Everything Steve Pontrello does on the field is fast.
With the score between the No. 4 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team and No. 8 Virginia tied early in the third quarter on Friday, the junior midfielder blazed past the Virginia defense and ripped a shot into the top of the goal before anyone had time to react. Less than a minute later, Pontrello looped around the goal and quickly snuck a pass from senior attackman Joey Sankey into the net, giving UNC a 6-4 lead it would turn into a 10-6 win.
And all the while, he was still recovering from a hamstring injury.
“He’s not quite 100 percent yet, and he’d be the first to admit that,” Coach Joe Breschi said. “But he’s getting better every week.”
Soft tissue injuries have a tendency to linger and sap explosiveness, so Pontrello didn’t play in the first five games of the season. But he’s continued to improve as the season has progressed, and even 80 percent of Pontrello is too much for a lot of defenses.