All season, North Carolina men’s lacrosse head coach Joe Breschi has told his team to embrace the chaos.
On a wet Dorrance Field on Wednesday, in the team's 16-9 win over High Point, that’s exactly what the players did — they embraced the chaos.
For 60 minutes, players slipped, had sticks fall out of their hands and saw the ball on the ground, creating chances for each team to gain extra possessions for their high-powered offenses to score.
“We play out on this field all the time, we know it’s slippery,” sophomore defender Paul Barton said. “When both teams are slipping, whoever’s playing harder gets the benefit of the doubt for all those slips. Whoever’s playing harder usually comes up with the ball at the end.”
Even with all the slipping and miscues involved with the wet grass, that was far from the most chaotic part of Wednesday night’s game.
During two minutes in the fourth quarter, North Carolina capitalized on the sporadic energy and scored two goals off of a full-field shot and a hidden ball trick.
All game long, High Point was engaged in a 10-man ride when the Tar Heels were looking to clear the ball, putting goalkeeper Parker Green on an offensive player rather than in the goal. Multiple UNC defenders tried their hand at scoring from their side of the field, but failed each time.
However, with just under nine minutes left in the game, Barton tried to register his third goal of the season, seeing Green on the far side of the restraining box tightly guarding first-year attackman James Matan.
A Hail Mary heave and one bounce of the ball later and the ball was in the back of the net.