The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 3rd

Tar Heels fail to net extra-man goals against Virginia men’s lacrosse

Men's Lacrosse v. Maryland
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After slaying the giants of Johns Hopkins last week, No. 9 North Carolina couldn’t capitalize on opportunities to defeat its second consecutive No. 1-ranked opponent.

Virginia downed the Tar Heels 15-10 Saturday at Fetzer Field. UNC’s inefficiency in converting extra-man opportunities was the difference maker in the otherwise statistically even game.

Though completely controlling the outcome of extra-man opportunities is difficult, UNC only converted one of four opportunities while Virginia scored on three of five.

“Extra-man goals are always very crucial and goals that you need to have,” Jimmy Bitter said. “We weren’t clicking today and they were.”

In Saturday’s contest, the Cavaliers committed four penalties that gave the Tar Heels a one-man advantage for a combined three minutes.

In the first half, UNC and Virginia each had two extra-man opportunities, but only the Cavaliers could cash in on these power plays.

Virginia went into halftime with a two-goal lead, due in large part to the conversion of extra-man opportunities into goals, a feat the Tar Heels could not accomplish.

“That’s the thing, you’re making plays but the other team is making more plays at the time,” UNC coach Joe Breschi said. “They’re cashing in on their man ups and we’re not. And we’re not playing as well a man down.”

After Virginia’s Bobby Hill was whistled out for slashing, the Tar Heels held an extra-man advantage for an entire minute. But UNC failed to make the most of this opportunity and could not net a goal.

But when UNC freshman Joey Sankey was sidelined for 30 seconds for pushing, Virginia’s Chris Bocklet took advantage of the opportunity and scored in the final seconds of the penalty.

The Cavaliers took advantage of another 30-second penalty late in the second quarter when UVa.’s Rob Emery rocketed a shot into the cage to take a two-goal lead into halftime.

With six seconds remaining in the half, Cavalier defender Scott McWilliams bulldozed his way into an unnecessary roughness call. Carrying a one-minute penalty, the call gave the Tar Heels a chance to open up the second half with an offensive edge.

But UNC came up empty again. Instead of scoring to close the UVa. lead to one, Davey Emala’s shot was saved and the ball went back to UVa.

“The man down piece, quite frankly, when we went into the locker room being a man down at half, I thought it was really important to come out and get a stop to start the third quarter, which we were able to do,” UVa. coach Dom Starsia said.

Later in the half, Emala scored the only UNC extra-man goal off an assist from Sankey.

“We just weren’t hitting the net,” Chad Tutton said. “It’s just one of those things, sometimes it’s on, sometimes it’s not. Today it wasn’t on. We definitely need that.”

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