It was a good day to be a sophomore midfielder on the North Carolina men's lacrosse team.
Heading into overtime against Furman University on a rainy Saturday afternoon, sophomore midfielders Justin Anderson and Tanner Cook had already left their mark on the No. 9 Tar Heels. But they did so in different ways: Anderson as a distributor and Cook as a scorer.
Anderson had three assists entering the extra period. However, it was his skill as a scorer that gave his team the upper hand by the end. His one and only goal came early in overtime.
After receiving the ball directly behind the goal from senior attackman Chris Cloutier, Anderson began his attacking approach. The sophomore found his opportunity to strike, and ultimately he took it by going around the net and scoring from around 18 feet outside — allowing UNC (2-0) to escape an upset with a 15-14 win.
“I noticed that they didn’t have a guy on the crease, ready to come for me,” Anderson said. “So I felt like I got enough room around him and just let it release.”
Cook finished with a career-high five goals. Through the first two games of the early season, the midfielder scored eight times. By comparison, Cook had a total of 10 goals in his first year as a Tar Heel.
“It was just one of those games where it feels like you are in the right spots in the right moments,” Cook said. “Everything is just going your way.”
Saturday was truly a game of runs. Furman (0-2) came out firing on all cylinders, establishing an early 4-1 lead with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Shortly after that, UNC exploded for eight unanswered goals and a 12-6 advantage late in the third period.