For the majority of the game, UNC struggled to get opportunities near the cage, instead settling for long-distance and lower-percentage shots.
“Dartmouth did a terrific job of changing up defenses,” UNC coach Joe Breschi said. “They went from man to zone to man, each possession. I think for some of our younger guys, adjusting to that was tough.”
The Tar Heels looked unsettled. The squad’s 15 turnovers were just one short of the season high. The Tar Heels also threatened their season low in goals scored.
It seemed that the only thing buoying the UNC offense was its accuracy from long range — five of its first eight goals came from outside the slot.
“Coach mentioned it a lot in practice, shoot off-stick and shoot hard, and put it on the cage and we’ll start scoring,” Galasso said.
The turning point of the game came late in the third quarter on a headlong rush by Dunster.
With the game knotted at six, Dunster subbed in and began walking toward the goal from the UNC sideline. He started in a trot, then broke into a sprint soon after catching a pass.
Once he was about 15 yards from goal, he cranked a shot past Dartmouth goalie Fergus Campbell to give UNC the lead for good.
“It was a set play that Coach drew up that we run in practice all the time,” Dunster said. “Luckily the slide (from the help defender) didn’t come as early, and I was able to get the shot off and it went in.”
Dunster led the Tar Heels with four goals, as the team saw seven different players score.
“I’m proud of the effort overall as a team. It was a slugfest and a grind,” Breschi said. “It was a grinder game, and you’re going to have those in the schedule that we have. I’m just proud that we were able to come out on top.”
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