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Sankey dazzles against Dartmouth in men's lacrosse

There’s something about Dartmouth for Joey Sankey.

In the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team’s 13-5 win against the Big Green last season, the attackman walked off Fetzer Field with four goals and three assists, celebrating a career-high seven-point game.

Less than a year later, and Sankey may be feeling a little bit of déjà vu.

A quick glance at two columns on the box score of UNC’s 18-5 rout of Dartmouth Saturday shows the same cherished numbers.

With three goals and four assists, the junior did it again — Sankey slayed the Big Green, tying a career-high with seven points.

“Sankey, at three and four,” coach Joe Breschi said, “I thought was dominant.”

But the performance wasn’t a fluke, or a coincidence.

In the first three games of the season, Sankey has been nothing but dominant.

The junior attackman leads the No. 3 Tar Heels (3-0) with nine goals, having posted three straight hat tricks, and his team-high 15 points is eight more than senior midfielder Pat Foster, who’s second on the team in the category.

But Breschi is more proud of the number six.

Sankey’s four assists on Saturday both tied a career high and bumped up his season total to six — the most on the team.

The attackman also added six ground balls — three shy of his personal best in a Tar Heel uniform.

“We know he’s a very creative player and he’ll create opportunities for himself,” Breschi said. “But with four assists on the day, it’s more a pat on the back for that — getting other guys involved in the game.

“He’s so good off the ground, too. He’s great on ground balls and sees the field so well.”

Similar to Breschi, junior attackman Jimmy Bitter struggled to point to what he’s liked most from Sankey to start the season.

“Joey does everything well,” said Bitter, who tallied three goals and found the net twice off an assist from Sankey against Dartmouth. “He’s the perfect attackman to have next to you. He can dodge, he can shoot, he can pass. We kind of feed off of him.”

On Saturday, Sankey put together a complete game en route to matching a career-high seven points he set against the same Big Green squad last year.

“I had good opportunities today,” Sankey said. “It was just being at the right spot at the right time.”

And though Dartmouth isn’t listed on UNC’s schedule anymore this season, Sankey and the Tar Heels are hoping the junior has a few more complete games left in the tank.

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