North Carolina vs. Cornell
March 23, 2005
The Game Story:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - No. 19 North Carolina got a five-goal, one-assist performance by Jed Prossner and an 11-save effort by Paul Spellman to defeat No. 10 Cornell Wednesday night 9-5 at Fetzer Field. The victory gave UNC head coach John Haus his 100th collegiate coaching victory in his 11th season as a head coach and during the night Prossner both scored his 100th career goal while also moving into fifth place all-time in career goal scoring at North Carolina.

The victory over the Big Red (2-2) broke a four-match losing streak for Carolina, which improved to 2-4 on the season heading into a key Atlantic Coast Conference matchup Saturday at 1 p.m. against fourth-ranked Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. The Tar Heels did it Wednesday night behind the timely offensive efforts of Prossner and senior attackman Mike McCall, who had two goals and two assists, and a stellar defense, which forced 22 Cornell turnovers while also holding the Big Red scoreless for a span of 28:41 during the second and third quarters of the game. Paul Spellman, UNC's senior goalkeeper, had his finest game of the season, repeatedly frustrating any hopes Cornell had of rallying. Spellman made 11 saves and allowed only five goals. He made fives saves in the second quarter and another four in the fourth quarter when Cornell outshot the Tar Heels 12-5 but was unable to cut into the Carolina lead.

The game did not start auspiciously for UNC, however. Cornell outhustled the Tar Heels in the first quarter, taking nine shots to three for UNC and winning 18 ground balls to only eight for Carolina. Fortunately, UNC trailed only 1-0 after the first 15 minutes on Derek Haswell's goal off an assist by Sean Greenhalgh with 9:08 to play. When Dave Bush won the ground ball on the opening face-off of the second quarter and went down and scored past Spellman eight seconds into the period Cornell led 2-0. But the Tar Heels would eventually change the momentum.

Spellman made saves on the last five shots Cornell took in the period and UNC launched a scoring run after holding off a Cornell extra-man opportunity. Prossner finally dented the scoreboard for UNC with 10:16 left in the half off an assist by McCall. The goal was the 100th of the senior's remarkable career at Carolina. Just over a minute later the Tar Heels tied the score at 2-2 on a nifty individual move by Ryan Blair.

UNC truly seized the momentum on the ensuing face-off when junior rope man Hayward Howard, who had seven ground balls on the night, gathered up the loose ball, split the defense and scored past Big Red goalie Matt McMonagle with 8:34 to play in the second quarter. It was the second goal of Howard's career.

UNC scored three more times before the half was over. Prossner notched his second goal, assisted by McCall with 5:14 to play in the half and then the Tar Heels cashed in on a pair of extra-man opportunities to make the score 6-2. After an offside penalty on Drew Webb of Cornell, Blair fed McCall at 4:26 for a 5-2 lead and then Bryant Will assisted Jed Prossner at 3:07 after a conduct foul on the Big Red bench.

Carolina extended the lead to 8-2 by scoring the opening two goals of the second half. Andrew McElduff fed Prossner at 13:04 and then Prossner scored his fifth goal of the game from a nearly impossible angle with 6:18 left in the third quarter.

Sloppy clearing by UNC, which was only 16 for 28 on the night, led to second chances for Cornell late in the quarter and the Big Red took advantage. Sean Greenhalgh backed his defender in and scored on a tremendous individual effort with 1:11 to play in the period and then Kevin Nee scored off an assist by Derek Haswell just 12 seconds later. The goal by Greenhalgh halted a period of 28:41 without a score for Cornell.

Cornell had the ball for most of the fourth quarter as Carolina failed on four clears in the period and also committed six turnovers. Nevertheless, the Big Red could not take full advantage. Cornell outshot UNC 12-5 in the final period but the two teams only traded goal. Spellman made four saves in the final quarter and the Tar Heel defense also did a superb job by forcing eight Big Red turnovers in the final 15 minutes.

Neither team could find the back of the net until Brian Clayton scored for Cornell with 2:50 to play. But Lance Zimmerman won his 11th face-off in 18 attempts on the ensuing draw and Prossner found McCall for an insurance goal with 2:26 to play.

Prossner's five goals give him 104 for his career. He passed Harper Peterson, Merrill Turnbull and Jeff Sonke on the UNC all-time chart in one night. He now stands fifth alone in the category. Ahead of him in UNC lore are Bert Fett with 128, Mac Ford with 111, John Webster with 109 and Dennis Goldstein with 108.

The five goals allowed by Carolina were the fewest given up by the Tar Heels in a single game since 22 games ago -- an 11-5 victory over Air Force on April 26, 2005.