North Carolina vs. Air Force
April 26, 2003
The Game Story:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Freshman Scott Falatach and sophomores Mike McCall and Paul Spellman made sure the No. 14 North Carolina men's lacrosse seniors went out as winners in their final home regular season game as the Tar Heels defeated the Air Force Falcons 11-5 Saturday afternoon before 305 brave souls at soggy Fetzer Field. Most of the game was played in driving rain and thunderstorms had soaked the field all night prior to game time.

Falatach equaled his career highs for goals and points in a game with four goals and five points which he had set against Virginia just eight days ago. McCall added two goals and three assist and Spellman made 12 saves and allowed only five goals in 54 plus minutes in the goal.

UNC's win gives the Tar Heels a 7-6 record and makes them eligible for post-season play. Air Force fell to 3-9 with one game remaining against arch-rival Denver. The Falcons cashed in for three goals on five extra-man opportunities to stay within striking distance most of the second half. Greg Dangler led the Falcons with two goals and two assists.

Carolina jumped out to a 6-0 lead with only 12:02 gone in the game and cruised after that. Coach John Haus liberally used his bench in the second half as everyone on the UNC roster played. The game marked the final home appearance for senior midfielders Steven Will, Austin Garrison, Kyle Bell and Peter Anselmo, defensemen Bowen White and Joe Hubbard and goalkeeper Andrew Larkin. All four senior midfielders had points in the game -- Will with a goal and two assists, Garrison with two assists, Anselmo with a goal and Bell with a goal. Larkin played the final 5:25 in goal and had two saves while shutting out the Falcons during his time on the field.

Falatach scored three of his four goals in the first quarter as the Tar Heels bolted to their early lead. Other first quarter goals came from Bell, Anselmo and Jed Prossner.

Air Force cut the lead to 6-2 at the half with two goals just 22 seconds apart late in the period. The Tar Heels stretched the lead to their biggest margin at 9-2 on a goal by Steven Will and two by McCall in the third quarter. To Air Force's credit they would not quit and extra-man goals at 8:30 and 8:05 of the fourth quarter made it 9-5. But the Tar Heels struck back quickly with goals by Bryant Will and Falatach to end the scoring for the day.

UNC's 7-6 record clinches the fourth straight .500 record or above for Carolina after the program posted three successive losing seasons from 1997-99. Carolina was 8-6 in 2000, 6-6 in 2001, 8-5 in 2002 and 7-6 this season. Carolina's six losses have come by a combined total of six goals, three of the losses in overtime including one to Johns Hopkins and one to Virginia.