Hofstra vs. North Carolina
March 16, 2005
The Game Story:
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Hofstra led from start to finish and outscored No. 15 North Carolina 4-1 in the fourth quarter Wednesday night to gain its first win of the season and hand the Tar Heels their third successive loss in men's lacrosse 12-8 before 2,262 fans at James M. Shuart Stadium. Carolina was led by a splendid five-goal effort by senior first-team All-America attackman Jed Prossner and a solid effort in the goal with 12 saves by senior goalkeeper Paul Spellman but it was not enough to overcame the overall effort of a fired up Hofstra team which improved to 1-3 on the season. North Carolina fell to 1-3 with its third straight loss.

UNC has little time to dwell on the loss as the Tar Heels must turn around an play one of the nation's stellar teams on Saturday afternoon as No. 3-ranked Duke, undefeated at 6-0 visits Fetzer Field for a 2:30 p.m. matchup. The match will be the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for UNC while Duke is 1-0 in the league after winning earlier this season at No. 4 Maryland 10-8. The match will be worth one point in the 2004-05 Carlyle Cup competition, the annual all-sports trophy which the two schools' athletic department compete for. UNC holds a slight 11.5-5.5 lead in this year's competition. An upset win by the Tar Heels Saturday would go a long way to providing Carolina with its second Carlyle Cup win in the trophy's five-year history. Duke won in 200-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04. Carolina was the winner in 2001-02.

Hofstra jumped out to a 4-2 lead after the opening quarter of play Wednesday and was never headed in the match. The Pride capitalized early to gain a quick 2-0 lead on the Tar Heels in the first three minutes of the match and make the Tar Heels play from behind for the entire first game. Chris Unterstein gathered in a loose ball and scored at the 13:46 mark of the first quarter and just 1:13 after that Hofstra scored again as Athan Ianucci scored off an assist by Unterstein. Prossner scored the first of his five goals on a man-up situation for the Tar Heels with 10:41 left in the opening period off of one of Ryan Blair's three assists, but Hofstra scored the next two goals and eventually led 4-2 after the first period.

The Pride was even more dominant in the second quarter against the Tar Heels and outshot North Carolina 10-5 in the period while increasing the lead to 5-2 by halftime. UNC senior goalkeeper Paul Spellman kept the Tar Heels within shouting distance in the second quarter as he made six saves in the quarter despite the fact Hofstra dominated the possession time in the quarter. The only goal of the quarter was by John Keysor as he beat Spellman with 11:09 left in the half.

UNC gained some momentum after halftime as goals by Jed Prossner and Mike McCall in the first 1:32 cut the Pride's lead to 5-4 but UNC killed its own rally with a penalty on the ensuing face-off that led to an extra-man goal by Ryan Vilor just 29 seconds after McCall had cut the lead to one goal. Goals by Keysor and James Morgan pushed the Pride advantage to 8-4 with 7:53 left in the third period.

Carolina staged its second rally as Prossner scored at 7:25, followed by freshman Nick Tintle's goal at 6:04 off an assist by junior rope man Hayward Howard. That goal cut the lead to 8-6 and Hofstra was assessed two penalties on the play but UNC wasted the extra-man and did not cut into the Pride lead at that time.

Prossner scored the upper right 90 with 2:20 left in the quarter and UNC appeared poised to stage a remarkable comeback win, but it wasn't to be. After Hofstra won the opening face-off of the fourth quarter, the Pride threw the ball away but Carolina was unable to get a shot off on the ensuing possession with the chance to tie the game. Hofstra then came down and Ryan Vilar's goal with 12:53 to play started a four-goal fourth quarter run that eventually made the final score lopsided.

Hofstra went on to get goals by Ryan Lucas, Ryan Vilor and John Keysor to boost the lead to 12-7 with 56 seconds to play. Prossner finished the scoring for Carolina with 22 seconds to play on an extra-man situation.

Hofstra dominated the game from a statistical viewpoint as the Pride outshot the Tar Heels 34-31 and had 36 ground balls to 33 for UNC. The Pride also enjoyed an enormous advantage in the face-off circle, winning 15 of 23 opportunities.

Spellman finished with 12 saves for UNC while Matt Southard had 10 saves for Hofstra, including five in the opening quarter when the Pride bolted to a 4-2 lead.

Both teams benefitted from the extra-man situations as UNC converted on three of seven chances and Hofstra on two of four tries.

Clearing was a key area of the game as the Tar Heels were successful on only 11 of 20 clearing attempts. The Tar Heels were able to force Hofstra into only three failed clearing tries.

Besides Prossner's offensive heroics, Mike McCall finished with two goals and one assist for UNC. Ryan Blair had three assists.

John Keysor had three goals and two assists, Ryan Vilar had three goals and Chris Unterstein had two goals and one assist for the balanced Hofstra Pride offense. Both Athan Ianucci and Ryan Lucas added a goal and two assists for the Pride.