With both offenses firing on all cylinders, the North Carolina and Denver lacrosse teams faced off to open overtime, looking to earn the offensive possession to give them the sudden-death victory.
And for the 21st time in the game, No. 2 Denver claimed possession and yet another opportunity for its prolific offense. The first possession of overtime would be the deciding one for
The Tar Heels did well to
After struggling offensively through most of the second half — managing just two goals in 21:28 of play — the Tar Heels exploded for four goals to reclaim the lead with just a minute to play.
But if not for crucial errors down the stretch, the Tar Heels could have eluded the massive hole they helped dig. Costly turnovers in the third period turned
Most of UNC ‘s turnovers in the period came while clearing, giving Denver both extra possessions and better looks at the goal. Against one of the best teams in the nation, the Tar Heels paid for almost every error they made, usually with a ball in the back of the net.
While the Tar Heels battled back in inspiring fashion to close the game, their errors down the stretch gave the Pioneers the opportunities they needed to claim their fifth victory of the season.
North Carolina threw three different players at Trevor Baptiste, all with no avail. Baptiste was simply unstoppable on face-offs, earning an advantage UNC has become accustomed to having.
“The most glaring stat for us wasn’t the face-offs, it was the clearing game. We failed to clear it four times, which resulted in three goals. In a game like this against a
Three Numbers That Matter
7: In a high-scoring game, UNC could only muster seven face-off wins in 28 trips to the line.
64: UNC (30) and Denver (34) combined for 64 shots in the game, as neither team showed any hesitation when shooting opportunities presented themselves.
The Tar Heels will travel to take on Massachusetts next Saturday, March 12, at 1 p.m.
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