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April 23, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The University of North Carolina will compete in the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship, which begins Friday, April 23, on Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium in College Park, just hours after picking up the team’s first-ever sweep of the end-of-the-year individual awards.
The sweep of Coach, Player and Freshman of the Year honors marks the fifth time a team has done so in the history of ACC men’s lacrosse. The last school to collect all three accolades was Duke in 2005 when head coach Mike Pressler (Coach), Matt Danowski (Player) and Zack Greer (Freshman) posted the award sweep. Prior to 2005, Virginia earned all three honors in 1997, 1999 and 2002.
North Carolina, which will meet host and fifth-ranked Maryland Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the second semifinal game of the ACC men’s tournament, has posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in head coach Joe Breschi’s first two seasons. The 2010 Coach of the Year, as announced by the conference office on Friday afternoon and voted on by the league’s four head coaches, led the Tar Heels to a 12-6 mark last season and an 11-1 record thus far this season.
Breschi led this year’s UNC squad to a 10-0 start of the 2010 season, while the last time a Carolina team had won its first 10 match-ups was in 1991 when the Tar Heels finished the season 16-0 and won the NCAA championship under first-year Dave Klarmann. Ironically, Breschi was an assistant coach on that 1991 team led by Klarmann, who was also the last North Carolina coach to earn the title of Coach of the Year (1996). Despite being the first coaching recognition in 13 years, Breschi’s honor is the fifth all-time for UNC.
Now in his 13th year as head coach, including the first 11 campaigns at Ohio State where he was 92-63, and the two seasons at Carolina where he is 23-7, Breschi is currently 115-70 (.621) overall.
Junior attackman and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate Billy Bitter of Stowe, Vt., picks up the program’s ninth overall Player of the Year honor and first since 1996 when Jason Wade led UNC to a 12-5 finish. Bitter, who played and started 11 of the Tar Heels’ 12 games this season, has scored at least one point in 29-consecutive games, a mark that puts him in a tie for the fifth-longest active scoring streak in the NCAA Division I.
Bitter has tallied 18 multi-goal games, including six already this season, 20 multi-assist games (seven in 2010) and 31 multi-point games (10 in 2010) over his three-year career. The two-time Player of the Week honoree currently leads the Tar Heels in assists (20) and points (39).
North Carolina newcomer Marcus Holman, who earns 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year, took full advantage of his last-minute chance to start his first-ever ACC game as he scored four goals and added an assist in UNC’s 9-7 victory over then-fourth-ranked and previously unbeaten Maryland. Holman earns the honor for the Tar Heel program for the third time and first since Jeff Sonke picked up the accolade in 1998.
Holman, who earned the start after this year’s Player of the Year Bitter was scratched from the lineup due to a leg injury, also picked up ACC Player of the Week and Nike Lacrosse Player of the Week honors for his performance. Holman owns 17 goals, seven assists, and 24 points in his rookie campaign. In addition, the Baltimore, Md., native has tallied 23 ground balls and forced four caused turnovers.
Friday’s ACC Championship semifinal games will be video-streamed live on ACCSelect, which can be found by accessing theACC.com. Sunday’s championship game, which will be held at 3:30 p.m., will be televised by Fox Sports and on the league’s regional sports network.