The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday December 2nd

UNC men's lacrosse holds off High Point for 11-10 scrimmage win

Coming off a national championship win in 2016, the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team began the new year by defeating High Point, 11-10, in a scrimmage at Navy Field on Saturday.

What happened?

The Tar Heels came out on fire in the first quarter, scoring four quick goals for a 4-0 lead. Junior Chris Cloutier and redshirt senior Michael Tagliaferri notched the first two goals, while first-year Justin Anderson added the third and senior Tate Jozokos tallied the fourth.

Also in the first, redshirt junior goalie Brian Balkam left the game after a ball went through his face mask and struck him in the eye, causing swelling.

High Point closed the gap to 5-2 in the second quarter, but goals by Cloutier and senior Luke Walsh stretched the lead to 7-2. The third period resembled the first, as UNC added four straight goals to push its advantage to 11-3.

The fourth quarter saw a High Point surge, aided by UNC pulling its starters. High Point outscored the Tar Heels, 6-0, in the final period, coming within a goal of the defending national champions.

Who stood out?

In his first collegiate contest, first-year Justin Anderson showed no rust after two years away for his Mormon mission. The midfielder from Las Vegas scored three goals and showed an ability to pass as well, adding an assist.

Inside Lacrosse ranked Anderson as the No. 2 high school senior in 2013-14. Even with his two years away from the game, Anderson came in at No. 35 in this season’s Inside Lacrosse Power 100, which ranks college first-years.

When was it decided?

UNC never trailed in the game, as the team jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first quarter. In the third, the Tar Heels increased their 7-3 halftime lead to 11-3. The 4-0 span included two goals by sophomore Timmy Kelly.

The lead gave UNC the cushion it needed to close out the game, as High Point drew within a goal as it competed against Tar Heel reserves in the fourth.

Why does it matter?

For the Tar Heels, this was the first of two scrimmages before the start of the regular season. The game provided an opportunity for the defending national champions to work in first-years, particularly Anderson and fellow midfielder Will Perry.

“We try to bring guys along slowly, but with some of the injuries we have, we’re going to depend on them to get some time,” head coach Joe Breschi said.

With starting Balkam leaving the game with an injury, first-year Jack Pezzulla saw extended action for the Tar Heels. The extra playing time can benefit the young goalie if forced into play during the regular season.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels host a scrimmage against Navy on Saturday at 9 a.m.

@NoahGrant13

sports@dailytarheel.com

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