UNC Builds Big Early Lead, Eases Past Detroit
from press release
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - R.G. Keenan won 16 of 18 face-offs, helping sixth-ranked North Carolina dominate possession en route to an 18-8 men's lacrosse victory over Detroit in the Tar Heels' home opener at Fetzer Field Saturday. Jimmy Dunster scored three goals for Coach Joe Breschi's team and Marcus Holman and Chad Tutton each had four-point games for Carolina, which got points from 13 different players.
UNC, which is now 3-0 on the campaign, broke open a close game by scoring four goals in a span of two minutes in the first half and then went on a 12-2 scoring run from 10:43 in the second quarter to 5:05 in the fourth quarter to gain its biggest lead at 18-5. Detroit scored three goals in the final three minutes of the game to make the score look more respectable.
Carolina outshot the Titans 44-26 and won the ground ball battle 51-32. UNC dominated the face-off X, thanks in large part to Keenan, 19-8. It was a sloppy game ball handling wise on both sides of the field as Detroit committed 25 turnovers and UNC 24.
Dunster led the way with three goals for UNC while Holman and Tutton each had two goals and two assists. Joey Sankey and Pat Foster each had two goals and an assist and Davey Emala had a goal and two assists for Carolina. Ryan Creighton and Jimmy Bitter each scored twice for UNC and sophomore middie Will Campbell had a career-high two assists. Other goals came from Jack McBride and T.J. Kemp while freshmen Walker Chafee and Matt Shannon each had their first career assists.
Steven Rastivo played the first 45 minutes in goal for UNC and made eight saves while allowing five goals. He also had a game-high eight ground balls. Kieran McDonald led the Tar Heels with a career-high four caused turnovers. UNC had 14 caused turnovers overall while Detroit had 11. Jordan Houtby had four caused turnovers for the Titans and a game-high six grounders for UMD. The Titans were led offensively by Shayne Adams with three goals while Joel Matthews had two goals and three assists for Detroit. Alex Maini had three assists for Detroit, which fell to 1-3 on the season. A.J. Levell started for Detroit and made 10 first half saves while allowing eight goals. Chris Kelly played the second half for UDM and had 10 goals allowed while making three saves.
The big story for Carolina was Keenan, who has now won 48 of 61 face-offs in three games, a winning percentage of .789. Against the Titans, he won 16 of 18 for a percentage of .889. That's the sophomore best winning percentage in a game, topping the .857 mark he had against Dartmouth on March 22, 2011.
The teams were tied at 2-2 late in the first quarter before a goal by Joey Sankey with 1:53 left in the quarter gave the Heels the lead for good. Davey Emala scored off an assist by Marcus Holman with 41 seconds left to make it 4-2 and Detroit's Jason McDonald crushed Emala after the whistle, earning an unreleasable penalty for an illegal body check to the head. UNC took advantage by scoring two man-up goals in 29 seconds, one by Pat Foster and one by Joey Sankey. After that four-goal run UNC led 6-2 with 14:53 left in the half.
The first half ended 8-3 in Carolina's favor, but UNC scored four times in the first six minutes of the third quarter with Foster, Dunster, Bitter and Holman scoring to make it 12-3 at the 9:44 mark. After Detroit scored twice, UNC ran off the next six goals with Chad Tutton scoring twice in the scoring run. When T.J. Kemp scored an unassisted goal with 5:05 to play UNC was ahead 18-5. Detroit got three late goals, including two in the final 51 seconds to bring the final to 18-8.
Carolina will have a week off before meeting Navy next Saturday at noon at Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. Detroit plays next Saturday at Mercer at 12 noon.