2013 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA MEN'S LACROSSE GAME NOTES
#6 North Carolina (7-3, ACC 1-1) at #19 Virginia (5-5, ACC 0-1)
Saturday, April 6, 2013
TV Coverage: ESPN3
Live Stats: Gametracker
Buy Tickets: Ticket Center
TAR HEELS RENEW LONG-STANDING RIVALRY WITH VIRGINIA: North Carolina's 2013 men's lacrosse team returns to the road this weekend when the Tar Heels match up against 19th-ranked Virginia for a nationally-televised game on ESPN3 Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The match will be played at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., on the University of Virginia campus.
It will be Carolina's final regular-season home game of the season. The Tar Heels will host the ACC Tournament at Kenan Stadium on April 26 and 28.
Coach Joe Breschi's team carries a 7-3 overall record and a 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference mark into this Saturday's matchup, while the Cavaliers come into the game at 5-5 overall and 0-1 in the ACC. In their most recent outings, Carolina defeated Johns Hopkins last Saturday 11-10 in overtime in a nationally-televised ESPNU game while the top-ranked Maryland Terrapins defeated Virginia 9-7 last Saturday in another nationally televised game on ESPNU.
Live stats for Saturday's game will be available on UNC's Athletic Department Website, GoHeels.com, at this link. Tickets for the game are $10 for reserved seats and $8 general admission for adults. General admission tickets for youth 18 and under, seniors 60 and over and faculty and staff can be purchased for the discounted price of $6.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE HEELS: Carolina heads to Charlottesville off a scintillating 11-10 overtime victory over Johns Hopkins last Saturday in Kenan Stadium. It was UNC's first game at Kenan Stadium in four years and, ironically, the hero in the game was named Keenan himself. Junior R.G. Keenan won the overtime face-off and scored six seconds later to give the Heels their overtime triumph before a crowd of 5,922 fans.
Marcus Holman had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) to lead the Tar Heels while Davey Emala recorded his second straight hat trick in the win over the Blue Jays. Joey Sankey had a pair of goals for UNC while Chad Tutton had a goal and two assists. Defenseman Ryan Kilpatrick assisted on both Marcus Holman goals in the game.
Freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke made 14 saves in the match while allowing 10 goals in the UNC victory.
EMALA SHARES ACC
PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD: North
Carolina senior midfielder Davey Emala and Maryland sophomore attackman Jay
Carlson were named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Co-Offensive
Players of the Week as announced this past Tuesday by the conference.
Davey Emala scored three goals on just three shots and in North Carolina's 11-10 overtime win over No. 10 Johns Hopkins. After scoring the opening goal of the game, Emala added a second score with 3:54 left in the first quarter to give the Tar Heels their largest lead of the game at 4-1. The native of Baltimore, Md., scored the game-tying goal for North Carolina with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime where the Tar Heels won on a goal six seconds in by R.G. Keenan. It is the second career weekly award for Emala and the first since Feb. 14, 2012. Emala also scored goals in a midweek victory over Brown. For the week, Emala scored six goals on seven shots in the wins over the Bears and Blue Jays.
RIVALRY WITH CAVALIERS IS LONG STANDING INDEED: Virginia represents the longest-standing rivalry on UNC's schedule. The teams began playing in Carolina's inaugural varsity season of 1949, three years before UNC began its rivalry with Duke and 15 years before its rivalry with Maryland began.
The teams have played each other in regular-season games every year since UNC restored its program to varsity status in 1964. Carolina operated as a club team program from 1955-63. Virginia has won 47 of the previous 68 meetings in the series.
FOUR WINS IN A ROW FOR THE HEELS: Carolina enters the Virginia game on a four-game winning streak with wins over Dartmouth, Maryland, Brown and Johns Hopkins. The four-game winning streak is UNC's longest since it won four in a row (Penn State, Mercer, Detroit Mercy and Navy) to begin the 2012 season.
The last time Carolina had a longer winning streak was 2010 when UNC won 10 in a row to begin the season.
CAROLINA'S BIG WIN OVER THE BEARS: R.G. Keenan had a stellar game at the X and UNC's attack continued its potent performance as seventh-ranked North Carolina beat 20th-ranked Brown 18-12 March 27 before 1,145 fans at Fetzer Field an a national TV audience on ESPNU. Joey Sankey scored four goals for the third straight game, Jimmy Bitter had a six-point night and Marcus Holman had eight points, including six assists, matching his career high in the latter category. Davey Emala also had a hat trick in the game, his second of the season after also scoring thrice in the win over Princeton.
THE TAR HEELS VERSUS THE IVY LEAGUE IN 2013: Carolina finished the 2013 regular-season 3-0 against the Ivy League. In the month of March, Carolina defeated Princeton 16-15, Dartmouth 13-5 and Brown 18-12.
30 GOALS IN A GAME FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS YEAR: The 30 goals in the March 27 game versus Brown fell just one short of the combined total in Carolina's 16-15 win over Princeton on March 9. The 18 goals were also a season high total for the Tar Heels and the most since beating Michigan 19-5 on May 5, 2012.
THE TAR HEELS VERSUS NATIONALLY-RANKED TEAMS IN 2013: Eight of Carolina's first 10 games this season have come against Top 20 teams in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. Carolina will continue that trend when its meets #19 Virginia on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.
KEENAN'S BIG GAME VERSUS THE BEARS: After struggling in Carolina's last loss versus Duke on March 13, junior R.G. Keenan has turned in four solid performances in a row as the Tar Heels recorded wins over Dartmouth, Maryland, Brown and Johns Hopkins. Against Brown, Keenan was a key factor in the game for Carolina as he helped keep the ball away from the potent Bears' offense. He won 19 of 31 face-offs, had 11 ground balls and also assisted on two goals. He was one short of his career highs in both face-off victories (20 versus Princeton earlier this season) and ground balls (12 versus both Navy and UMBC in 2011) and matched his career best for assists and points in a contest. Against Hopkins, he was 11 for 24 in the face-off circle against Mike Poppleton of the Blue Jays, who came into the game at 70 percent in face-off circle and leading the nation in that category. Keenan's face-off win on the overtime draw and goal six seconds later lifted the Tar Heels to the win over the Bears.
BURKE SOLID IN THE CAGE AGAIN: Kieran Burke started for the Tar Heels for the 10th straight game against Johns Hopkins and went all the way in goal, making 14 saves, just one short of his career high, while allowing 10 goals. He also had five ground balls. In the past four games, he has made 53 saves while allowing 35 goals (.602). His improvement in that stretch has been a key part of the Heels stringing four successive wins together.
ATTACK LOOMS LARGE AGAINST BEARS: Carolina's starting attack unit combined for 19 points against Brown on March 27 with Marcus Holman scoring two goals and passing for six assists, Jimmy Bitter scoring three goals and adding three assists and Joey Sankey scoring four goals and adding an assist. Holman's six assists equaled his career high set against Air Force in the season opener and his eight points were two short of his personal best set last year against Michigan. Bitter matched his career high of three assists in a game for the fourth time this year and he was one short of his career high for points (7 versus Hofstra last season). Sankey scored four goals for the third straight game as he has set and now twice matched his career high in a nine-day stretch. Davey Emala had a hat trick, the 11th of his career, as he matched his season high goal total after scoring thrice against Princeton on March 9. Sankey's hat trick was the eighth of his career and Bitter now has six career hat tricks.
SOPHOMORE DUO APPROACHING 50-GOAL MARK: Joey Sankey now has 48 career goals and Jimmy Bitter has recorded 46 career tallies. They shortly will become the 49th and 50th players in UNC history to score 50 or more times in their careers. Sankey goes into the Virginia game with 80 career points, placing him in 51st place on the all-time UNC chart. Bitter now has 76 career points and is in 56th place in career scoring at Carolina.
THE UPDATED HOLMAN NUMBERS: Marcus Holman's four points versus Johns Hopkins now gives him 180 for his career as be moved past Merrill Turnbull (7th place, 179 points) on Saturday afternoon into sixth place in all-time scoring at Carolina. His two assists versus Johns Hopkins give him 72 for his career, the ninth highest UNC total. His 108 career goals are tied for fifth in Tar Heel lore. Dennis Goldstein also scored 108 goals in his career from 1988-91.
McDONALD EXCELS VERSUS BEARS: Kieran McDonald finished the Brown game on March 27 with six ground balls and four caused turnovers as well as his first career goal. The four caused turnovers matched his career high in a game and he was one short of his career high in ground balls (7 vs. Fairfield on February 23).
WINS OVER NUMBER ONE: North Carolina's 10-8 win at top-ranked Maryland March 23 resulted in a piece of history for the Tar Heel historical archives. It marked the first time in school history that Carolina had beaten teams ranked #1 in the nation in back-to-back seasons.
Prior to whipping the Terrapins, the Tar Heels' last win against a No. 1 team came on April 1, 2012 when Carolina defeated top-ranked Johns Hopkins 13-9 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in the Big City Classic.
That win over Johns Hopkins had been an accomplishment in itself as prior to that win over the Blue Jays, Carolina had gone 16 years without beating a #1 team. On that occasion, Carolina outlasted top-ranked Virginia 19-18 on April 6, 1996.
THIS WEEK'S RANKINGS: Virginia is ranked #18 this week in the USILA coaches' poll and #19 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll. The Tar Heels are fourth in the USILA poll this week and sixth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse ranking.
SANKEY & BURKE NOTCH ACC PLAYER OF WEEK HONORS: North Carolina sophomore attackman Joey Sankey and freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke were named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, as announced March 26 by the conference.
Sankey had a pair of career games as he led North Carolina to a victory over Dartmouth, 13-5, and over No. 1 Maryland, 10-8. He scored four goals in each game on only 12 total shots in the two games combined. The two four-goal performances set and then matched his career high. The native of Warminster, Pa., now has seven career hat tricks. His seven points against Dartmouth were also a career high for a game as he added assists on three goals, contributing on seven of North Carolina's 13 tallies versus the Big Green. This was Sankey's second ACC weekly honor of the season and of his career. Sankey was also named this week as the National Player of the Week by the Baltimore Sun and will be featured in Friday's edition of the newspaper.
Burke had two of the best games of his eight-game career as he led North Carolina in the wins over Dartmouth and No. 1 Maryland. In the victory over Dartmouth, he made 10 saves and allowed only five goals in 56-plus minutes. His .667 save percentage in the game was the best of his freshman campaign. The native of Fort Salonga, N.Y., then followed that by making 15 saves and allowing only eight goals in a win over Maryland, the first loss of the season for the Terrapins. He faced 37 shots in the game, improving his record to 4-3 and matching his career high for saves set earlier this year against Notre Dame. It is the first weekly award for Burke.
ATTACK UNIT & BURKE POWER UNC PAST TERPS: Freshman goalkeeper Kieran Burke made 15 saves, Joey Sankey rang up a four-goal game and Jimmy Bitter chipped in with a five-point effort as #14 North Carolina defeated #1 Maryland 10-8 on March 26 at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
The Tar Heels bolted to a 9-3 lead in the game midway through the third quarter before weathering a late run by the Terrapins, who scored five of the last six goals of the game. But Burke repeatedly came up big in the cage for Carolina, matching his career high for saves, set previously against Notre Dame on March 2. With the Tar Heels holding a four-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter, Burke was at his best. The Terps outshot Carolina 15-4 in the fourth quarter as the Tar Heels struggled to hold on to the ball, committing seven turnovers in the fourth period. But Burke made six fourth-quarter saves and the Tar Heels earned a much-needed win while evening their league record.
Bitter and Sankey led the Tar Heels with five and four-point games, respectively. Bitter scored twice and passed for three assists while Marcus Holman had two goals and a helper. For the second straight game, Sankey scored four goals, matching his career high set last Monday versus Dartmouth. It was the seventh career hat trick for Sankey.
It marked the fourth time in his career that Bitter had passed for a career-high three assists. Three of those four games have come this season, against Notre Dame, Princeton and Maryland.
LONGEST DEFENSIVE STAND IN FIVE SEASONS: Over a stretch from the first to the third quarters of the win over Maryland, Carolina held the Terps scoreless for a span of 33 minutes and 16 seconds, the longest stretch of the Joe Breschi coaching era. The last time the Tar Heels had held a team scoreless for that long a period was March 18, 2008 when Carolina held Marist scoreless for the final 34:04 of a 12-3 win at Fetzer Field.
SANKEY & HOLMAN LEAD HEELS PAST DARTMOUTH: Marcus Holman scored his 100th career goal and Joey Sankey had career highs for goals in a game and points in a game as the Tar Heels beat Dartmouth 13-5 on March 18.
Holman became only the ninth Tar Heel in history to score 100 goals when he tallied an unassisted goal with 35 seconds left to play in the second quarter, giving the Tar Heels a 5-3 lead at intermission. Prior to the next face-off the officials took that ball out of play to give Holman a well-earned keepsake. His four goals on the day gave him 102 for his career, at that point tying him with Jeff Sonke (1998-2001) and Mike McCall (2002-05) for sixth place on Carolina's career goal scoring list. Holman's four goals earned him another hat trick, giving him 14 career hat tricks.
Joey Sankey's four goals were a new career high and his sixth career hat trick. He had scored three goals in a match on five previous occasions (versus Mercer, Lehigh, Duke and Maryland in 2012 and versus Air Force in 2013). His three assists were one short of his career high set against Princeton on March 9. His seven points broke his previous career high of six (vs. Mercer and Duke last season and Princeton this year).
FIRST CAREER GOALS: A pair of North Carolina players tallied the first goals of their careers in the Tar Heels' 13-5 win over Dartmouth on March 18. Senior defensive midfielder William Scroggs scored in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a fast break to notch his initial tally. Later in the fourth quarter, freshman attackman Patrick Kelly scored an unassisted goal, earning the first marker of his career.
GOOD ON THE DEFENSIVE END: Carolina allowed only five goals in its 13-5 win over Dartmouth March 18. That was the fewest goals given up by UNC since a 19-5 win over Michigan on May 5, 2012. The last time Carolina has allowed fewer than five goals was February 13, 2010 when the Tar Heels beat Bryant 5-4 in Chapel Hill.
Goalkeeper Kieran Burke had 10 saves in the win over the Big Green while allowing five goals. His .667 save percentage was the best of his seven-game career.
In Carolina's 10-8 win over Maryland, the Tar Heels gave up their fewest goals in a winning effort against an ACC team since March 26, 2011 when Carolina won 11-6 at Maryland. Burke matched his career high for saves in a game with 15 versus the Terps.
GIVING UP 15 AND WINNING: Princeton's high-powered offense was all the Tar Heels could handle as the Tigers proved their mettle on the offensive end of the field in Carolina's 16-15 win over the Tigers on March 9. But the Tar Heels battled back to score one more time than Princeton to come out with the victory. The 15 goals were the most conceded by Carolina in a victorious situation since UNC beat top-ranked Virginia 19-18 at Fetzer Field on April 6, 1996.
OFFENSIVE STANDOUTS VERSUS PRINCETON: Carolina had nine different goal scorers in the win over Princeton March 9 with Jimmy Bitter, Chad Tutton and Davey Emala each scoring three goals. Bitter also had three assists in the game, giving him six points in the match, just one short of his career high set against Hofstra on April 14, 2012. Joey Sankey finished with six points, as well, on two goals and four assists. Sankey's six points matched his career high in a game, a total he eclipsed in the win over Dartmouth on March 18. Sankey's four assists were a career high for the sophomore attackman. On six different occasions as a freshman, he had recorded three in a game. Emala's three goals were the most he had scored since tallying four in the opening game of his junior season against Penn State on February 11, 2012. Tutton also matched his career high for goals in a game. He also had three against Mercer, Virginia and Duke last season.
KEENAN'S CAREER DAY: Another key in the win over Princeton was R.G. Keenan's work at the face-off X for Carolina. Facing four different Princeton face-off men, Keenan won 20 of his 34 attempts and had a game-high eight ground balls. The 20 face-off victories were a career high for Keenan, who took every draw in the game for Carolina. His previous best total was 19 face-off victories against Penn State on February 11, 2012. It marked only the sixth time in UNC history that a Tar Heel player has won 20 or more face-offs in a match. Shane Walterhoefer did it four times, including a school record 23 wins against Ohio State in 2008 while Todd Oudemool was the long-time record holder with 22 wins against Towson in 1989. Keenan has won 15 or more face-offs in a game 12 times in his career. Only 12 times during the 2013 NCAA Division I season so far has a player won 20 or more face-offs in a game.
A STEAK OF ONE-GOAL GAMES: Prior to the game against Duke on March 13, Carolina played four successive games decided by a single goal with a loss to Massachusetts 12-11, a win over Fairfield 10-9, a triple overtime loss to Notre Dame 10-9 and the 16-15 win over Princeton. The last time that the Tar Heels had played four straight games decided by a single goal came in 2009 when during a mid-season streak Carolina lost to Maryland 8-7, beat Johns Hopkins 10-9 in overtime, lost to Virginia 11-10 and beat Ohio State 12-11. In 1996, Carolina played a string of five successive games decided by a single goal during a mid-season stretch. During that particular stretch, UNC lost to Duke 11-10, beat Maryland 17-16, lost to Johns Hopkins 9-8, beat Virginia 19-18 and beat Notre Dame 11-10.
SANKEY SHARES ACC PLAYER OF WEEK NOD: North Carolina sophomore attackman Joey Sankey shared Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week honors on March 12, 2013. Sankey had a career-high four assists and matched his career high with six points in Carolina's 16-15 upset win over No. 5 Princeton on March 9. His previous career high for assists was three, and his six points matched a career high he achieved twice in his freshman year. He also led all-non Tar Heel faceoff men with five ground balls in the contest. The native of Warminster, Pa., has tallied multiple goals in six of seven games played this season.
HOLMAN NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE: UNC senior captain Marcus Holman (Baltimore, Md.) was named February 20 as one of the final 20 candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in men's lacrosse. Ten finalists for the award will be named later this spring. Carolina has had three previous Senior CLASS Award finalists - Fletcher Gregory in 2007, Grant Zimmerman in 2009 and Ryan Flanagan in 2011.
SEEKING ANOTHER DOUBLE DIGIT WIN SEASON: Despite playing against one of the nation's toughest schedules, the Tar Heels are seeking a double digit win total for the fifth successive year under the tutelage of head coach Joe Breschi, who was hired in June 2008.
Last year, Breschi became only the second coach in UNC history to win 10 games in each of his first four seasons as head coach. Dave Klarmann also accomplished the feat from 1991-94. No Tar Heel coach has ever won 10 or more games in his first five seasons as head coach
Over his first four seasons, under Breschi's leadership, UNC went 12-6 in 2009, 13-3 in 2010,10-6 in 2011 and 11-6 in 2012.
Prior to 2009-12, the last time Carolina had patched together four successive seasons with 10 or more wins was 1989-94 when the Tar Heels had at least double digits in wins six years in a row.
Contrast the current success with the fact over a 12-year span from 1997-2008, Carolina got to the 10-win plateau only twice, going 10-5 in 2004 and 10-6 in 2007.
TAR HEELS AND CAVALIERS MEET FOR THE 69TH TIME SATURDAY: North Carolina and Virginia will be meeting for the 69th time on the lacrosse field when they meet up Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, Va. Virginia leads the all-time series 47-21. The Cavaliers have won 19 of the past 22 meetings against the Tar Heels and beaten the Tar Heels eight consecutive times in regular-season meetings between the two teams. Carolina did win the most recent meeting between the two squads, winning 11-9 at Klockner Stadium on April 20, 2012 in the ACC Tournament semifinals.
UNC VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS UNDER COACH BRESCHI: North Carolina has played nationally-ranked opponents 49 times in Joe Breschi's five-year coaching tenure. UNC is 28-21 in those games. Conversely, the Tar Heels are 25-3 against unranked opponents in his five seasons. Breschi is 53-24 overall at Carolina in his five seasons as head coach.
During Breschi's tenure, UNC's only losses to unranked teams came to Ohio State in 2011 and to Lehigh and Pennsylvania in 2012.
CAROLINA IN ONE-GOAL DECISIONS: Prior to Joe Breschi taking over as head coach in 2009, UNC went 1-7 in games decided by one goal from midway through the 2004 season through the end of the 2008 campaign.
Carolina has improved tremendously in one-goal games since Breschi arrived for the 2009 season. UNC is 13-9 in games decided by one goal over the past five years. Last Saturday, Carolina defeated Johns Hopkins 11-10 in overtime. It was UNC's first overtime win in almost two years. Prior to beating Hopkins, Carolina's last overtime win came against Notre Dame 9-8 on May 6, 2011.
A YOUTHFUL STARTING LINEUP: During the first 10 games of the season, the Tar Heels have relied on a youthful set of players to compete against a host of nationally-ranked opponents. Particularly on the defensive end, the Tar Heels are playing a lot of young players.
The starting lineup against the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays last Sunday included three seniors (Marcus Holman, Davey Emala, Kieran McDonald), one junior (Jordan Smith), three sophomores (Jimmy Bitter, Joey Sankey, Chad Tutton) and three freshmen (Steve Pontrello, Evan Connell, Kieran Burke).
The Tar Heels have been playing anywhere between 25 and 30 players on average in a game. The depth chart over the past several games has included four seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen.
Carolina has one of the youngest rosters in the nation with 57.8 percent of the team composed of freshmen and sophomores, including 33.3 percent of the squad size consisting of freshmen.
SCORING STREAKS FOR TAR HEEL PLAYERS: Senior attackman Marcus Holman has recorded at least one point in 25 successive games. His streak started on February 12, 2012. During the past 25 games he has tallied 60 goals and added 57 assists for 117 points. His 25-game point streak equals the ninth longest run amongst NCAA Division I players.
Holman has scored a goal in each of the past 25 games and he has recorded at least one assist in 23 of the past 25 games. His goal-scoring streak is the fifth longest amongst active NCAA Division I players.
Jimmy Bitter has recorded at least one point in 20 successive games dating back to March 16, 2012. He has scored at least one goal in 18 of the past 20 games.
Joey Sankey has gone 14 successive games with at least one point, a streak dating back to April 20, 2012. During that scoring run, he has recorded goals in 13 of the past 14 games.
Over the last 21 matches dating back to the middle of the 2012 campaign, midfielder Chad Tutton has recorded at least one goal in 20 matches. The only time he was shut out in that streak was at Notre Dame on March 2 of this season.
HOLMAN IN UNC CENTURY CLUB IN POINTS: Senior attackman Marcus Holman has recorded 47 points during the 2013 season.
Holman is one of just 36 players in UNC history to reach the 100-point plateau. He currently is in sixth place in Carolina history with 180 career points. John Webster (1990-93) is in fifth place with 188 points.
Holman scored five goals in UNC's win over Fairfield on February 23 after recording six assists in the season opener against Air Force on February 8. He also had six assists against Brown on March 27. His five tallies against the Stags is one goal short of his career high of six established against both Michigan and Denver in 2012.
HOLMAN ON UNC GOAL & ASSIST CHARTS: Senior Marcus Holman has scored 108 goals in his career at UNC. That number equals the fifth highest total in Tar Heel history. Dennis Goldstein (1987-90) also ranks fifth with 108 goals. With four goals against Dartmouth on March 18, he became only the ninth Tar Heel to ever reach the 100-goal standard. Holman's 108 goals is the 11th most among all NCAA Division I players currently active.
Holman has registered 72 career assists. That is the ninth most in Tar Heel history. Holman is currently in tied for 10th place in career assists amongst all active NCAA Division I players.
ASSISTS IN A GAME: When Marcus Holman recorded six assists in Carolina's season-opening victory versus Air Force on February 8, it marked the most assists in a game by a Tar Heel player in 16 years. The last time a UNC player had as many as six assists in a game was April 12, 1997 when Spencer Deering recorded six assists against Delaware. Holman equaled that six-assist total against Brown on March 27.
CAREER GOAL HIGHS VERSUS AIR FORCE: Three Tar Heel players either set or matched their career highs for goals in a game when Carolina beat Air Force 16-8 in the opening game of the season on February 8.
Sophomore Jimmy Bitter scored five goals against the Falcons, breaking his previous career high of four goals against Hofstra on April 12, 2012. Junior Ryan Creighton tallied three goals in the win over Air Force. He had scored two goals in a game on four prior occasions. Sophomore Joey Sankey had a hat trick against the Falcons, equaling his career high. He also had four hat tricks in his freshman year in 2012. Sankey has scored four goals in each of the past three games for the Tar Heels after posting five previous three-goal games.
KEENAN'S UPDATED FACEOFF NUMBERS: R.G. Keenan has now won 519 face-offs in his career heading into the game against Johns Hopkins. That is the second most face-off wins in UNC history. Against Fairfield, he moved passed Jude Collins (1993-96), who now ranks fourth in all-time face-off wins with 429. Against Princeton, Keenan passed Kevin Frew (2001-04), who now ranks third with a total of 446 face-off victories. Shane Walterhoefer (2006-09) is the UNC career leader with 723 face-off victories.
Keenan has 281 career ground balls, the seventh most in UNC history.
THE CLEARING GAME: North Carolina is currently clearing at an 87.2 percent success rate during the 2013 season, including an 14 for 15 performance against Johns Hopkins on March 30. There are only seven seasons in NCAA Division I lacrosse history in which teams have cleared at least 90 percent of the time successfully. North Carolina has two of those seasons, including the fifth best (.905 in 1988) and the sixth best (.902 in 2012).
UNC AMONG ATTENDANCE LEADERS: The Tar Heels are amongst NCAA Division I attendance leaders in 2013. UNC is third in average home attendance at 2,413 per game and seventh in all games attendance at 2,838 per contest. UNC trails only Syracuse and Maryland in average home attendance. UNC has drawn 16,892 fans for its first seven home games.
BURKE FIRST TRUE FRESHMAN STARTER IN GOAL SINCE 2002: True freshman Kieran Burke of Fort Salonga, N.Y., has started the first 10 games of the season for the Tar Heels in goal. He is the first true freshman to start for the Tar Heels from the opening game of a season since Paul Spellman in 2002. Grant Zimmerman started for the Tar Heels in 2006 as a red-shirt freshman for the second half of that campaign.
Burke recorded a career high 15 saves in UNC's triple overtime loss at Notre Dame on March 2 and matched that total in UNC's win at Maryland on March 23. He had a season best save percentage of .667 against Dartmouth.
UNC's CAREER HAT TRICKS: Marcus Holman leads all Tar Heels with 14 career hat tricks. That equals the 20th most career hat tricks of any active player in NCAA Division I.
THREE HEELS NAMED TO TEWAARATON LIST: Three Tar Heel players were named February 22 to the Tewaaraton Watch List for 2013. The Tar Heels so tapped are sophomore attackman Jimmy Bitter, senior attackman Marcus Holman and junior midfielder R.G. Keenan.
HOLMAN NAMED ACC PLAYER OF WEEK: North Carolina senior attackman Marcus Holman was named Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending on Monday, Feb 11. Holman led the Tar Heel attack unit, which produced 10 goals and 8 assists in North Carolina's 16-8 season-opening win over Air Force. The native of Baltimore, Md., had two goals and six assists for the Tar Heels, the most assists in a game by a Tar Heel since April 12, 1997. His eight points were just two short of his career high of 10 and matched his second highest total in his career.
SIX TAR HEEL GAMES ON ESPN PLATFORMS: Six UNC men's lacrosse games are being televised this year on the ESPN family of networks. Four Carolina games will air on ESPNU and two more on ESPN3.
The Tar Heels hosted Duke on March 13 on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m., hosted Dartmouth on March 18 on ESPN3 at 4 p.m., visited Maryland on March 23 on ESPN3 at 12 noon, hosted Brown on March 27 on ESPNU at 6 p.m., met Johns Hopkins on March 30 on ESPNU at 12 noon and plays at Virginia on April 6 on ESPN3 at 3:30 p.m.
In addition, all three ACC Tournament games will be telecast on ESPNU. UNC hosts the conference tournament at Kenan Stadium on April 26 and 28.
FIVE TAR HEELS WERE RECENTLY CHOSEN IN 2013 MLL DRAFTS: Senior Marcus Holman was chosen by the Ohio Machine on January 11 in the Collegiate Draft. He was a second round pick of the Ohio Machine and the 12th selection overall.
On December 13, the MLL conducted its annual supplemental draft. Thomas Wood, '12, was taken in the second round by the Rochester Rattlers with the 12th overall pick. Tim Kaiser, '08, was chosen 25th overall in the fourth round by the Ohio Machine. Mark Staines, '12, was the 35th pick, nabbed in the fifth round by the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Chris Hunt, '11, was chosen 96th overall and in the 12th round by the Bayhawks.
THREE TAR HEELS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-ACC: Face-Off Yearbook tapped three Tar Heels as 2013 preseason All-ACC choices. The trio includes attackmen Marcus Holman and Jimmy Bitter and face-off man R.G. Keenan.
FACE-OFF PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAS: Four Tar Heel players notched spots on the Face-Off Yearbook preseason All-America Team for 2013. Marcus Holman was named first team on attack and R.G. Keenan was named second team at the face-off position. Attackmen Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey were both tapped for honorable mention accolades.
HOLMAN ELECTED SINGLE CAPTAIN: Senior Marcus Holman was elected as the sole captain of the 2013 Tar Heels, the first time that has happened in 23 years. According to research done through Athletic Communications archives, other single captains have been Randy Roden in 1973, Tom Federico in 1991, Randy Cox in 1984, Paul Fitzpatrick in 1989 and Joe Breschi in 1990.
FOUR TAR HEELS EARN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS: Four current and future Tar Heel players won gold medal rings at the U19 World Championships in Finland last July. Freshmen midfielders Brent Armstrong, Steve Pontrello and Michael Tagliaferri all played for the U.S. side and midfielder Stephen Kelly, who signed a National Letter of Intent with Carolina last November and will enroll in UNC next August, was also a member of the U.S. Team. Carolina sophomore midfielder Chad Tutton was a member of Team Canada, which captured the silver medal.
CAROLINA'S STELLAR MARK IN NON-CONFERENCE GAMES: UNC's record in non-conference games continues to be one of the best in the nation over the past eight seasons.
The Tar Heels have won 66 of their past 77 games against non-conference teams dating back to April 15, 2006. In Joe Breschi's five seasons as head coach, the Tar Heels are 45-8 against non-conference teams. The only losses were to Notre Dame in 2009, to Ohio State and Johns Hopkins in 2011, to Lehigh, Pennsylvania and Denver in 2012 and to Massachusetts and Notre Dame in 2013.
CAROLINA'S DOUBLE DIGIT SCORING GAMES: In Coach Joe Breschi's five years as head lacrosse coach at UNC, Carolina's success has clearly been tied to hitting the 10-goal plateau in a game.
In fact UNC's 12-11 loss to Massachusetts on February 16, marked only the eighth time in Breschi's coaching tenure that the Tar Heels have lost when they have reached the 10-goal plateau. UNC has scored at least 10 goals in a game in 53 of 76 games under Coach Breschi's direction dating back to the opening game of the 2009 season. Carolina is 46-8 in those 53 games, losing only 11-10 to Virginia on April 4, 2009, 15-13 to Duke on April 26, 2009, 12-11 to Duke on May 17, 2009, 11-10 to Virginia on April 9, 2011, 13-11 to Duke on March 16, 2012, 15-10 to Virginia on April 7, 2012, 16-14 to Denver on May 12, 2012 and 12-11 to Massachusetts on February 16, 2013.
In the 23 games under Coach Breschi's tutelage in which the Tar Heels have not reached the 10-goal mark, UNC has not fared nearly as well as when scoring in double figures. In fact their record in those 23 games is just 7-16.
NEAR DOMINANCE AT HOME UNDER BRESCHI: UNC is 32-7 in home games in Coach Joe Breschi's five years at the helm of the Tar Heels. That's a winning percentage of 82.1 percent.
UNC's only home losses during Breschi's four-year tenure include regular-season and ACC Tournament games to Duke in 2009 (both at Kenan Stadium), a regular-season loss to Duke in 2011, an NCAA Tournament loss to Maryland in 2011, regular-season losses to Lehigh and Virginia and an NCAA Tournament loss to Denver in 2012 and a regular-season loss to Duke in 2013.
HEAD COACH JOE BRESCHI: Joe Breschi is now in his fifth season as the head coach at his alma mater. His Tar Heel teams have a cumulative record of 53-24 for a winning percentage of 68.8 percent. He is in his 16th year overall as a collegiate head coach, including 11 seasons at Ohio State prior to coming to Chapel Hill. His career coaching record is 145-87 and his career winning percentage is 62.5 percent.
CAROLINA SNARES 250TH ALL-TIME WIN HOME VICTORY: Carolina's 11-10 win over Maryland on March 24, 2012 marked the 250th all-time win for the Tar Heels in home games. North Carolina will head into its next home game against High Point on April 19 with an all-time record of 257-119-2 in home games. UNC has a 68.2 winning percentage all-time in history in home games.
ANOTHER SEASON OPENING WIN: Carolina's 16-8 win over Air Force in the 2013 season opener was the 15th victory in a row in a season opener for the Tar Heels. The last time UNC lost a season opener was February 22, 1998 when the Tar Heels fell 13-12 to Butler at Fezter Field.
THE ALL-TIME RECORD: North Carolina has an all-time record of 438-272-2 in the sport of men's lacrosse. That is a winning percentage of .614.
NEXT UP FOR THE TAR HEELS: After meeting Virginia on Saturday, Carolina will have a week to prepare for its next game when the Tar Heels travel to Long Island to meet Hofstra on Saturday, April 13. The Tar Heels and the Pride will face off at James M. Shuart Stadium at 7 p.m.