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Syracuse’s Rice, North Carolina’s Jozokos recognized
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Syracuse’s Kevin Rice has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week, while North Carolina’s Tate Jozokos earned ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Rice tallied a season-high seven points on three goals and four assists to lead Syracuse past No. 5 Virginia, 15-9, in the ACC opener for both teams Sunday at the Carrier Dome. Rice had two goals and two assists in the first half as the Orange bolted to an 8-1 halftime lead. After Virginia scored back-to-back goals in the third quarter, Rice stopped UVa’s momentum by scoring unassisted and then finding Tom Grimm for a transition goal as part of a 3-0 Orange run that pushed the SU advantage to 12-3 and put the game out of reach.
For Rice, it was his 13th career five-point game and his 16th game with at least three assists. In the process, he passed Liam Banks (86 assists) and JoJo Marasco (87 assists) on the SU all-time assists chart. A native of Skaneateles, New York, Rice ranks ninth in school history with 88 career helpers. Rice also extended his streak of consecutive games with a goal to 19, tied for the sixth-longest active streak in Division I lacrosse.
Jozokos, a sophomore defensive short stick midfielder, had the best game of his career to date in leading North Carolina to a 12-10 upset of No. 1 Denver. He had a career-high five ground balls with his wing play on faceoffs and his guarding of Denver’s first midfield unit which was limited to two goals in the game and only four shots. The Tar Heel short stickers made all the Denver offense go through the attack, limiting all Pioneer midfielders combined in the game to eight shots total and four goals.
A native of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Jozokos assisted on Ryan Kilpatrick’s goal which got the Tar Heels back in the game after falling behind 4-2. He then scored his second career goal with 11:21 to play in the third quarter, an unassisted goal which gave the Tar Heels a 7-6 lead which they would never relinquish. Both of those goals came after Jozokos won ground balls on faceoffs directly leading to the goals.