Despite its offensive struggles, face-offs and ground balls ultimately prevented the No. 10 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team from suffering back-to-back losses against an unranked opponent.
The Tar Heels defeated Brown, 14-11, at Dorrance Field on Wednesday afternoon. UNC went 21-28 on face-offs and scooped 41 ground balls to the Bears' 24, and were led by senior face-off midfielder Zac Tucci, who won 18 face-offs and collected eight ground balls.
“It was as bad as it gets on Saturday against Ohio State,” head coach Joe Breschi said. “Beyond proud of what these guys did in a quick three-day turnaround.”
Coming off a 20-8 home blowout loss against Ohio State on Saturday, the Tar Heels stormed into Wednesday’s contest with renewed zeal.
They got off to a fast 4-1 start in the first eight minutes. But then, things started to go awry.
The Bears responded with three goals of their own — all stemming from Tar Heel turnovers. Sloppy passes in the midfield hindered the juggernaut North Carolina offense from getting any real looks.
“Brown plays a unique style,” Breschi said. “They run, run, run. It caused us a little angst.”
By halftime, UNC had turned the ball over 13 times — the most in any half this season. The trend continued for the rest of the game, as did the Tar Heels’ chaotic shot selection.
UNC attempted 48 shots, with only 24 being on goal, as opposed to the methodical Bears, who went 28-38 for shots on goal.