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McCalls, UNC advance past Lenseth, Navy

Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 by unc.edu

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Eighth-seeded North Carolina outscored Navy 5-1 in the fourth quarter and utilized a terrific performance by sophomore goalkeeper Grant Zimmerman to defeat the Midshipmen 12-8 in the first-round of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Tournament Sunday afternoon before 1,615 at Fetzer Field. The Tar Heels advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 and UNC will play top-seeded Duke for the third time this season next Sunday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Game time will be set Monday.

The win was only Carolina's second in the NCAA Tournament since 1993. The victory broke a five-game losing streak for the Tar Heels against the Midshipmen and it avenged a 19-8 loss to the Mids on March 2 of this season in a game played at Annapolis. Carolina improved to 10-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played on Fetzer Field.

Navy, which went into the game ranked eighth both by Inside Lacrosse and the USILA coaches polls, saw its season end at 11-4. All three previous losses that Navy suffered this year had been by a single goal against Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and Maryland. North Carolina improved to 10-5 on the season, an amazing turnaround from a 4-10 season of a year ago. The Heels are currently ranked No. 10 by Inside Lacrosse and No. 9 by the USILA coaches polls.

The game Sunday was an intense battle throughout the game and no team ever took more than a one-goal lead until 12:02 remained in the game. Bart Wagner of the Tar Heels scored his second goal of the game at that point, giving the Tar Heels a 9-7 lead. Navy won the ensuing face-off which led to a goal by Terrence Higgins off an assist by Ian Dingman just eight seconds after Wagner's goal. That cut the UNC lead back to 9-8.

Less than a minute later, Tar Heel junior defenseman Brian Burke made the game-changing play for Carolina. Burke scooped up a ground ball on the sideline nearest the grandstand and eluded a pair of Navy players as he tightroped the chalk line. Burke cleared the ball himself into the offensive end and had looks at both Wagner and attackman Michael Burns. But with the defense drawn to the Tar Heel attackmen, Burke let go a searing shot from his long pole which found the back of the net behind Navy goalkeeper Colin Finnegan. The goal, which came with 10:45 left in the game, ignited the crowd and put the momentum back on the side of the Tar Heels.

With the two-goal lead, the Tar Heel defense held firm in the final 10 plus minutes of the game. Navy outshot the Heels 15-10 in the final period, had a 14-10 ground ball edge in the last 15 minutes and won all six face-offs, but Carolina's defense never faltered. Zimmerman made seven of his 12 saves in the final period, frustrating any comeback attempt by the Midshipmen.

With 5:10 remaining, UNC attackman Gavin Petracca found a cutting Sean Delaney 10 yards in front of the net and Delaney ripped a shot into the twine, extending the Tar Heel lead to 11-8. With Zimmerman continuing to stymie the Mids on their offensive end with save after save the Heels put the game away with 2:15 to play as junior midfielder Nick Tintle muscled his way to the goal to make the final margin 12-8.

Carolina had a balanced scoring attack and was very opportunistic, converting in transition and scoring a handful of goals after winning ground balls in unsettled situations. Five times in the game the Tar Heels answered Navy goals after less than a minute of clock time had expired.

During the regular season the Tar Heels recorded assists on 64 percent of their goals but on Sunday great individual efforts led to the 12 goals, only three of which were assisted. For the second straight game, UNC's Michael Burns led the Tar Heels in goal scoring with three. Wagner, Petracca and Delaney each had two goals while Tintle, Burke and Ben Hunt had single tallies. Petracca and Wagner had single assists and junior tri-captain Fletcher Gregory assisted on UNC's third goal of the game, his first career point.

Navy was led by senior midfielder Billy Looney who had three goals and an assist for the Mids. Senior attackman Ian Dingman had two goals and an assist for Navy while junior attackman Nick Mirabito added three assists.

Navy outshot the Tar Heels 43-32. Both teams had 40 ground balls and both teams won 11 face-offs, a marked turnaround from the first game when Navy won the face-off battle 20-10. Finnegan finished with 10 saves for the Midshipmen, while Zimmerman had 12 saves for Carolina.

The Tar Heels now meet No. 1-seeded Duke for the third time in 2007 next Sunday in Annapolis, Md. The Blue Devils won the regular season meeting 9-7 in Chapel Hill after rallying from a 6-1 deficit. In the second meeting in the ACC Tournament semifinals at Durham, N.C., on April 27, Duke led 7-6 late in the third quarter and then ran off six goals in a row in what was eventually a 13-9 Blue Devil win.
Score by Period 1 2 3 4 Tot-------------------------------------Navy...... - .......... 4 2 1 1 - 8North Carolina...... 3 2 2 5 - 12 Attendance: 1615 Navy SCORING:GOALS: Looney, Billy 3; Dingman, Ian 2; Daratsos, Basil 1; Paul, Tim 1; Higgins, Terence 1.ASSISTS: Mirabito, Nick 3; Dingman, Ian 1; Looney, Billy 1. North Carolina SCORING:GOALS: Michael Burns 3; Bart Wagner 2; Gavin Petracca 2; Sean Delaney 2; Nick Tintle 1; Ben Hunt 1; Brian Burke 1.ASSISTS: Fletcher Gregory 1; Gavin Petracca 1; Bart Wagner 1. SHOTS BY PERIOD 1 2 3 4 Tot-------------------------------------Navy...... - .......... 12 3 13 15 - 43North Carolina...... 5 9 8 10 - 32 GROUND BALLS BY PRD 1 2 3 4 Tot-------------------------------------Navy...... - .......... 9 5 12 14 - 40North Carolina...... 8 14 8 10 - 40 FACE-OFFS BY PRD 1 2 3 4 Total--------------------------------------------- - -------Navy................ 3-8 1-5 1-3 6-6 - 11-22North Carolina...... 5-8 4-5 2-3 0-6 - 11-22 CLEARS BY PERIOD 1 2 3 4 Total--------------------------------------------- - -------Navy................ 5-6 5-6 3-3 5-5 - 18-20North Carolina...... 5-5 5-5 3-4 6-8 - 19-22 EXTRA-MAN OPPS 1 2 3 4 Total--------------------------------------------- - -------Navy................ 1-1 1-1 0-1 0-2 - 2-5North Carolina...... 0-0 0-2 1-2 0-1 - 1-5 SAVES BY PERIOD 1 2 3 4 Tot-------------------------------------Navy...... - .......... 1 5 3 1 - 10North Carolina...... 2 0 3 7 - 12 TURNOVERS BY PRD 1 2 3 4 Tot-------------------------------------Navy...... - .......... 2 3 2 5 - 12North Carolina...... 7 4 3 2 - 16 PENALTIES - Navy 5/4:30; North Carolina 5/4:00.

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