After a couple of lackluster seasons, the North Carolina men's lacrosse team will certainly be looking to end its NCAA Tournament drought in the 2020 season. Head coach Joe Breschi and his squad have missed the last two tournaments, the first misses in his 11-year tenure as UNC's head coach.
The Tar Heels finished the 2019 regular season on a three-game losing streak in ACC play last year and watched their tournament hopes slip through their grasp in a narrow 14-13 loss to Virginia in the ACC semifinals.
With nine seniors, plenty of returning talent and a handful of promising fresh faces, UNC is ranked 10th in Inside Lacrosse's preseason poll. The team enters the season looking to turn its fortunes around and get back to the Big Dance.
The Tar Heels lost two key players, Timmy Kelly and Andy Matthews, in the attack. They combined for 68 points last season, with Kelly contributing 20 goals and 16 assists and Matthews recording 13 goals and 19 assists.
North Carolina will be looking to make up for this loss with junior transfer Chris Gray. Gray finished the 2019 season tied for third in points per game in the NCAA, averaging 6.53 points per contest. He was a key recruit during the offseason, and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain the high level of production that he demonstrated at Boston University.
Junior Alex Trippi and sophomore Nicky Solomon provide returning offensive output to the Tar Heels' attack. Each of them racked up at least 19 points and appeared in all 15 games last season.
Senior captain William Perry will be a crucial return for the Tar Heels in the midfield after Perry anchored the offense last year, leading the team in scoring with 26 goals. His co-captain, Justin Anderson, also offers a consistent offensive option for the North Carolina offense. Anderson tallied 25 points last season on 19 goals and six assists.