Carolina Ends 2017 Regular Season With Match at Notre Dame
2017 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA MEN’S LACROSSE GAME NOTES
Game 13: North Carolina Tar Heels (6-6, ACC 1-2, ranked #17 in USILA/NIKE Division I Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Poll for Week 10, ranked #16 in Maverik Media Poll for Week 10) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-3, ACC 1-2, ranked #6 in USILA/NIKE Division I Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Poll for Week 10, ranked #6 in Maverik Media Poll for Week 10)
Saturday, April 22, 2017
12:00 p.m. EDT
Notre Dame, Ind.
KEY LINKS FOR SATURDAYDAY’S GAME
Live Stats: GoHeels.com
Telecast: ESPNU, ESPN, WatchESPN
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 HEAD TO INDIANA TO MEET NOTRE DAME IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE: The University of North Carolina men’s lacrosse team, under the direction of ninth-year head coach Joe Breschi, returns to action on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. EDT against the #6-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Tar Heels’ final regular season game of the 2017 season. The game will be played at Arlotta Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.
Coach Breschi’s team has put in a strong stint of practice this past week seeking to bounce back from a hard-fought 12-11 overtime loss against #1-ranked Syracuse last Saturday in Chapel Hill.
ACC TOURNAMENT SEEDS ON LINE: In addition to a crucial game for NCAA Tournament seeding purposes, Saturday’s North Carolina versus Notre Dame game will finalize the 2017 ACC Tournament seedings. The 2017 Tournament will be played at Duke University’s Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. with the semifinals on Friday, April 28 and the championship game on Sunday, April 30.
Syracuse at 4-0 and Duke at 3-1 have clinched the #1 and #2 seeds in the tournament. Both North Carolina and Notre Dame are 1-2 in league play. The loser of Saturday’s game will meet Syracuse at 6 p.m. next Friday in the first semifinal game while the winner will face off against Duke at 8:30 p.m. in the second semifinal game. The championship game is on Sunday, April 30 at 12 noon. All three games are on ESPNU.
TAR HEEL LACROSSE PROGRAM FEATURED ON ESPNU ALL ACCESS SHOW; The University of North Carolina men's lacrosse program was featured recently on ESPNU with an All-Access: UNC Lacrosse which premiered this past Wednesday at 6 p.m. The show will be reaired on four occasions as follows: Saturday, April 22, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, April 28, 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 30, 10:30 a.m.; Sunday, May 7, 8:30 p.m.
UNC HONORED SENIORS LAST SATURDAY: Last Saturday’s game against the Syracuse Orange marked the final regular-season home game for 10 Tar Heel seniors who are leaving 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 man, Lutherville, Md.
#28, Tate Jozokos, Senior, Short Stick Defensive Midfielder, Wolfeboro, N.H.
#42, Peyton Klawinski, Senior, Midfielder, Memphis, Tenn.
RECOGNIZING GRAHAM HARDEN: At halftime of last Saturday’s game, the UNC lacrosse program honored 1991 National Defenseman of the Year Graham Harden for his 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. 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. G-Force tee-sheets were sold at the game with all proceeds went to the G-Force Foundation to benefit Graham and his family.
Graham’s wife, Dawn, is also a Carolina alumnus. The family lives in Cincinnati. 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.
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 last weekend, 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 last Saturday with members of the team being recognized on the Fetzer Field track.
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 the 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 REGULAR SEASON 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-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 D. Roosevelt Administration in the Great Depression.
Over the decades, several more sports began to play 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 in May 2017 at the conclusion of all NCAA 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 2017 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 construction project beginning next month and those will be located on the existing site of Navy Field and Henry Stadium.
UNC will play in Kenan Stadium during the 2018 lacrosse season.
HOME/ROAD DIFFERENTIAL: Given Carolina’s long-term success in Chapel Hill, the 2017 home season for the Tar Heels has gone in the exact opposite direction.
Carolina struggled at home this season, going just 2-6 in its eight home games. Conversely, the Tar Heels are unbeaten away from Chapel Hill this season, going 3-0 on the road and 1-0 on a neutral field.
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 6-6 overall this season with a 3-0 road record and a 1-0 mark at neutral sites this year.
TV SATURDAY: Saturday’s game against Notre Dame will be nationally televised on ESPNU. Quint Kessenich will be the play-by-play announcer while Ryan Boyle will be the color commentator. This marks the fifth of five straight regular season games for the Tar Heels to be telecast on ESPNU.
There will be a simulcast on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN. Live stats can be found on GoHeels.com and UND.com, the websites for UNC and Notre Dame, respectively.
TICKETS FOR SATURDAY’S GAME: The North Carolina versus Notre Dame is a sellout.
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 eight straight NCAA Tournaments from 2009-2016. In the 12 seasons prior to his arrival (1997-2008), Carolina had only gone to the NCAA Tournament four times (1998, 2004, 2007, 2008).
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 100-46, 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 UNC 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. Last Saturday’s match against the Syracuse Orange was his 156th game as the head coach of the Tar Heels.
THIS WEEK’S RPI: The Tar Heels moved up to No. 9 this past Tuesday in the 2017 NCAA Rating Percentage Index for men’s lacrosse.
On Saturday, the Tar Heels will face the No. 1 Team in this year’s RPI, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, at Arlotta Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.
The will mark the second straight game in which the Tar Heels have faced the No. 1 team in the NCAA RPI. Syracuse was No. 1 in the RPI last Saturday when the two teams faced off in Chapel Hill, N.C.
QUICK SCOUTING THE GAME: The Tar Heels are 6-6 overall after completing their 2017 non-conference schedule against Maryland on March 25 with a 5-4 mark against non-league opponents. The Tar Heels opened their ACC season on April 2 against Duke in Chapel Hill but fell to the Blue Devils 12-8. Carolina got back even in its ACC ledger with a 15-12 win at Virginia on April 9 before falling to Syracuse 12-11 in overtime on April 15.
Carolina’s remaining ACC schedule includes a match at Notre Dame on April 22.
Notre Dame is 6-3 overall this season and 1-2 in the ACC. The Fighting Irish started the season 5-1 before falling in back-to-back ACC games against Syracuse and Duke. By the time the Irish play the Tar Heels on Saturday they will have had 11 days off from competition. Their last game came on April 11 when the Irish defeated Marquette 11-10 at Arlotta Stadium.
New rankings from the USILA coaches poll and the Maverik media poll were released on Monday, April 17 with Carolina currently ranked in the #17 spot in the USILA coaches poll and #16 in the Maverik media poll. The Fighting Irish were ranked #6 in the coaches poll and #6 in the Maverik media poll on Monday, April 17.
CAROLINA VERSUS NOTRE DAME THE SERIES: North Carolina and Notre Dame have played each other 15 times in history with the Tar Heels holding the series lead 8-7.
The series began in 1995 when the Tar Heels beat the Fighting Irish 11-8 in Chapel Hill as the first of two games in a home-and-home series. The teams met in South Bend the following season with Carolina rallying in the fourth quarter for an 11-10 victory.
The squads played seven straight years in the regular season between 2003 and 2009 with Notre Dame going 4-3 in those seven matches.
The squads took the 2010 and 2012 seasons off, but in between played a classic game at Fetzer Field in the final regular season contest of 2011. UNC led 8-5 in the final two minutes but three rapid fire Fighting Irish goals sent the game to overtime. Tar Heel freshman Pat Foster won the game in overtime with an unassisted goal as the Tar Heels won 9-8. It was the first overtime game-winning goal by a Carolina freshman since Corey Gavitt scored in overtime to beat Duke 9-8 in 1986.
The two teams resumed the series in 2013 and have played every year since then. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Notre Dame staged fourth quarter rallies to win by single goals – 10-9 in triple overtime in South Bend in 2013, 11-10 in Chapel Hill in 2014 and 15-14 in South Bend in 2015.
Last year, in the regular season meeting at Kenan Stadium, the Tar Heels returned the favor as they scored the last seven goals of the game to rally past the top-ranked Fighting Irish 17-15. The five-goal deficit was the largest Carolina has ever overcome in a second half in its history.
Just a few weeks later, the two teams met in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in history with the unseeded Tar Heels defeating Notre Dame 13-9 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The win over the Fighting Irish sent Carolina to its first NCAA Final Four weekend since 1993. The following weekend, UNC beat Loyola 18-13 and Maryland 14-13 in overtime to win its first NCAA title since 1991.
Since Joe Breschi became the head coach at North Carolina in 2009, the Tar Heels are 3-4 against the Fighting Irish.
STEPHEN KELLY ON CAREER CHARTS: Senior midfielder Stephen Kelly of Lutherville, Md., heads into the Notre Dame game on Saturday with the second most face-off wins in UNC men’s lacrosse history. Kelly has won 668 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. Those 23 face-off wins moved him past R.G. Keenan (2011-14) 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 Fighting Irish with 348 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.
Kelly’s 348 ground balls is the fourth highest ground ball total in UNC history. He trails Jude Collins (1993-96) who had 412 ground balls, Shane Walterhoefer (2006-09) who had 386 ground balls and R.G. Keenan (2011-14) who had 349 ground balls in their respective careers.
Stephen Kelly has a career face-off winning percentage of .553, 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 was the seventh Tar Heel to collect 15 ground balls in a game.
Kelly now has 668 face-off wins in his career, the second most in UNC history as he passed R.G. Keenan April 9 to move into second place all-time. Kelly won 11 of 12 face-offs in the first half 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, giving UNC a 13-8 lead in its eventual ACC win.
With one game left in the regular season, Kelly now ranks second in UNC history in face-offs won (668) and fourth in ground balls (348).
LUKE GOLDSTOCK ON CAREER CHARTS: Senior attackman Luke Goldstock of Niskayuna, N.Y. heads into the Notre Dame game on Saturday with 164 career points. That is the 13th highest point total in Tar Heel history.
Directly ahead of Goldstock on the Tar Heel career chart are Mac Ford (1982-85) and Jed Prossner (2002-05) who rank in a tie for 11th place in Carolina with 172 points each.
Goldstock has scored 112 career goals through last Saturday’s Syracuse match and he is currently in sixth place in career goals at Carolina.
With three goals against Syracuse last Saturday, Goldstock moved past both John Webster and Mac Ford on the career goal scoring chart and into sixth place overall. He needs one goal to tie Jed Prossner (2002-05) for fifth place in career goal scoring at Carolina. Prossner scored 113 goals in his career.
Goldstock currently has 52 career assists. With three assists against Syracuse, he became just the 25th Tar Heel in history to record 50 or more career assists. Jeff Sonke (1998-2001) ranks 24th in Tar Heel history in assists with 55.
CLOUTIER’S SCORING STREAK: Junior attackman Chris Cloutier heads into the Notre Dame game with a 16-game goal scoring streak. That is the 10th longest goal scoring streak in Tar Heel history.
Cloutier’s 16-game scoring streak (four games in 2016, 12 games in 2017) is the sixth longest current streak in the nation. He has scored 40 goals during that 15-game streak.
The longest current goal scoring streaks in the nation are Dylan Molloy of Brown at 37 games, Alex Corpolongo of Stony Brook at 29 games, Justin Guterding of Duke at 22 games, Gavin McBride of Princeton at 21 games, Brian Feldman of Quinnipiac at 19 games and Chris Cloutier of North Carolina at 16 games.
CHRIS CLOUTIER ON CAREER CHARTS: Junior attackman Chris Cloutier (Kitchener, Ontario) has scored 65 career goals. He is currently ranked in a tie for 39th place in Tar Heel history in that category. Both Chris Cloutier and Ben Hunt (2006-09) are in a tie for 39th place on the Tar Heel scoring chart with 65 goals. Cloutier and Hunt are one goal behind the trio of Kevin Griswold (1979-82), Pat Welsh (1985-88) and Thomas Wood (2009-12) who also scored 66 goals in their careers.
Cloutier has 89 career points. That ranks him in a tie for 48th place in UNC history with Mike Acee who had 89 points in his career at Carolina from 1978-79.
AUSTIN PIFANI ON CAREER CHARTS: Senior defenseman Austin Pifani (Roslyn, Pa.) has 63 caused turnovers in his Tar Heel career. That is the third highest caused turnovers total in UNC history. He trails only Ryan Flanagan who had 108 caused turnovers from 2008-11 and Michael Jarvis who had 64 caused turnovers from 2007-10. With three caused turnovers against Virginia on April 9, Pifani passed Tim Kaiser who totaled 60 caused turnovers from 2005-08.
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 Thursday, April 13 for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® for collegiate lacrosse.
Among the 10 finalists 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 and All-ACC and All-America honoree. He captained the Tar Heel team to the 2016 NCAA championship.
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. The complete list of finalists follows this release.
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 are 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 the 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 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-NOTRE DAME 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 and Syracuse, UNC head coach Joe Breschi has projected the following depth chart going into the 13th game of the season against the Notre Dame. This will be Carolina’s fourth and final conference game of the 2017 campaign.
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 — 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 Reserve – Jake Peden (So.), Joe Kenna (So.)
Face-offs — Stephen Kelly (Sr.), Riley Graham (Jr.)
Long Stick Defensive Midfielders —Kyle Mathie (Jr.), Jack Lambert (Jr.), Jack Halpert (So.)
Short Stick Defensive Midfielders — Tate Jozokos (Sr.), Brett Bedard (Sr.), 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 last month. Amongst the men’s players on the Watch List are 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 co-captains for the 2017 Tar Heels who are currently 6-6 heading into a match against No. 6 Notre Dame 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 are being 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.
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/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 location change), 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 and championship game on April 30 will be televised on ESPNU.
CAROLINA GARNERS PRESEASON ACC FAVORITE STATUS: North Carolina, the reigning NCAA Champion, was selected as the pre-season favorite in the 2017 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll as 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. 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. 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 is 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.
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 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.
CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: North Carolina qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament for the 31st time in school history in 2016. 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 30 more times since then. Carolina has the fifth most NCAA Tournament appearances in history.
The only schools with more NCAA Tournament appearances than Carolina are Johns Hopkins with 44, Maryland with 39, Virginia with 37 and Syracuse with 35.
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. UNC earned its 30th all-time tournament win with a 10-9 victory over Marquette on May 14, 2016 in the NCAA first round. The Tar Heels have won 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 2016 was its 10th 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 eight seasons as head coach from 2009 through 2016.
UNC UNSEEDED: North Carolina earned an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Championship and it marked just the fourth 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.
Carolina has earned Top 8 seeds in 27 of the 31 NCAA Tournaments for which it has been selected. UNC has been unseeded in 1995, 1998, 2014 and 2016. The win over Marquette in the NCAA first round 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 Loyola in the 1989 NCAA quarterfinal round in Baltimore, Md.
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 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.
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 ACC Tournament championship 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.
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.
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 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.
CAROLINA VERSUS NUMBER ONE: With a 13-9 victory over top-ranked Denver on March 4, 2017, the University of North Carolina has now recorded victories against teams ranked #1 in the USILA coaches’ poll for the sixth straight year. Since beating Johns Hopkins 13-9 on April 1, 2012, UNC is now 7-4 against top-ranked teams in its last 11 games against teams ranked at the top of the USILA 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 last Saturday against top-ranked Syracuse. The Orange prevailed in overtime 12-11.
With the 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. 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.
UNC is now 13-21 all-time against teams ranked #1 in the USILA coaches poll after last Saturday’s loss to Syracuse.
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 and against Denver 13-9 on March 4, 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 (13-21)
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 28, 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.)
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 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 100-46 in his nine years at Carolina, a winning percentage of 68.5 percent. He also coached 11 years at Ohio State and is 192-109 overall in 20 seasons as a collegiate head coach. His overall winning percentage at Ohio State and UNC combined is 63.7 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:
• 100-46 in 9 seasons at UNC (68.5)
• 192-109 in 20 seasons overall (63.7)
• 20-18 in one-goal games at UNC
• 54-40 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.
UNC VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS UNDER COACH BRESCHI: North Carolina has played nationally ranked opponents 94 times in Joe Breschi’s nine-year coaching tenure. UNC is 54-40 in those games, a winning percentage of 57.4 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 100-46 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 488-294-2 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 20-18 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 12-11 overtime loss to Syracuse on April 15, 2017, marked only the 15th 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 107 of 146 games under Coach Breschi’s direction dating back to the opening game of the 2009 season. Carolina is 92-15 in those 107 games, a winning clip of .860. 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.
In 2016, UNC was 12-1 when scoring in double digits and 0-5 when being held in single digits. In 2017, UNC is 5-1 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.