Joey Sankey is never satisfied with scoring the easy goal.
He prefers to dance behind the cage before slinging chaotic, diving shots into mere inches of space.
No angle is too small or defender too formidable to hinder the innovation and dynamism of the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team’s 5-foot-5 leading scorer.
It was this sense of defying the impossible that propelled UNC to a 13-9 comeback win against Johns Hopkins on Saturday, along with Sankey’s five-goal contribution.
“(Sankey) knows his game and what he’s good at,” coach Joe Breschi said. “He creates off the ball, has the ability to score in tight spaces and low angles and he takes advantage of the defense. He’s creative.”
As the first 30 minutes ticked away, it quickly appeared that the Tar Heels were in danger of relinquishing their two-game winning streak.
Johns Hopkins dominated statistically across the board in the first half, most importantly at the faceoff X, where the Blue Jays scooped up 13 of the 14 faceoff opportunities. In addition, UNC was outshot 22-13 and out contested in ground balls by a margin of 19-8 .
After the conclusion of the second period, the Tar Heels jogged off the field lucky to be clinging on to a 7-5 deficit.
Frustrated by the unfamiliarity of a halftime shortfall — the Tar Heels’ first of the season — UNC recognized it would need a full-throttle approach to overcome Johns Hopkins.