North Carolina Pulls Away from Virginia to Clinch Berth in ACC Championship Game

April 20, 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—In a closely-contested game that featured multiple lead changes, North Carolina outlasted Virginia 11-9 to advance to the 2012 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game. All-ACC attackman Marcus Holman was the leading goal scorer with three goals and freshman Joey Sankey added five points with two goals and three assists to lead the way for the Tar Heels.

The first three quarters of the game were a back-and-forth affair that featured four lead changes and never saw either team have more than a one-goal lead. Colin Briggs and Steele Stanwick of Virginia each had two goals in the first three quarters while Sankey and Holman did the same for the Tar Heels. It was Holman’s goal with 2:46 left in the third quarter that put Tar Heels ahead 7-6—a lead they would never relinquish.

North Carolina seized control of the match in the middle of the fourth quarter with three unanswered goals that extended the lead to 11-7 on Holman’s third goal of the night with 1:55 remaining in the game. Virginia netted two quick goals to cut the lead to 11-9, but the Tar Heels held on for the victory.

“It definitely means a lot, I’d say this is probably one of the nicest venues in college lacrosse so, anytime you play in Klöckner you want to play well especially against a good team like UVa,” said Holman. “It means a lot for the guys in this program since no one’s ever beaten Virginia and it’s definitely a monkey off our back but, we didn’t come up here to beat Virginia, we came up here to win a Championship and we have Duke on Sunday so we’re excited about that.”

Virginia’s Stanwick contributed 7 points in the losing cause to become Virginia’s all-time leading scorer.

The result marked the first time North Carolina has defeated Virginia since 2004 and the first time North Carolina has advanced to the ACC Championship Game since 2009. The Tar Heels will now face Duke, who they also faced in the 2009 ACC Championship Game, on Sunday at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast by ESPNU and available on ESPN3.

For complete coverage of the 2012 ACC Outdoor Men’s Lacrosse, visit http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-mens-lacrosse-championship.html