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North Carolina men's lacrosse falls to No. 1 Notre Dame in South Bend for third-straight loss

UNC junior midfielder Luca Antongiovanni (87) carries the ball down the field during the men's lacrosse game against Brown at Dorrance Field on Saturday, March 11, 2023. UNC won 19-6.

The No. 14 UNC men’s lacrosse (7-6, 1-4 ACC) fell to No. 1 Notre Dame (9-1, 3-1 ACC) 9-16 in South Bend, Indiana. 

What happened?

After winning the opening face-off, Notre Dame crashed the goal. Colin Hagstrom was able to score a clean-up goal after UNC goalie Colin Krieg deflected but did not gain possession of the ball. 

The Tar Heels were able to score seconds later – a solo shot from Dewey Egan. 

The Fighting Irish’s Jake Taylor scored, despite UNC’s tight defense bringing the shot clock down to ten seconds. Two back-to-back UNC penalties gave Notre Dame a two-man-up advantage. Chris Kavanaugh was able to capitalize off of this, scoring off of an assist from Jeffery Ricciardelli. 

Notre Dame made it three unanswered goals as Brian Tevlin’s shot soared to the back of the net. Mere seconds later, Pat Kavanaugh forced a UNC turnover and allowed Griffin Westlin to score on UNC’s scattered defense. 

Despite UNC winning the next face-off, they failed to clear the ball. Hagstrom was able to score again on UNC’s near-empty net. The first quarter ended with five unanswered goals from the Fighting Irish. 

Nearly four minutes into the second quarter, Chris Kavanaugh scored again after cutting from behind the goal. Logan McGovern put an end to Notre Dame’s six-zero run with a solo, man-up shot. UNC’s James Matan found the back of the net after an impressive spin move, over-the-shoulder shot. 

UNC made it four unanswered goals as Harry Schertzinger and Ryan Levy both scored off of great midfield defense from UNC. At halftime, UNC was down only two goals. 

The second half opened with heavy rain and a goal from Notre Dame’s Eric Dobson. The goal resulted from a failed clearing attempt by the Tar Heels, the third time this defensive lapse has resulted in a goal. After a long offensive stand by UNC, Egan scored once again off of a high-flying assist from Lance Tillman. 

Rain soon turned to sleet, and Westlin scored again off of an assist from Pat Kavanaugh. After a UNC scoring attempt went awry, Notre Dame’s Taylor scored once again. 

Pat Kavanaugh found the back of the net after he gained a ground ball pick-up, nearly doubling the score on the Tar Heels. To open the fourth quarter, the Tar Heels made a charging effort to the goal to facilitate an Egan goal. 

Just as UNC was regaining their momentum, Notre Dame’s Reilly Gray crashed the crease and found the back of the net. After forcing a UNC turnover, Dobson scored a ripping shot from outside the crease. He scored again seconds later, earning a hat trick for himself. 

Notre Dame’s Quinn McCahon scored his first of the game. Matan then scored two in a row, putting UNC down by six with six minutes to go. After an assist from Pat Kavanaugh, Ricciardelli found the back of the net. 

The dark cloud persisted as UNC lost 9-16. 

Who stood out? 

Notre Dame’s goalie Liam Entenmen served as a brick wall for the Fighting Irish with 16 saves. 

UNC’s James Matan had three goals on the game. 

When was it decided?

Entering the second half only up by two goals, Notre Dame came out swinging in the third quarter. Outscoring UNC 4-1 in the quarter, UNC faced a deficit that they could not overcome. 

Why does it matter?

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Despite being ranked No. 14 in the country, UNC is a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament. A win against the top team in the country would have greatly boosted their regular-season resume. 

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will face Notre Dame once again on May 6. Game time is set for noon at Dorrance Field. 


@dthsports |