North Carolina vs. Ohio State
February 16, 2002
The Game Story:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.-- University of North Carolina sophomore midfielder Johnny Seivold, son of former Tar Heel All-America midfielder Joey Seivold, scored the biggest goal of his college career to date with 2:33 left in the third overtime period to lift the Tar Heels to a 13-12 men's lacrosse victory over Ohio State in the season opener for both teams. A crowd of 1,254 witnessed the overtime thriller at Henry Stadium. Seivold beat his defender and shot high and hard to the upper near corner to beat Ohio State goalkeeper Tony Russo on the game-winning shot after 69 minutes and 27 seconds of play. Russo had been spectacular all day, making 20 saves while the Tar Heels blitzed the Buckeyes' goal with 63 shots. The game was tied nine times from start to finish and there were four lead changes in the coaching matchup of two former UNC All-America defenders with John Haus, '83, coaching the Tar Heels and Joe Breschi, '90, on the sidelines for Ohio State. Carolina dominated the game statistically but Russo was huge in goal for the Buckeyes and kept them in the game throughout. The Buckeyes also capitalized on transition goals and their extra-man offense opportunities and they shot the ball with amazing accuracy.

UNC outshot the Buckeyes 33-12 in the first half but trailed at halftime 7-6. The deficit had been as big as 7-4 before Carolina sophomore attackman Andrew Lucas scored back-to-back goal in the late stages of the first half. Russo was a big factor in the first half as he makes 10 of his saves before intermission. In the second half neither team could produced more than a one-goal lead and freshman Tar Heel goalie Paul Spellman stepped up his play by making 11 saves in the second half and overtime. Freshman midfielder Bryant Will and junior midfielder Austin Garrison wrapped goals around a tally by the Buckeyes' Curtis Smith, one of his four goals on the day, in the the third quarter to leave the score tied at 8-8 heading into the final period.

UNC junior midfielder Tim Gosier scored back-to-back goal in the fourth quarter to give the Heels the lead at 10-9 with 9:37 left in the period. That was Carolina's first lead since late in the first quarter. Ohio State answered with tallied by Anthony Gilardi and Smith to retake the lead 11-10. Lucas scored his third goal of the game for the Tar Heels with 5:31 to play to knot things again. Ohio State took the lead with 2:06 to play when Smith scored his fourth goal to improve the Buckeyes to 4-for-4 on extra-man chances. But Gosier answered with his third goal of the fourth quarter to tie the game 12-12 with 1:31 left.

The Tar Heels went on to squander the two extra-man opportunities and Spellman's save on a shot by Smith with 1:36 left in the first overtime was amazing. Smith broke a UNC clearing attempt, scooped up the ground ball and and nothing between he and the goal but Spellman but the freshman goalie tipped the shot with his stick to keep the Tar Heels' hopes alive and set up Seivold's eventual game-winning heroics.

UNC outshot the Buckeyes for the game 63-31, won the ground balls 44-31 and took 18 faceoffs to 12 for OSU. But the Buckeyes were better on extra man opportunities with four goals in four chances while Carolina went one for six including not scoring on chances in the last minute of regulation and the first minute of the first overtime.

Carolina travels to Lewisburg, Pa. next Saturday to meet defending Patriot Conference champion Bucknell at 1 p.m. The Bison defeated the Tar Heels last season 9-4.