As the game clock nestled against the brick wall of Dorrance Field ticked below 20 seconds on Saturday, it appeared as though the North Carolina men's lacrosse team would be heading to overtime against Syracuse.
But Chris Gray had other plans.
The graduate attacker whizzed behind the cage and looped around to an opening between two Orange defenders. With his back to the target, Gray spun, leaped and launched a shot that feathered into the back of the net, lifting the Tar Heels to a 14-13 victory.
The last-second win earned UNC its first conference win of the season while also snapping a two-game losing skid.
Yet, in a conference that boasts four top-20 teams, the Tar Heels’ schedule steepens as the regular season comes to a close.
On Thursday, No. 15 North Carolina will travel to South Bend, Ind. to take on the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in hopes of earning a marquee win that would bolster the Tar Heels’ NCAA Tournament resume.
Here are three keys that could help UNC earn the upset victory.
Find help for Gray
Gray’s impact this year stretches far beyond his late-game heroics against Syracuse.