Two games into the season, North Carolina lacrosse goalie Kris Blindenbacher was sidelined with his second concussion of the spring after Sonke, UNC's senior All-American attackman, nailed him during a March 1 practice.
Sonke had done the same a week before the Tar Heels' Feb. 18 season opener.
No sore feelings, though.
"You've got to practice hard," Blindenbacher said.
Besides, based on his return to the starting lineup, the junior looks like his head is clearer than ever before.
Blindenbacher recorded 22 saves -- one off his career high -- and scooped up eight ground balls to help No. 19 UNC to its biggest win of the season, a 7-5 upset at No. 4 Virginia on Saturday.
"It feels great," said Blindenbacher, who tallied 20 saves and yielded 16 goals in the Tar Heels' opening two games before being replaced by senior Rob D'Urso. "I've been trying to get my confidence back and everything.
"We all practiced hard every day this week, and my goalie coach gave me a lot of confidence, telling me, 'Bring your game, bring your game. You've got it. Just see the ball.' And that's what I was trying to do out there today, and I was successful at that."
Blindenbacher looked confident and comfortable from the outset, saving three shots within the game's first six minutes. He blocked a low shot from UVa.'s A.J. Shannon on a Cavalier extra man opportunity with the Tar Heels leading 2-1 in the second quarter.