A monstrous scoring run in the third quarter propelled the No. 9 Duke men’s lacrosse team (11-5, 3-2 ACC) to a 19-11 victory over No. 18 North Carolina (8-6, 1-5 ACC) at Koskinen Stadium on Sunday evening.
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders in the first period, with UNC senior attackman Nicky Solomon scoring his 20th goal of the season off an assist from graduate attacker Chris Gray.
After Duke responded with a goal, Solomon assisted junior attacker Lance Tillman for his 20th goal of the season. The Blue Devils then scored back-to-back goals on a man-down opportunity, including midfielder Jake Naso winning a face-off and taking it all the way for a solo goal to put the Blue Devils up 3-2.
UNC senior attacker Jacob Kelly scored his 20th goal of the season off an assist from sophomore midfielder Cole Herbert. After the teams traded goals, the Tar Heels led 5-4 at the end of the first period.
The Blue Devils equalized the score early in the second period when attacker Brennan O'Neill spun past his defender and dished it to attacker Sean Lulley, who slung it into the back of the cage. However, both teams cooled down after this, only scoring two goals apiece by halftime. The rivals headed into the locker room with the Tar Heels leading, 7-6.
UNC crumbled on both ends in the third quarter, only managing to attempt eight shots to Duke’s 14, while allowing eight goals on the defensive end.
With the Blue Devils holding a commanding seven-goal lead heading into the final period, both teams began to score seemingly at will. Gray scored two unassisted goals to break the all-time NCAA Division I career points record. Also, UNC senior defensive midfielder Connor Maher scored his first goal of the season.
Who stood out?