|CHAPEL HILL, N.C.-- For the second consecutive Sunday the University of Denver
menĘs lacrosse team threw a scare into a Top 10 opponent but the #10 North
Carolina Tar Heels held on to beat the Pioneers 9-8 at Fetzer Field Sunday
afternoon before a rain-soaked crowd of 1,117.
Last Sunday the Pioneers gave #1-ranked Syracuse fits before falling 13-10 when
the Orangemen went on a 4-1 run in the last eight minutes to win the game. The
scenario was different Sunday as Carolina built a five-goal lead in the first
half and had to withstand three UD goals in the final seven minutes of the
fourth quarter to emerge with the win.|
UNC freshman attackman Jed Prossner made the big plays for the Tar Heels in the
clutch as he assisted on CarolinaĘs sixth and seventh goals and then scored the
eighth and ninth himself. Junior attackman Steven Will was the only other Tar
Heel to score in the multiple goal category while senior midfielder Pat Jackson
chipped in with two assists. Denver was the first team this season to hold the
Tar Heels to single digits in the goal department.
The Pioneers (3-3) were led by Matt Brown who had three goals and Erik Swanson
who had one goal and three assists.
Carolina went ahead 5-0 in the first half as five different UNC players scored
in the run. Sophomore attackman Andrew Lucas opened up the scoring with 9:39
left in the first quarter and sophomore midfielder Johnny Seivold and Will
added goals before the end of the first quarter, both off of assists by
Senior midfielder Austin Garrison and junior midfielder Kyle Bell added goals
in the first eight minutes of the second quarter to build a five-goal cushion.
The Pioneers got on the board with 4:18 left in the second quarter on an
unassisted goal by Greer Hanlon. That goal was answered by Carolina less than
two minutes before halftime as Prossner fed Will on an extra-man situation.
Just as UNC had done eight days ago against Delaware the Tar Heels came out in
the second half flat and Denver took advantage. Back-to-back goals by
defenseman Cory Vann and Brown cut the Tar HeelsĘ lead to 6-3 with 8:12 to play
in the third quarter. Bryant Will, Steven WillĘs younger brother, answered
with a goal for UNC off an assist by Prossner but before the end of the third
quarter Denver got a goal by Mike Petrucci to make it 7-4 Carolina heading into
the final quarter.
BrownĘs second goal of the game, off the first of three assist by Swanson, cut
the lead to two goals 1:23 into the fourth quarter but Carolina seized the
momentum with back to back goals by Prossner, the first with 12 minutes left on
an extra-man, and the second an spectacular unassisted goal with 8:03 to play.
But to its credit Denver would simply not go away. The Pioneers picked up
their passing game in the last seven minutes to almost pull off a splendid
comeback. Swanson finished off a brilliant fast break with 6:36 to play. The
Tar Heels held on defense but Steven WillĘs shot on a fast break was saved by
DenverĘs Jeff Nunziato. On the ensuing possession, the Pioneers capitalized
with a goal by Mike Kenlay off SwansonĘs feed with 3:56 to go. Carolina won
the ensuing faceoff (the Heels won six of seven draws in the final quarter) but
SeivoldĘs shot caromed off the right pipe and Denver won possession.
CarolinaĘs Dave Duffy got flagged for slashing on the possession and Denver
converted on the extra-man with Brown taking a feed from Swanson with 2:11 to
The Pioneers would never touch the ball again, however. Kevin Frew won the
faceoff for Carolina and the Heels showed tremendous discipline, holding the
ball in their attacking box for the final 2:11. Frew won some big faceoffs on
the day for UNC, capturing 12 of his 18 attempts.
The Tar Heels will travel to Durham, N.C., Wednesday night to meet sixth-ranked
Duke at 7:30 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils have dominated the Tar
Heels in recent years, winning seven of the last eight meetings, including the
last four in a row. The game will be worth three points in the annual Carlyle
Cup standings, an all-sports trophy contended for between the two schools. UNC
head into the game with a 21-9.5 point lead over Duke in this yearĘs