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Monday January 24th

Goldstock's five goals push UNC men's lacrosse past Lehigh, 15-8

<p>North Carolina attackman Luke Goldstock (1) moves up field against UMBC on February 4.</p>
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North Carolina attackman Luke Goldstock (1) moves up field against UMBC on February 4.

The senior was riding a 36-game point streak when the No. 3 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team played Furman a week ago. UNC won 7-3, but Goldstock didn’t record a goal or an assist.

The streak was over.

Heading into UNC’s first game at Fetzer Field against Lehigh, Goldstock was back to zero. So he did what great players do — he bounced back.

Goldstock started his streak again with five goals, one short of his career high, in the Tar Heels’ 15-8 win on Saturday.

“Last week, we really struggled,” he said. “So our focus this week was really grinding some film, figuring out why we weren’t scoring and then fixing it. We fixed it today.”

After the Mountain Hawks (2-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead, UNC (3-0) got its offense going and rattled off five consecutive goals in just under seven minutes of first-quarter play.

Redshirt junior goalie Brian Balkam and the rest of the UNC defense were the driving force in turning a shootout into a defensive struggle. After surrendering seven goals in the first half, the group allowed just one in the second.

The Tar Heels’ defense shored up, but Lehigh’s didn’t — UNC added four more goals in the second half for good measure. When the final horn sounded, eight Tar Heels had scored. North Carolina’s offensive explosion, which included a six-goal second quarter, sparked a 15-6 run.

“When the offense and defense are going at the same speed and the same pace,” Balkam said, “it’s tough to beat us.”

While overmatched, the Mountain Hawks played the Tar Heels with a level of intensity that UNC hadn’t seen this season. One Lehigh player laid out a Tar Heel in front of the Mountain Hawks’ bench.

“We anticipated it,” head coach Joe Breschi said. “We talked about toughness and ground balls — those sorts of things that were key to this game.”

Balkam wasn’t surprised by the Mountain Hawks and thought the entire UNC team responded well.

“We’re a big physical team too — so if you want to be physical with us, we’ll match,” he said.

Breschi also credited Goldstock, whose five goals were a team high, for initiating offense and equaling Lehigh’s intensity.

“Luke’s been through it all,” Breschi said. “He’s a leader at the offensive end. He allowed guys to step up.”

@chapelfowler

sports@dailytarheel.com



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