The No. 10 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team, fueled by an 8-0 run that spanned the first and second quarters, trounced the Mercer Bears, 14-7, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon in Kenan Stadium.
The Tar Heels (5-0) opened up the scoring nearly four minutes in with a goal by sophomore midfielder Tanner Cook for his 13th goal of the season.
Mercer responded less than two minutes later. After maintaining possession near North Carolina’s net for about a minute, senior midfielder Scott Baird found the back of the net to even the score at one apiece.
It wouldn’t take long before the Tar Heels regained their lead. UNC gained a one-man advantage after a cross-checking penalty against Mercer with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter, and senior attackman Chris Cloutier took advantage of it. He buried his 12th goal of the season to give North Carolina a 2-1 lead.
North Carolina didn’t hesitate to further pile on. By 3:54 in the second quarter, the Tar Heels built a 9-1 lead after Cloutier scored his third goal of the half. Mercer ended the 8-0 run less than a minute after. The Bears cut their deficit to 9-2 on a goal by senior attackman Bryan Gibson and scored a second straight goal to cut the lead to six.
Cloutier added his fourth goal of the game just before halftime and North Carolina headed into the break with a 10-3 lead. The other six Tar Heel goals were evenly spread among the rest of the team.
The teams traded goals to open the second half, then the Tar Heels scored three in a row stretching into the fourth quarter — for the team's final goals of the game with the win already well in hand.
To close out the game, Mercer scored three consecutive goals, only enough to cut the deficit to seven and UNC secured a 14-7 victory.