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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina lacrosse drops dud to Massachusetts

After suffering an agonizing one-goal defeat in overtime a week before against the No. 1 team in the nation, Denver, the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team came into Saturday’s game in Amherst looking to rebound. 

Despite this extra motivation, the Tar Heels (3-3) were unable to overcome a slow start in a 14-9 loss to unranked Massachusetts (3-4). 

The Tar Heel offense struggled to get anything going initially. Sloppy play led to a meager three goals being scored in the first half. 

The Minutemen on the other hand had everything going right for them from the first whistle, opening the scoring less than a minute into the game. Their offense created six goals in the first half while their defense was able to force UNC into turnovers and awkward shots. 

The phenomenal play of Massachusetts’ sophomore goalkeeper Dan Dolan made it even more difficult for North Carolina to score. Dolan made eight saves in the first half and eighteen over the course of the game, including two at point-blank range to stop sure goals. 

The second half started much better for the Tar Heels as they opened the third quarter with a 3-1 run. The UNC midfield pestered the Minutemen, forcing turnovers and keeping them from establishing an offensive rhythm. With about nine minutes left in the third period, North Carolina found itself down only 7-6. 

But UNC was unable to keep up the intensity and Massachusetts responded with a 4-0 run of its own. The score stood at 11-6 as the fourth quarter began. 

The final quarter was a back and forth affair, but the Tar Heels couldn’t whittle the deficit down to anything less than four. The Minutemen scored on an empty net in the final minute of the game to cap off their 14-9 victory. 

Notable

The Tar Heels have found themselves needing to battle back from a deficit in the fourth quarter in their last four games, of which they have won only one. 

Quotable 

“It has to do with inexperience and youth. As we develop through the season it’s one of the things that we’re talking to the guys about and discussing. We need to make sure we are mentally prepared as much as we are physically.” - Coach Joe Breschi on his team’s slow start to the game. 

Three numbers that matter

7: North Carolina goaltenders made 7 saves over the course of the game. Massachusetts goaltender Dan Dolan racked up 8 in the first half alone. 

44: The Tar Heels took 44 shots over the course of the game, converting only 20% of them into goals. Despite taking 9 fewer shots, the Minutemen scored 5 more goals. 

5: UNC’s five goal margin of defeat is its largest in a regular season road game since a 13-8 defeat at the hands of Ohio State in 2011. 

What’s next?

UNC will face Manhattan University in New York City on Monday. 

@the_belshe

sports@dailytarheel.com

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