North Carolina vs. Ohio State
May 15, 2004
The Game Story:
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State men's lacrosse team was defeated by No. 8-seed North Carolina in the opening round of the 2004 NCAA Championship, 13-6, in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday. OSU, which was making its second consecutive and overall appearance in the national tournament, ends its season 12-4 (5-0/1st GWLL). The Tar Heels (10-4, 2-1 ACC) advance to play No. 1-seed Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinal round next Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

The teams ended the first half tied at three, but UNC outscored the Buckeyes 10-3 in the second half, 3-1 in the third quarter and 7-2 in the fourth, for the win. No. 8-ranked Ohio State and No. 6-ranked North Carolina also met last Saturday, with the Tar Heels posting a 12-6 win in that contest.

The Buckeyes took the lead at the 6:59 mark of the first period when Anthony Gilardi (Sr., Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin) scored, assisted by Ben Wolff (So., Owings Mills, Md./Calvert Hall). The Tar Heels responded just 43 seconds later, as Mike McCall scored his first of three goals on the day. UNC took its first lead of the game when Bryant Will converted a man-up opportunity with 4:23 remaining in the first quarter. Josh Wittenberg (So., Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) tied the game at two, as he scored, set up by Gilardi, with 1:45 left in the stanza.

Each team managed just one goal in the second quarter, as the squads went into halftime tied at three. Johnnie Seivold scored the Tar Heels' third goal of the game with 6:12 on the clock, followed by a Kyle Olson (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) score with 1:07 remaining.

Craig Nolan (So., Plano, Texas/Jesuit College Prep) scored 1:21 into the third period, with Wolff assisting, before UNC scored four consecutive goals to go up, 7-4. Jed Prossner scored back-to-back at 9:43 and 8:19, followed by a Ryan Blair tally at 2:03.

UNC' s Lance Zimmerman opened the scoring in the fourth with a goal at 12:47. Olson stopped the Tar Heels' run with his second goal of the game at 11:39, but North Carolina responded with six goals in a row, including a man-up score, to put the game away. Buckeye senior goalie Tony Russo (Fallston, Md./Calvert Hall) ended the scoring with a goal with 1:51 left, marking his first collegiate tally.

Russo played 58:09 in net, making 13 saves and allowing 13 goals. Senior Jon Miller (Corning, N.Y./Corning East) came in for the last 1:51, making one save. For the Tar Heels, Paul Spellman played all 60 minutes, with 13 saves and six goals allowed.

Olson had a team-best two goals in the game, while Wolff had a team-high two assists. Gilardi, with a goal and a helper, also chipped in two points.

For UNC, McCall had a game-high three goals, while Will had a game-best three assists. Blair (2-2) and Will (1-3) led the Tar Heels with four points each in the win.