Burke had five saves in the fourth quarter — the same as he had the entire game to that point — allowing UNC to hold on to the lead they built in the second half. Even though he allowed 14 goals, Coach Joe Breschi had high praise for his keeper.
“(He) really stepped up to his All-American level in the fourth,” Breschi said. “He’s so steady. He doesn’t get rattled by struggling early.”
UNC struck quickly in the opening quarter, with sophomore attackman Luke Goldstock scoring 13 seconds into the match. But Duke responded emphatically, highlighted by a 7-1 run to take a 7-3 lead with 5:25 left in the second quarter.
UNC was able to stop the bleeding late in the second quarter with two goals, then continued its run into the second half with three goals in the first five minutes to take an 8-7 lead. After Jones scored for Duke to tie the game, Bitter scored his first two goals of the game in a 65-second span to give UNC a two-point lead.
“I didn’t have a great first half. I was taking selfish, bad shots,” Bitter said. “We had guys like (senior attackman) Joey (Sankey) step up and keep the team afloat.”
But Duke continued to battle. The Blue Devils took the lead by one with three seconds left in the third quarter, then tied it at 12 with 10:16 left in the fourth quarter after surrendering two goals to the Tar Heels to open the fourth. Three straight UNC goals, including two by senior midfielder Chad Tutton, gave UNC a 15-12 lead.
Then the Tar Heels turned it over to Burke to seal the win.
“Sometimes you have to wait to the fourth quarter,” Burke joked.
That’s what Burke does the entire game. He sits and waits like a pond on a windless day, never getting too stirred up because he knows something.
“Your next save is your best save.”