That was the number of saves the No. 17 North Carolina men's lacrosse team had in the second quarter for the whole season entering Friday night's game against No. 11 Duke. Fives saves on 52 shots with 19 goals allowed.
First-year goalkeeper Colin Reder tried his best to double that number. After relieving regular starter Brian Balkam with 6:36 remaining in the second period, Reder tallied three saves, including two in extra-man situations.
Reder continued to come up big in pressure situations the entire night. He had 10 saves, including one on Duke's first possession of overtime that helped secure the Tar Heels' 17-16 victory.
Senior Steve Pontrello scored a career-high six goals and three other Tar Heels scored twice — including senior midfielder Patrick Kelly, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime for UNC. After nearly turning it over on the pass, Kelly took advantage of the confusion to beat multiple Blue Devils' defenders and score unassisted.
It was a fitting end to a dramatic game full of twists and turns of momentum. The Tar Heels raced out to a 3-0 lead behind goals from Pontrello, first-year Brian Cannon and junior Luke Goldstock. But after a timeout, Duke responded with a pair of goals, and it was back and forth the rest of the way.
After UNC took a 6-3 lead early in the second period, Duke stormed back with three straight goals to tie the game. But UNC flashed its quick-score ability — not for the only time that game — and scored twice in nine seconds to reassert the lead. Reder then entered, as Coach Joe Breschi was looking for crucial saves, and both teams were scoreless for the rest of the half.
That scoreless streak extended into the third period for the Tar Heels, but not for Duke. Myles Jones scored twice and assisted on two other goals as the Blue Devils score five straight to take an 11-8 lead. Then the Tar Heels broke an almost 19 minute scoring drought with two goals in 32 seconds by midfielder Michael Tagliaferri.
With the score tied at 12, the Tar Heels again displayed their quick-strike ability. Peyton Klawinski scored with 13 seconds remaining, then Shane Simpson added another goal with seven seconds left to give the Tar Heels a two-goal lead entering into the final period.
UNC maintained that two goal lead up until the final few minutes. Jones scored his fifth goal with 1:14 remaining and Duke won the ensuing faceoff, but the Tar Heels appeared to have locked the game up when Patrick Kelly forced Duke's Ethan Powley to turn back toward his own goal on the clearance and Goldstock forced the turnover with 42 seconds to go. Then the Tar Heels turned it over while trying to run clock and Duke's fast break offense burned the Tar Heels for the final time on the night as Jack Bruckner scored with eight seconds remaining.
Duke won the faceoff to take the ball first in overtime, but Reder made a huge play to get his body in front of a missile from Jones. Fellow first-year Jack Rowlett picked up the ground ball and UNC called a timeout to set up Patrick Kelly's winning goal.
"I was a little suprised. It's hard in the middle of a quarter especially to just jump in there without getting any shots, usually you do that at the end of the quarter or something. I ran out there, gave it my best, that's it." — Colin Reder on his reaction to entering the game.
Patrick Kelly scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season. The senior midfielder had 17 goals total in his previous three years.
Three numbers that matter
20: Stephen Kelly has been phenomenal all season for UNC on faceoffs and continued his good work by winning 20 against Duke.
12: Duke turned the ball over 12 times, only six of which were caused by UNC. That's six empty possessions in a one-score game.
10: Reder finished the night with ten saves, including three after entering cold in the second quarter, five in the fourth quarter, and the final, biggest one in overtime against Myles Jones.
UNC will play Virginia on Sunday, April 10, at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.
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