The No. 10 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team (7-4, 1-2 ACC) fell to the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers (8-2), 19-12, at Dorrance Field on Friday evening.
North Carolina got on the board early with a goal from graduate midfielder Griffin Gallagher assisted by graduate attackman Logan McGovern within the first three minutes of the game. Two minutes later, North Carolina lost the advantage as the Cavaliers found the back of the net twice within a 15-second span. Virginia capitalized on UNC’s cold offensive run with the help of senior Payton Cormier who achieved a hat trick in the first quarter and helped the Cavaliers take a 3-point lead going into the first media timeout.
Following a UNC turnover, Virginia’s Grayson Sallade assisted Evan Zinn for another goal. Later in the quarter, Virginia successfully shot in between the pipes once again creating a 5-point advantage. Plagued by turnovers, the Tar Heels were held to one goal within the first three minutes of play and ended the first quarter down 6-1.
Coming into the second quarter, UNC worked to decrease the deficit quickly with an unassisted goal from graduate midfielder Harry Wellford. After a UNC turnover, Cormier found the back of the net once again on a wide-open shot. Winning the faceoff, thirty seconds later, Virginia capitalized on the momentum for another goal to increase its lead to seven.
Refusing to give up, sophomore midfielder Ty English was able to find space close to the net with the help of graduate midfielder Connor Maher making the score 8-3. The Tar Heels continued to work to find their groove later with the help of McGovern who snuck the ball into the top of the mesh minutes later.
Refusing to give UNC momentum, a minute later, Virginia’s Thomas McConvey successfully shot in between the pipes making the score 9-4. The Tar Heels continued to unravel as the Cavaliers managed to score two more. Unable to contain Virginia’s physical offense, using a man-up opportunity, the Cavaliers hit the mesh again before ending the half on top 12-4.
Virginia opened the second half with a goal in the first nine seconds of play. After an unsuccessful shot from UNC, Virginia’s Peter Garno found the net for the second time. Six seconds later, Virginia hit between the pipes again making the score 15-4. Not letting up, McConvey hit the net for the second time of the night with a little over ten minutes left in the third.
Eight minutes into the second half, while being double-teamed, senior attackman Lance Tillman scored. Quickly afterward, senior face-off midfielder Andrew Tyeryar found the back of the mesh down the middle in a one-on-one encounter with the goalkeeper. These shots proved to be in vain as Virginia scored again making the score 17-6.
From way upfield, senior midfielder P.J. Zinser gave the Tar Heels another point with less than five minutes left in the third. A minute later, McGovern picked up his second goal of the day ending the third down 17-8.
In the fourth, following a goal from graduate attackman Sean Goldsmith, Virginia maintained its previous lead by scoring a quick goal a minute later. Although the Tar Heels worked to decrease the deficit by scoring four goals in the last quarter, they were too far behind to recover ending the game 19-12.
Who stood out?
McGovern continued to be a point of consistency for the Tar Heels with two goals and one assist. Tillman also approved himself by achieving a hat trick and scoring two goals in the last quarter.
When was it decided?
After a dominating first half that held them to a mere 4, the Tar Heels were never able to find a groove and recover.
Why does it matter?
After losing to Duke and Ohio State who are both ranked within the top 25, this was the perfect opportunity for UNC to prove itself against one of the top-ranked teams in the country. With the Tar Heels being unable to secure a win, questions concerning offensive capabilities that have plagued earlier losses this season return to the forefront.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will travel to Maryland to take on the Syracuse Orange on Saturday, April 15 at 4 p.m.
@dthsports | firstname.lastname@example.org
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.