A versatile combination of veteran experience and young talent helped the No. 6 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team cruise past Colgate on Sunday.
The Tar Heels torched the Raiders in the first half, 12-4, en route to a 15-9 victory. As expected, senior captain attackers Chris Gray and Jacob Kelly led the attack. Gray finished with a team-high three goals, and Kelly with two goals and two assists.
“The chemistry for our attack is unbelievable,” first-year face-off midfielder Chase Mullins said. “We’re only getting better from here on out.”
To sum up the seasoned offense’s scoring ability in one play? Senior attacker Nicky Solomon had the ball at midfield with less than five seconds left in the half. The Tar Heels were already up 11-4.
Solomon heaved it to Gray, who slung it into the net with 0.3 seconds left on the clock.
“Oh boy, (Gray’s) special,” head coach Joe Breschi said. “I’m gonna embrace every opportunity we get to watch him play.”
Gray, who returned for his graduate season, was named Preseason Player of the Year by USA Lacrosse Magazine. He’s on track to break UNC’s all-time scoring record in just two and a half years playing for North Carolina, and when opposing coaches fluster over defensive matchups, they almost always elect to double-team the elusive 5-foot-7 attacker.
But as with any sport, double-teaming opens up scoring opportunities for other players. And so, the Tar Heels capitalized on the attention Gray drew. Sunday welcomed a new rising star to Dorrance Field: first-year attacker Dewey Egan, who excelled in his collegiate debut with two goals and one assist.
The San Diego native ran the offense for a four-minute stretch in the second period. First, he scored an unassisted goal to put UNC up 8-3.