Tar Heels snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-3 on the season heading into next Saturday's national TV matchup (ESPNU) at Fetzer Field between 2016 NCAA champion North Carolina and 2016 NCAA runner-up Maryland. Face-off next Saturday is at 11:30 a.m. The Tar Heels will be looking to reward head coach Joe Breschi with his 100th win at Carolina against the Terrapins. The win against the Big Green was his 99th at UNC in his nine seasons as head coach.
Three Tar Heels had hat tricks in the game as Chris Cloutier, Andy Matthews and Luke Goldstock each scored three times for Breschi's squad. Cloutier added a career-high four assists in the game, exceeding the three he had against Richmond on March 19, 2016 and against Notre Dame on May 22, 2016. Cloutier's seven points matched the second most he had in a game, equaling the total he had against Richmond on March 19, 2016. His career best is nine points against Loyola on May 28, 2016.
Matthews had the first hat trick of his career, matching the three goals he had in the first seven games of the season, and he added two assists to give him a career high five points in the game. Mike Guerin had the first two goals of his career and Tanner Cook also tallied his first career goal. UNC also got single goals from Michael Tagliaferri, William Perry, Justin Anderson and Timmy Kelly.
Four Tar Heels had their first career assists in the game – Tanner Cook, Matt Gavin, Timmy Gehlbach and Jack Halpert.
With both Stephen Kelly and Charles Kelly on the mend from injuries, junior Riley Graham stepped in at the face-off circle and was brilliant. He won 18 of 26 face-offs in the game and had 12 ground balls. Graham's 18 face-off victories equaled the 16th most in Tar Heel history. His 12 ground balls matched the 10th most in a game in Carolina history.
Carolina outshot the Big Green 54-27 and had a slight edge in ground balls at 36-33. UNC finished with the 18-9 edge in the face-off circle. Carolina finished with 14 turnovers while the Big Green had 18. Nine different Tar Heels had caused turnovers in the match. UNC was 14-of-15 in the clearing game while Dartmouth was 13-of-16.
Brian Balkam started in goal for the Tar Heels and played 45 minutes, making eight saves and allowing just four goals. Jack Pezzulla played 13:34 in goal and had five saves and two goals allowed. Alex Bassil played the last 1:26 in the goal for the Tar Heels. George Christopher played 55:58 in goal for the Big Green and he made 11 saves while allowing 15 goals. Griffin Miller played the last 4:02 in goal for Dartmouth.
After Andy Matthews scored a pair of goals in the opening 57 seconds of the game, Dartmouth scored the last two goals of the opening period. The game remained tied at 2-2 inside the 10-minute mark of the second quarter before UNC took the lead for good with a run of three goals by Tanner Cook, Andy Matthews and Chris Cloutier in a span of 2:14 early in the second quarter. After Dartmouth answered with a goal by Harlan Smart, Carolina ran off five straight goals to go up 10-3 with 11:14 left in the third quarter.
Timmy Kelly scored in the first minute of the second half before back-to-back goals on outside shots by Luke Goldstock put Carolina up 10-3 with less than four minutes elapsed in the second half. The two teams traded the next six goals before Cloutier scored his third goal of the game off Matthews' second assist with 5:03 to play.
In the final four minutes of the game, the Tar Heels' freshmen “G” attackmen combined for three goals. Mike Guerin scored off Jack Halpert's assist at 4:02, Matt Gavin tallied unassisted at 1:26 and Geurin recorded his second goal off an assist by Timmy Gehlbach with 1:06 to play.
TAR HEELS BUILD BIG EARLY LEAD AND DOWN CAVALIERS: The 20th-ranked North Carolina men's lacrosse team built a seven-goal halftime lead and held off a second-half rally to beat #14 Virginia 15-12 before 3,077 fans at Klockner Stadium on Sunday, April 9.
With the win, the Tar Heels rewarded UNC head coach Joe Breschi with his 100th win as UNC's head coach, improving to 100-45 in his nine years as UNC head mentor. With the win, the Tar Heels broke a two-game losing streak and improved to 6-5 on the season and 1-1 in the ACC. Virginia fell to 7-5 with the loss and 0-3 in the ACC.
Breschi's 100th win at Carolina came on his 49th birthday and Sunday's match also marked his 300th game as a collegiate head coach - 155 at Ohio State and 145 at North Carolina.
The heroes were many for Carolina, led by Stephen Kelly, who tied the school record for face-offs won in a game with 23, matching the total Shane Walterhoefer had against Ohio State on April 12, 2008. Kelly also tied the school record for ground balls in a game with 15. This marked the seventh time a Tar Heel has garnered 15 ground balls in a game, the last time was by Walterhoefer against Providence on March 11, 2009.
Kelly now has 658 face-off wins in his career, the second most in UNC history. He passed R.G. Keenan on the career chart on Sunday night. Keenan had 646 career wins. Walterhoefer holds the school record with 723.
Offensively, the Tar Heels had a balanced scoring attack with Luke Goldstock leading the way with three goals and an assist for four points. Freshmen midfielders William Perry and Tanner Cook each had three points for Carolina. Perry had a goal and two assists and Cook scored two goals and added an assist. Twelve different Tar Heels had points in the game. Michael Tagliaferri and William McBride each had two goals for the Tar Heels while Andy Matthews, Chris Cloutier and Justin Anderson each had a goal and an assist.
Virginia's Ryan Conrad had three goals and an assist to lead the Cavaliers in the scoring column while Zed Williams had three goals and Michael Kraus scored twice.
Brian Balkam played the whole way for UNC and he made 13 saves in the match while Griffin Thompson made 15 saves for Virginia.
Carolina dominated the game statistically, outshooting the Cavaliers 57-40 and winning the ground ball battle 50-28. UNC won 23 of the 30 face-offs thanks to Kelly. The Tar Heels committed a season-high turnover total of 23, including 15 in the second half while Virginia had 14 turnovers.
Another key statistic for the Tar Heels was the work of the extra-man unit which went four-for-four after coming into the game just five for 24 on the extra-man for the season.
Virginia opened the scoring with a goal by Joe French with 2:16 elapsed in the first quarter. William McBride tied the game off an assist by Brian Cannon 33 seconds later. UNC then scored back-to-back unassisted goals off the sticks of Michael Tagliaferri at 11:27 (less than a minute after McBride's first goal) and then another score by William McBride at 3:32. With that goal, McBride matched his career high for goals in a game with two and it marked the second straight game against Virginia in which he has scored twice. Virginia cut the UNC lead to 3-2 with 48 seconds left in the opening period on an unassisted goal by Michael Kraus.
Carolina outscored the Cavaliers 6-0 in the second quarter while outshooting the Cavaliers 18-11 in the period. Both goalkeepers – Brian Balkam for Carolina and Griffin Thompson for UVA – made five saves in the second quarter with Balkam pitching a shutout in the period and Thompson preventing the carnage for Virginia from being worse. Tanner Cook and Luke Goldstock each scored twice in the quarter for Carolina.
Cook scored his first goal of the quarter 30 seconds into the period on an extra-man opportunity with an assist to Goldstock. Exactly two minutes later, Tagliaferri notched his second goal of the game, scoring unassisted from the right side.
Goldstock then scored two goals in a row for UNC. He scored off an assist by Chris Cloutier at 10:49 and then scored off an assist by Tanner Cook at 5:41. UNC added to its lead with 3:28 left in the first half when the Tar Heels capitalized on a situation where the Cavaliers had two men in the penalty box. Timmy Kelly had the goal, assisted by William Perry. Timmy Kelly then forced a turnover in the closing seconds of the half and Tanner Cook scored his second goal of the contest in an unsettled situation with an assist by short-stick defensive midfielder Tate Jozokos. The goal with 12 seconds left in the half put UNC up 9-2.
The Cavaliers got back in the game by outscoring the Tar Heels 6-2 in the third quarter. The two teams traded four goals in the opening six minutes of the half with Zed Williams and Michael Kraus scoring for Virginia while Andy Matthews and Chris Cloutier notched tallies for UNC. But turnovers plagued Carolina over the course of the next three minutes and Virginia tallied four goals in a span of just 2:36, including two goals by Ryan Conrad. Conrad's goal with 6:20 left in the third quarter cut Carolina's lead to 11-8. But the Heels kept the Cavs off the scoreboard the remainder of the third quarter before the teams played an even fourth quarter.
The Tar Heels got two goals just six seconds apart to open the scoring in the fourth quarter. William Perry scored an extra-man goal for the Tar Heels with 12:34 left in the quarter off an assist by Andy Matthews. Stephen Kelly won the ensuing face-off and scored six seconds later to give the Tar Heels a five-goal lead at 13-8. Carolina sealed the win with goal by Goldstock, assisted by Perry, at 5:33, and a goal by Justin Anderson with the 30-second shot clock on and 3:20 left in the game. Anderson's goal sealed the win and put UNC up 15-10 at the time. Virginia scored twice in the last 30 seconds of the game but UNC had built a five-goal lead by that point. The win was Carolina's fifth straight in regular-season meetings against the Cavaliers - 2013, 2015 and 2017 in Charlottesville and 2014 and 2016 in Chape Hill.
The Tar Heels will return to Fetzer Field to play currently second-ranked but potentially top-ranked Syracuse on Saturday, April 15 at 4 p.m. in the final regular-season home game scheduled to be played at the historic facility. Fetzer Field opened as a track and field facility in 1935 and has been the home of UNC men's lacrosse since 1949. It will be torn down at the end of this season and a new combination lacrosse and soccer stadium will be built on the same site.
It will be Senior Day at Fetzer Field with all of the Tar Heel seniors and redshirt juniors being honored in pre-game ceremonies. This group includes Brett Bedard, Luke Goldstock, Mark Rizzo (5th year senior), Tate Jozokos, Stephen Kelly, Austin Pifani, Michael Tagliaferri (5th year senior), Luke Walsh, Peyton Klawinski, Ryan Macri (redshirt junior), Jack Lambert (senior) and Brian Balkam (redshirt junior).
It will also be alumni weekend in Chapel Hill with UNC's 1981 and 1982 NCAA championship teams being honored between the first and second quarters of the Tar Heels' game against Syracuse.
TAR HEELS POST WILD ACC TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL VICTORY: The 18th-ranked North Carolina men's lacrosse team built a nine-goal halftime lead and held on for a wild 16-15 ACC Championship semifinal game victory over top-ranked Syracuse Friday night at Koskinen Stadium.
With the win, the Tar Heels advanced to the ACC Championship game Sunday at noon against Notre Dame who beat Duke 7-6 in the second semifinal game. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
With the victory, North Carolina improved to 7-7 on the season while Syracuse fell to 11-2 on the campaign. With the win, the Tar Heels avenged a 12-11 overtime loss to the #1-ranked Orange at Fetzer Field on April 15. Also with the triumph, Carolina improved to 14-21 all-time against #1-ranked teams in the USILA poll in its history, including a mark of 8-4 in its last 12 games since 2012. UNC is 2-1 against #1-ranked teams in 2017.
UNC also avenged back-to-back ACC Tournament semifinal losses to the Orange in both 2015 and 2016.
Friday's game was one of wild emotional swings with UNC building a nine-goal lead at halftime before Syracuse stormed back with an eight-goal run in the third quarter. That cut UNC's lead to 13-12 heading into the final quarter. The Tar Heels never surrendered the lead, however, and held on for the 16-15 win to reach their first ACC Tournament final since 2013.
Ten different Tar Heels scored in the game and five different players had assists. Chris Cloutier led the Tar Heels with three goals and an assist while Luke Goldstock also had a four-point game with two goals and two assists. Andy Matthews had a goal and three assists. Michael Tagliaferri and Tanner Cook each scored twice for the Tar Heels. Senior long-stick midfielder Jack Lambert, who came into the game with one career goal, had two goals in the first half for the Tar Heels. Timmy Kelly added a goal and an assist while Justin Anderson, Jack Rowlett and Brian Cannon had single goals.
Jordan Evans led the Orange offensively with a goal and a career-high six assists. Sergio Salcido had three goals and two assists for Syracuse while Nick Mariano added a hat trick. Jamie Trimboli and Brendan Bomberry each added two goals for the two-time defending ACC Tournament champion Orange.
UNC had advantages in most statistical areas. UNC outshot the Orange 47-41 and had a 36-31 edge in ground balls. Stephen Kelly won 18 of 32 face-offs for the Tar Heels and had a game-high 11 ground balls.
Brian Balkam played 55:49 in goal for the Tar Heels and made 10 saves while allowing 14 goals. Freshman Jack Pezzulla played the last 4:11 for the Tar Heels and made two saves while allowing a single extra-man goal. Evan Molloy made seven saves for Syracuse while allowing all 16 Tar Heel goals.
Given the frenetic pace of the game, it was relatively turnover free as North Carolina committed just nine turnovers and the Orange had 11 miscues. In the clearing game, UNC went 11 for 13 and Syracuse was 16 for 18. The Orange was three-for-three on the EMO while UNC was two for four.
Luke Goldstock's two goals in the game moved him into fifth place all-time in the category in Tar Heel history. He now has 114 career goals, moving past Jed Prossner, who was fifth previously with 113.
The 18 face-off wins by Kelly were the eighth time he has won 18 or more face-offs in his career. Kelly now has 697 career face-off wins and 363 career ground balls.
After Jamie Trimboli opened the scoring for Syracuse, the Tar Heels ran off the last four goals of the first quarter. Justin Anderson and Michael Tagliaferri scored back-to-back unassisted goals, putting the Tar Heels ahead for good in the game at 2-1 with 5:39 left in the first quarter. At 3:58, Chris Cloutier scored a highlight reel goal off an assist by Luke Goldstock while the 30-second shot clock was on and then Andy Matthews tallied off an assist by Timmy Kelly with 1:37 left in the quarter.
UNC opened the scoring in the second quarter on a man-up goal by Brian Cannon, assisted by William McBride, and Timmy Kelly then made it 6-1 in favor of the Tar Heels with 13:22 left in the half with an unassisted tally. Syracuse answered with a transition goal by Peter Dearth, assisted by Salcido just shortly afterwards before the Tar Heels went on another scoring run.
Carolina answered the Dearth goal with a pair of goals by long-stick players in just 24 seconds with Jack Lambert scoring at 12:12 and Jack Rowlett scoring his goal at 11:58. It took just another 13 seconds for the Heels to make it 9-2 when Luke Goldstock scored off an assist by Andy Matthews with 11:45 left in the half. An unassisted goal by Tanner Cook made it 10-2 at 10:39 and then Chris Cloutier notched his second goal, assisted by Goldstock, and it was 11-2 with 8:05 left in the half.
Syracuse scored back-to-back goals before Lambert scored his second goal of the second quarter at 2:49 of the period. Michael Tagliaferri scored five seconds before halftime, assisted by Matthews, and UNC went to the break ahead 13-4.
But as is the case in ACC lacrosse action, a game is never really over and Syracuse went on a furious 8-0 scoring run. Back-to-back goals by Nick Mariano pulled the Orange within 13-10 with 6:35 left in the third quarter. Salcido scored at 3:14 and then a fast break goal with 13 seconds left in the period by Tyson Bomberry cut Carolina's lead to just 13-12 entering the final period.
Carolina freshman Tanner Cook broke the long scoring drought for the Heels by tallying with 10:58 to play in the game off an assist by Andy Matthews. Matt Lane then tallied for Syracuse at 8:05 to again pull the Orange within a single goal.
UNC got two key goals at 5:56 and 5:21 of the fourth quarter to go back up by three goals. Chris Cloutier scored unassisted at 5:56 and then the Tar Heels tallied in a man-up situation at 5:21 with Goldstock scoring his second goal of the game off an assist by Cloutier.
Syracuse pulled within two goals on a tally by Salcido at 4:11. At that point, Tar Heel head coach Joe Breschi subbed in Jack Pezzulla at goal and he made two key saves in the closing minutes. Brendan Bomberry tallied with 27 seconds left on an extra-man situation to pull the Orange within a single goal. The Orange won the ensuing face-off but did not get off a shot as the clock ran out and Carolina earned its spot in the ACC Championship game.
After losing three one-goal decisions earlier this year, Carolina prevailed against Syracuse and can now earn its way into the NCAA Tournament with a win on Sunday.
2017 TAR HEEL PLAYER NOTES
Justin Anderson, Freshman, Midfielder, Las Vegas, Nev.
• Has started 13 games in first midfield unit for Tar Heels.
• Tied for sixth on the team in scoring with 16 points. Is fifth on the squad in goals scored with 13.
• Had three goals and an assist in first game of his career versus UMBC. Was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week on February 5 after that performance.
• Also scored twice each against Furman and Denver.
• Has three multi-goal games and four multi-point games in his career.
• Graduated from high school in 2014 before serving two year Mormon mission in Chile.
• Has eight brothers and three sisters.
Brian Balkam, Senior Goalkeeper, St. James, N.Y.
• UNC starting goalkeeper for past two years. Has started 15 games in 2017.
• Has 324 career saves, the 14th most in Tar Heel history.
• Will graduate from UNC on May 14 along with 10 other senior teammates.
• One of four goalkeepers in UNC history to start on an NCAA championship team. He joined Tommy Sears (1981 & 1982), Barney Aburn (1986) and Andy Piazza (1991) in that august company.
• Has an 8-7 goalkeeper record this year.
• Named ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Week on March 5 after UNC's 13-9 road win at #1 Denver.
• Recorded a career high 17 saves in that victory over the Pioneers, breaking his previous career high of 14 set in 2016 against Virginia and Notre Dame (NCAA quarterfinals).
• Recorded double digit save totals in nine games this year.
• Recorded his best save percentage in a game in his career (.800) at Furman on February 11 with 12 saves and just three goals allowed.
• His career goalkeeper record going into the Albany game is 24-13.
• Of all active NCAA Division I goalkeepers he has the 29th most career saves with 324.
Brett Bedard, Junior Short Stick Defensive Midfielder, Annapolis, Md.
• Key player in the short stick defensive midfield for UNC. One of four players who run in a regular rotation in that unit.
• Has played in 13 games this year, missing two games due to injury.
• Has five ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Had two ground balls and two caused turnovers in win at Furman.
• Recorded first two assists of his career in games against Lehigh and Notre Dame (regular season).
Brian Cannon, Sophomore Midfielder, Northport, N.Y.
• Played in all 15 games this year as member of second midfield unit.
• Has scored nine goals this year to go along with three assists. Had at least one goal in each of the first five games of the season.
• Had two goals in regular season game against Syracuse.
• Has eight multi-goal games and eight multi-point games in his career.
Chris Cloutier, Junior Attackman, Kitchener, Ontario
• Most Valuable Player of 2017 ACC Championship. Also named to All-Tournament Team as he recorded four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in semifinal versus Syracuse and five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in final versus Notre Dame.
• Ranks 31st in career goal scoring at UNC with 75. Stands 40th in career points at Carolina with 102.
• During his Tar Heel career he has 21 multi-goal games, 5 multi-assist games and 28 multi-point games.
• Started all 15 games at attack this year. Leads UNC in goals scored with 31 and in points with 44. Tied for second on the team with 13 assists.
• Has recorded at least two points in every game this year. Scored two or more goals in each of the first eight games of the year and in each of the last three games.
• Season high for points is seven in win over Dartmouth. Had a career high four assists versus the Big Green.
• Season high for goals was four in regular season game at Notre Dame.
• Has four hat tricks this year and 10 in his career.
• Has scored a goal in 19 straight games dating back to last year. That matches the 10th longest goal scoring streak in UNC history.
• His 19-game goal scoring streak is the fourth longest active streak in the nation. His 19-game point scoring streak equals the 19th longest such string in the nation.
• Scooped up a career high four ground balls in win at Virginia. Ranks third on the team in ground balls with 32 behind Stephen Kelly and Tate Jozokos.
• Was named the USILA/BSN Sports National Offensive Player of the Week on May 2 after winning MVP honors at ACC Championship.
• 2017 Face-off Yearbook pre-season honorable mention All-America selection.
• Amongst active NCAA leaders he ranks 32nd in career points per game, 21st in career goals per game and 49th in career goals.
Tanner Cook, Freshman Midfielder, Courtice, Ontario
• Moved into the second midfield rotation beginning with the Hofstra game on March 11.
• Has played in 11 games overall and has 10 goals and three assists for 13 points.
• Plays on man-up unit where he has scored four goals, the second highest total on the team.
• Has scored a pair of goals three times this season - in both Syracuse games and at Virginia. Had a season-high three points in win at UVA.
• Has three multi-goal games and five multi-point games in 2017.
• Cousin of UNC All-America midfielder Chad Tutton who played at UNC from 2012-15.
Luke Goldstock, Senior Attackman, Niskayuna, N.Y.
• One of the Tar Heel captains.
• Starter in all 15 games in 2017. Ranks second on the team in points with 43 and in goals with 30. Is tied for second on team in assists with 13.
• Ranks fifth in Tar Heel history in career goals with 118 - 10 goals short of school record.
• Currently 11th in career points at UNC with 173. Needs two points to tie Billy Bitter for 10th place at Carolina.
• Tied for 24th in UNC history with 55 assists.
• During his Tar Heel career he has 33 multi-goal games, 14 multi-assist games and 42 multi-point games.
• Has recorded 19 career hat tricks.
• 2017 All-ACC selection.
• 2017 All-ACC Tournament honoree. Had four points in semifinal win over Syracuse and four goals, all in fourth quarter, in championship contest against Notre Dame.
• Named ACC Offensive Player of the Week on March 5 after scoring four goals and adding an assist in win at #1 Denver.
• Had season-high five goals in win over Lehigh. Had season-high six points versus Syracuse in regular season game with three goals and season high three assists.
• Also had hat tricks this year versus Dartmouth and Virginia.
• Preseason third-team All-America attackman as named by Face-off Yearbook. Also named to coaches preseason All-ACC Team.
• Amongst active NCAA players, he ranks 40th in career points per game, 14th in career points, 45th in career goals per game, 10th in career goals and 34th in career assists.
Jack Halpert, Sophomore Short-Stick Defensive Midfielder, Baltimore, Md.
• Key player for the Tar Heels in short-stick defensive midfield
• Has played in 14 games this year.
• Has three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
• Recorded an assist in win over Dartmouth.
Cole Haverty, Sophomore Short-Stick Defensive Midfielder, Atlanta, Ga.
• Has played a key role in the short stick defensive midfield unit this season.
• Played in 14 games and scooped up two ground balls.
Tate Jozokos, Senior Short Stick Defensive Midfielder, Wolfeboro, N.H.
• 2017 All-ACC honoree.
• Has played in all 15 games this year. Ranks second on the team and first among non-face-off men in ground balls with 37. Also has nine caused turnovers this year.
• Has had multiple ground balls in 12 games with a career high five versus Lehigh. Also had a goal and an assist in the game versus the Mountain Hawks. The two points versus Lehigh also matched his career high.
• Had an assist in win at UVA and goal in game at Notre Dame.
• Has three career multi-point games.
• Was named to coaches' preseason All-ACC Team.
Stephen Kelly, Senior Midfielder, Lutherville, Md.
• 2017 Tar Heel captain.
• Ranks second in career face-offs won at Carolina with 711. The school record holder is Shane Walterhoefer with 723 during his career from 2006-09.
• Has scooped up 374 ground balls in his career. That is the third most in school history behind Jude Collins who had 412 from 1993-96 and Shane Walterhoefer who retrieved 386 from 2006-09.
• Amongst active NCAA Division I players in career statistics, he ranks eighth in ground balls per game with 6.56, fourth in ground balls with 374, fourth in face-offs won with 711 and second in face-off attempts with 1,297.
• UNC's leading face-off man. Has won 54.9 percent of his draws this year, going 174 of 317 at the face-off X. His 174 face-off wins are the ninth most in a season in UNC history.
• Leads Carolina in ground balls with 99. That's equals the 13th most ground balls in a season in UNC history. He ranks 11th in ground balls per game this season in the NCAA with 7.07 per contest.
• Has scored three goals this season - one each versus UMBC, Johns Hopkins and Virginia.
• Played in 14 games this season, missing the Dartmouth game due to injury.
• Has won double digits in face-offs in 12 of 14 games this year. Has nine or more ground balls in a match seven times this season, including four games in double digits in ground balls.
• In UNC's 15-12 win at Virginia on April 9, he tied the school record for ground balls in a game with 15 and face-offs won in a game with 23.
• Named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week twice this year - on February 6, 2017 after the UMBC game and on April 11, 2017 after the Virginia game.
• Has one multi-assist and two multi-point games in his career.
• 2017 Face-Off Yearbook preseason third-team All-America.
• Was tapped for 2017 Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List.
• In his Tar Heel career he has won 15 or more face-offs in a game on 19 occasions.
• Has posted a dozen or more ground balls in a game on four occasions in his career.
• His .548 career face-off winning percentage ranks 11th in Tar Heel history.
• Older brother of Tar Heel midfielder Frankie Kelly, UNC Class of 2014.
Timmy Kelly, Sophomore Midfielder, Lutherville, Md.
• Runs on Carolina's first midfield unit. Has started 10 games this year and played in all 15 contests.
• Carolina's leading midfield scorer with 20 points. Leads all midfielders with 17 goals, a figure which ranks third on the squad.
• Has scored on 34.7 percent of his shots.
• Scored a career high three goals in season opener versus UMBC. Scored a pair of goals against Maryland and Notre Dame (regular season game) and had two goals and an assist versus Duke.
• In his Tar Heel career, he has six multi-goal games, one multi-assist game and 10 multi-point games.
• Younger brother of UNC midfielder Patrick Kelly, Tar Heel class of 2016.
Joe Kenna, Sophomore Defenseman, Chantilly, Va.
• Has played in 13 games this year as UNC's top close defenseman off the bench. He started games this year against UMBC and Johns Hopkins.
• Has eight ground balls and four caused turnovers this year.
• Had a career high three ground balls in win over UMBC and matched that number against Hofstra,
• Notched a career-high two caused turnovers in game at Notre Dame.
Jack Lambert, Senior Long-Stick Defensive Midfielder, Cross River, N.Y.
• Played in 14 games this season. Missed the Furman game due to injury.
• Combines with Kyle Mathie to form an outstanding 1-2 combination at long-stick defensive midfielder.
• Has 23 ground balls this season and six caused turnovers. His caused turnover have come in six different games.
• Had a season-high three ground balls against Virginia, Notre Dame (regular season) and Syracuse (ACC Tournament). Has nine different games with two or more ground balls.
• Entered the season with a career point then scored first career goal versus Maryland.
• Named to All-Tournament Team at the ACC Tournament. Scored two goals in the tournament semifinal win over Syracuse. Came back two days later and had a goal and two assists as the Tar Heels defeated Notre Dame 14-10 in the championship game.
• In his UNC career, he has one multi-goal game, one multi-assist game and two multi-point contests.
Ryan Macri, Junior Defenseman, Hamilton, Mass.
• 2017 Tar Heel captain.
• Now in his second year as a starter on close defense. Has started all 15 games this season.
• Has 23 ground balls this year and nine caused turnovers.
• Recorded his second career assist in match versus Maryland.
• Had career best game against Syracuse in ACC Tournament semifinals. Notched his career highs for ground balls with six and caused turnovers with three in 16-15 victory over Orange.
• In the ACC Tournament, he combined for eight ground balls and five caused turnovers in wins over Syracuse and Notre Dame.
• His five caused turnovers in the ACC Tournament were more than the four he had caused in the first 13 games of the season combined.
• Named the most outstanding Tar Heel men's lacrosse player in the weight room in 2016-17, capturing the Iron Ram award.
• His younger brother, Cam, is a freshman midfielder for the Tar Heels.
Kyle Mathie, Junior Long-Stick Defensive Midfielder, Smithtown, N.Y.
• Combines with Jack Lambert to provide the Tar Heels with an outstanding 1-2 combination at long-stick defensive midfield.
• Played in 13 games this year, missing a pair of games in late April due to injury.
• He has 14 ground balls this season and five caused turnovers.
• Twice this season had a career high three ground balls in games against UMBC and Richmond.
• Caused a pair of turnovers in wins over UMBC and Furman.
• Named the most improved Tar Heel men's lacrosse player in the weight room in 2016-17.
Andy Matthews, Sophomore Attackman, Baltimore, Md.
• Outstanding young attackman who moved into the starting lineup this year. Has started all 15 games for the Tar Heels.
• Leads UNC with 26 assists and ranks third on the team in points with 38. Has 12 goals and 22 ground balls.
• Has scored on 36.4 percent of his shots.
• Named to All-Tournament Team at ACC Championship.
• Had a goal and three assists in the ACC Tournament semifinals versus Syracuse and again in the ACC Tournament championship game versus Notre Dame.
• Currently ranks 24th in the NCAA in assists per game this season at 1.73.
• Has recorded an assist in each of the past eight games. That's tied for the 11th longest streak in UNC history with at least one assist in a game.
• Had a career high three goals in victory against Dartmouth. Also had career high five points in the win over the Big Green.
• Notched a career high four assists in victory over Lehigh.
• Had career high three ground balls in ACC games against Duke and Virginia.
• Has recorded at least two points in a game in 12 games this season.
• During his UNC career, he has recorded two multi-goal games, eight multi-assist games and 12 multi-point games.
William McBride, Junior Midfielder, Baltimore, Md.
• Has played in 13 games this year. Started matches against Dartmouth and Maryland.
• Has five goals, two assists, seven points and eight ground balls this year.
• One of the key players on the Tar Heel roster. Extremely versatile performer who sees action on wings on face-offs and in short stick defensive midfield if needed.
• Currently running in a combination of four players who comprise UNC's second midfield unit.
• Matched his career high for goals in a game with two in win at Virginia. That was the third time he has scored two goals in a game in his career.
• During his UNC career, he has recorded three multi-goal games and four multi-point games.
Jake Peden, Sophomore Defenseman, Downingtown, Pa.
• One of the top two Tar Heel close defensemen off the bench. Also plays on man-down unit.
• Played in 14 games this year. Has seven ground balls and two caused turnovers.
• Started matches on close defense against Furman and Lehigh.
• Has two ground balls in a game twice this season - against Furman and Lehigh.
William Perry, Freshman Midfielder, Greenwich, Conn.
• Has had a spectacular freshman year. Currently runs in second midfield unit. Also plays on the Tar Heels' man-up corps.
• Has played in all 15 games and started in the first midfield on five occasions in games between February 18 and March 13.
• Has 14 goals this year and four assists for 18 points.
• Ranks fifth on the team in points this season and fourth in goals scored.
• Has scored on 35.9 percent of his shots.
• Had a career high three goals in win over Lehigh.
• Career high for assists came with two versus Virginia.
• Has notched three points in a game thrice this campaign - versus Lehigh, Virginia and the in the ACC Tournament final against Notre Dame.
• As a freshman he has posted two multi-goal games, one multi-assist game and three multi-point contests.
Jack Pezzulla, Freshman Goalkeeper, Baltimore, Md.
• Carolina's No. 2 goalkeeper. Has played in six games this year.
• Has made 17 saves and allowed 12 goals in 81 minutes.
• Has a save percentage of .586 and goals against average of 8.94.
• Make career high five saves versus Dartmouth.
• Scooped up career high two ground balls in game against Johns Hopkins.
• Came off the bench to make two saves in the final four minutes of Carolina's 16-15 win over Syracuse in the ACC Tournament semifinals.
Austin Pifani, Senior Defenseman, Roslyn, Pa.
• Named to Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List.
• One of 10 finalists for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award.
• Has 64 caused turnovers in his career. That equals the second most in UNC history. He is tied with Michael Jarvis (2007-10). Only Ryan Flanagan with 108 caused turnovers from 2008-11 ranks ahead of Pifani.
• Has started all 15 games this season for the Tar Heels on close defense.
• Ranks fourth on the team with 31 ground balls. Has nine games with two or more ground balls.
• Leads the Tar Heels with 21 caused turnovers. Has had three or more caused turnovers in a game five times this season.
• 2016 & 2017 All-ACC selection on close defense.
• Named ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, the first Tar Heel defender to win the award since Alex Martin in 1992.
• Junior captain of the Tar Heels and senior captain of Carolina in 2017.
• Posted his career highs this year for ground balls in a game with six against Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament championship game and for caused turnovers in a game with four against Lehigh.
• Has started every game in his career in which he dressed. Missed three games due to injury in mid-season in 2016.
• 2015 USILA second-team All-America.
• 2014 USILA honorable mention All-America selection.
• 2017 Face-Off Yearbook preseason first-team All-America.
• Preseason All-ACC selection by ACC coaches in 2017.
Mark Rizzo, Redshirt Senior Defenseman, Hewlett, N.Y.
• Team captain for the second successive year.
• Winner of the Athletic Director's Scholar-Athlete Award for the men's lacrosse team for the 2016-17 school year.
• Finalist for 2017 One Love's YRL Unsung Hero Award.
• Recipient of one of the ACC Top Six for Service Awards, one of six UNC student-athletes so honored in 2016-17.
Jack Rowlett, Sophomore Defenseman, Burke, Va.
• Two-year starter at close defense for the Tar Heels. Has seen time both at close defense and long-stick defensive midfield this year. Has started 11 games overall.
• Scored goals in back-to-back games against Notre Dame on April 22 and Syracuse on April 28.
• Has 26 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.
• Matched his career high for ground balls in a game with six against Notre Dame in ACC Tournament championship game. Also had five ground balls in UNC's win at Virginia.
• Face-Off Yearbook preseason second-team All-America.
Michael Tagliaferri, Graduate Student Midfielder, Danville, Calif.
• Graduated from Carolina in May 2016. Currently enrolled as an MBA student at UNC.
• In second year as starter in the first midfield unit. Has started all 15 games for the Tar Heels in 2017.
• Has 12 goals this year, including two each versus Duke, Virginia and Syracuse (ACC semifinals). Also has four assists and 16 points. Ranks sixth on team in points.
• 2016 All-ACC selection.
• 2016 USILA honorable mention All-America.
• In his North Carolina career, “Tags” has 15 multi-goal games, two multi-assist games and 20 multi-points game.
• Has six career hat tricks.
• 2017 Face-off Yearbook pre-season honorable mention All-America selection.
• Preseason All-ACC selection by ACC coaches in 2017.
• Has 72 career points.