Men's Lacrosse ACCtion: Wednesday, March 10
March 11, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. - Sophomore attackman Thomas Wood scored a career-high five goals while adding an assist and junior attackman Billy Bitter had four goals and two assists to lead fourth-ranked North Carolina to a 13-7 win over 10th-ranked Duke in men's lacrosse action Wednesday before a crowd of 1,912 at Koskinen Stadium. The Tar Heel defense limited the Blue Devils to seven goals, the fewest the Blue Devils have scored against Carolina since March 20, 2002, and no Tar Heel opponent has scored more than seven against UNC's defense this season.
Coach Joe Breschi's defense forced the Blue Devils into almost as many turnovers, 22, as shots taken by Duke, 24. UNC has not allowed a team to score more than seven goals against it since the Blue Devils beat Carolina 12-11 in the NCAA quarterfinals on May 17, 2009.
Carolina got great offensive balance and its relentless defense prevented the Blue Devils from gaining an offensive rhythm for most of the night. After UNC took its initial lead less than 10 minutes into the match, the Tar Heels led the rest of the night except for a span of 35 seconds after the Blue Devils had tied the match briefly at 6-6 in the third quarter.
Wood and Bitter combined for five goals and two assists in a 7-1 scoring run after the Blue Devils had tied the game 6-6 with 4:03 to play in the third quarter.
Besides Bitter and Wood, UNC got two goals and two assists from senior midfielder Sean DeLaney, while senior midfielder Cryder DiPietro and freshman attackman Marcus Holman also had goals for the Heels. Max Quinzani had three goals for the Blue Devils while Josh Offit had a pair of goals and Zach Howell had a goal and an assist.
With the win, the Tar Heels ended an 11-game losing streak to the Blue Devils dating back to a 10-9 overtime win by Carolina at Koskinen Stadium on March 20, 2004 on a game decided by a goal by UNC's Lance Zimmerman in the first extra period. Carolina also ended a 15-game ACC regular-season losing streak with the win, a streak dating back to an 11-9 win over Virginia on April 10, 2004 at Fetzer Field.
UNC goalkeeper Chris Madalon made seven saves, allowed seven goals and had two ground balls, while Duke goalkeeper Dan Wigrizer made eight saves and allowed 13 goals in 57:36 of action. UNC junior defenseman Ryan Flanagan had a game-high three caused turnovers to go along with four ground balls and the assist on UNC's second goal of the match. Michael Burns led the Tar Heels with five ground balls while winning eight face-offs.
The Tar Heels outshot the Blue Devils 33-24 while the two teams were even in ground balls with 31 each and Duke had a slight edge in face-offs 10-8. Carolina's extra-man scored on four of seven opportunities. Carolina has scored on 11 of its 17 extra-man opportunities in the past three games.