Massachusetts vs. North Carolina
February 28, 2004
The Game Story:
BALTIMORE, MD. - Junior goalkeeper Paul Spellman (Cockeysville, Md.) made 18 saves and the starting attack trio of Jed Prossner, Mike McCall and Scott Falatach each recorded a hat trick as the No. 8 North Carolina men's lacrosse team opened its 2004 season with a 12-7 victory over No. 7 Massachusetts in a match played at Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, Md. The game was also the season opener for the Minutemen.

UNC's stout defense, led by Spellman's 18 saves, equalling his second highest total in a game in his Carolina career, allowed the Minutemen only four goals in the first three quarters as the Tar Heels scored early and steadily pulled away for the victory. Prossner, a junior from Easton Md., led the point parade wth three goals and two assists while both McCall, a junior from Yorktown, N.Y., and Falatach, a sophomore from Stevensville, Md., had three goal and an assist. Junior midfielder Bryant Will added three assists for the Tar Heels while both junior midfielder Lance Zimmerman and sophomore attackman Ryan Blair had a goal and an assist.

Carolina sped to an early 3-0 as McCall provided the early offensive fireworks for Coach John Haus' team. McCall took a feed from McCall and scored 2:02 into the first quarter and just over two minutes after that McCall provided the assist on Blair's extra-man goal to make it 2-0. With 6:44 to play in the first quarter, Will again provided McCall with an assist to make it 3-0.

After UMass' Neil Lundberg scored the first of his two goals to cut the lead to 3-1, McCall made it 4-1, with an assist by Prossner, 19 seconds into the second quarter. Massachusetts wrapped goals by Brett Garber and Ryan Connolly around the first of Falatach's three goals during the remainder of the first half and Carolina went to the locker room ahead by 5-3.

The Tar Heels put the game away by scoring the first three goals of the third quarter. Neither team scored in the period for close to 10 minutes before Falatach scored an unassisted goal to make the score 6-3. With 2:35 left in the third quarter, Lance Zimmerman recorded UNC's second extra-man goal of the match, assisted by Blair to make the score 7-3. Just 14 seconds after that goal the Tar Heels extended their lead to five goals as Prossner fed Falatach for his third goal of the game.

UMass pulled within four goals on a tally by Chris Doyle with 13.1 seconds left in the third quarter but the Tar Heels were not deterred as Prossner took over in the fourth quarter. He scored 44 seconds into the period off an assist by Zimmerman and when sophomore midfielder Andrew McElduff scored off an assist by Falatach with 13:24 to play, the Tar Heels had their biggest lead of the day at six goals.

Prossner would score two more goals for UNC in the fourth quarter, both unassisted, while UMass kept it close with three fourth quarter goals of its own.

Carolina will return to play next Friday for the Tar Heels' home opener against No. 18 Navy (1-1) at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill. Game time is 7:00 p.m.