The No. 14 North Carolina men's lacrosse team found itself in familiar territory on Saturday, entrenched in a second consecutive overtime match, this time against Lehigh.
Junior midfielder Charles Kelly had won the last three faceoffs of the game, so he was ready for the most important dig of the day coming up in the extra period.
“Just breathe,” Kelly said. “Just breathe relax and have fun. I just tried to look up into the crowd, just soak it in.”
UNC (3-0) was just in an overtime game last weekend, so the whole team knew the plan this time against the Mountain Hawks (2-1).
“I brought them into the huddle and said, 'Hey, we were just here a week ago,'” head coach Joe Breschi said. “We're going to win the faceoff, call timeout, run a big-little and win the game.”
Kelly won the faceoff and scrambled to grab the groundball by the right sideline. As soon as he had possession, Breschi called a timeout to rally the troops, just like he said.
The Tar Heels were calm, and it showed in their play. After the timeout, they started moving the ball around with purpose. Eventually it found its way to senior attackman Chris Cloutier, who knew exactly what to do. He worked behind the goal, from left to right, and launched the ball away from the crowded goal and found a wide-open William Perry.
With three goals to his name already in the game, Perry collected the pass, planted and slung the ball towards goal. The shot flew just past the goalkeeper and under the bar into the top of the net to end the game, 12-11. The sophomore midfielder threw his stick high in the air and was swarmed by his teammates after connecting on his eighth goal of the season.
“I knew we were going to score and I didn't really care who it came from," Perry said, "because our offense is very unselfish, and we all played very well today."