North Carolina vs. Air Force
April 13, 2005
The Game Story:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Mike McCall and Ryan Blair led a balanced scoring attack with three goals each and Paul Spellman pulled within one save of the school record for career stops as the North Carolina men's lacrosse team defeated Air Force 14-5 Wednesday afternoon at Fetzer Field on a day when the elements made the footing treacherous and the ball slippery.

UNC put the Falcons (3-6) away early by motoring to a 10-0 halftime lead as nine different Tar Heels scored goals in the first half. With Carolina employing different midfield configurations from past games, several players stepped up into the scoring column as Rob Driscoll, Lance Zimmerman, Kyle Henderson and Andrew McElduff all produced goals and Bryant Will had his best feeding game of the season with three assists.

McCall, a senior from Yorktown, N.Y., finished with five points on three goals and two assists with all three of his goals in the first half. He was the only Tar Heel to score more than once in the opening 30 minutes as UNC spread the offensive prowess around in a balanced fashion. Blair finished with three goals and an assist and senior Jed Prossner had a goal and two assists.

It was a day of firsts for Tar Heels as junior attackman Sean Link, freshman defenseman Tim Kaiser and senior defenseman Charley Conkling all scored their first career goals. Link also added his first career assist. UNC played every player who was in uniform for the game.

Spellman went the first 45 minutes in goal and made nine saves while allowing three goals. The senior from Cockeysville, Md., ran his career save total to 628. He is one short of the career save record of 629 established by Tom Sears (1980-83).

Prossner's goal was the 107th of his career leaving him just one goal behind Dennis Goldstein for the No. 4 spot on the UNC career goal list. McCall increased his career goal total to 93, just two shy of the No. 10 spot held by Jason Wade with 95 goals. Will's three assists increased his career total to 58, five short of the No. 10 spot on the Tar Heel all-time list.

The Falcons were led offensively by Conrad Lochocki who had a pair of goals. Will Meister, D.J. Benzing and Kevin Crumrine each recorded single tallies for Air Force.

UNC jumped on top in the game on Andrew McElduff's fast break goal at 10:02 of the first quarter. UNC scored in transition again at the 8:42 mark as Bryant Will fed Mike McCall for the first of his three goals. The UNC lead grew to 3-0 on Sean Link's first career goal as Jed Prossner fed Link on the crease with 3:32 to go in the period. Charley Conkling finished off the scoring in the opening period at the 1:15 mark as he cleared the ball himself and then fired a shot past Air Force goalkeeper Justin Pavoni.

The Tar Heels were even more potent in the second quarter as they outscored the Falcons 6-0, including a run of four goals in the final 4:22 of the half. Blair and McCall had goals to push the lead to 6-0 in the opening two and a half minutes of the quarter. After an eight-minute lull, freshman defenseman Tim Kaiser notched his first goal of his career after executing his own clear successfully at the 4:22 mark. Just 13 seconds later, senior midfielder Lance Zimmerman scored past Pavoni after claiming a face-off win. UNC then extended the lead to 9-0 as McCall took a pass in front from Will and scored on an extra-man opportunity with exactly three minutes remaining before halftime. The Tar Heels finished off the first half as Sean Link fed a cross box pass to freshman middie Rob Driscoll whose low, hard shot found the back of the net and beat the clock with less than a second remaining in the half.

Air Force recorded its first goal as midfielder D.J. Benzing scooped up a ground ball and scored an unassisted tally 12 seconds into the second half. Carolina countered that goal with a run of three goals in less than three minutes time with Blair sandwiching goals around a score by Prossner. McCall assisted twice in the span. The run put UNC up 13-1 with 11:47 left in the third quarter.

The Falcons ran off the next four goals of the contest with Conrad Lochocki scoring twice. His goal with 12:31 left in the fourth quarter cut Carolina's lead to 13-5. UNC put the final goal on the scoreboard with 10:33 to play when midfielder Kyle Henderson claimed a ground ball to the left of the goal and scored past Pavoni, who had 13 saves on the afternoon and a game-high 12 ground balls.

Lance Zimmerman was a key for the Tar Heels as the senior won 13 of 15 face-off attempts and led UNC's 70 ground ball effort with 10 of his own. Those 10 ground balls in a game were a career high for Zimmerman. Junior Dave Weery won four of six face-offs for the Tar Heels as well.

UNC outshot the Falcons 44-28 and had a ground ball advantage of 70-39.

The Tar Heels will be back in action when they play UMBC Saturday at 1 p.m. in Baltimore, Md.