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Wednesday January 20th

Tanner Cook's five-goal third quarter lifts UNC lacrosse over Furman, 18-11

<p>Senior midfielder Tanner Cook (77) looks for a pass at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. UNC beat Mercer 14-6.</p>
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Senior midfielder Tanner Cook (77) looks for a pass at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. UNC beat Mercer 14-6.

The No. 4 North Carolina men's lacrosse team remained perfect with an 18-11 victory over Furman in Greenville, S.C. on Friday. 

Senior Tanner Cook jumpstarted the Tar Heel offense with five straight goals in the third quarter to propel UNC to the win.

What happened?

Furman held the Tar Heels scoreless in the opening seven minutes before Brian Cameron found a wide-open goal on an assist from Chris Gray. Gray continued his offensive production, finishing a goal of his own five minutes later.

The Paladins were led by goalkeeper Alec Van De Bovenkamp, who racked up four saves in the first quarter.

UNC struck first in the second quarter with a goal from Jacob Kelly assisted by Lance Tillman, his second assist of the night. The Paladins came back with their first goal just over a minute later.

Less than a minute later, on a beautiful cut from Alex Trippi and an assist from Henry Schertzinger, North Carolina answered with a goal of its own to make it 4-1. 

The Paladins refused to be silenced and finished another goal, bringing the Tar Heels' lead down to two. Another goal off of a rebound left UNC up just one at the end of the first half.

Once the second half started, though, Tanner Cook took over for the Tar Heels. The senior midfielder scored three unassisted goals in the first two minutes of the third quarter, giving the Tar Heels a comfortable four-goal lead.

After a pair of Paladin scores, Cook responded with two more goals in the third. Furman squeezed in one last goal from Jack Dowd in the last second of the third quarter, just beating the buzzer to knock the UNC lead down to 9-6 entering the final period.

The floodgates opened for the Tar Heels in the fourth quarter as they put nine goals in the back of the net. Gray, the Tar Heels scoring leader, put up four. Cook, the star of the third quarter, picked up another one. 

Trippi, Connor Maher, Schertzinger, and William Perry also found the back of the net for the Tar Heels. Furman marked five goals of their own late in the final quarter, ending the game on a four-goal run, but it was too little, too late.

Who stood out?

Cook was a clear standout for the Tar Heels in their win over Furman. His five consecutive goals in the third quarter ignited the offense and solidified their lead.

"He basically took over the game," head coach Joe Breschi said, adding that his run "spearheaded the push in the second half."

North Carolina was also aided to victory by the play of face-off midfielder Zac Tucci, who continued to give the Tar Heels possessions and opportunities to score, winning 20 of 25 face-offs. Breschi credited Tucci with the offensive show in the fourth quarter.

When was it decided?

North Carolina locked down the game in the third quarter, when Cook racked up five goals for the Tar Heels.

"We started playing our brand of lacrosse, just up tempo, sharing the ball, and shooting better," Breschi said.

The team carried its success into the final quarter, finally converting on offense and raining nine goals on the Paladins.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels continue to chase perfection in the 2020 season after a convincing defeat of Furman. North Carolina will look to carry its scoring success into the rest of the season, as the team plays four more teams, including ranked Maryland and Georgetown squads, before heading into ACC play.

When do they play next?

North Carolina will return to Chapel Hill to face Bryant at home on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

@MaryMacPorter1

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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