North Carolina vs. Providence
April 21, 2007
The Game Story:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - No. 10 North Carolina scored the opening nine goals of the game and went on to defeat Providence 15-5 Saturday in men's lacrosse action before a sun-soaked crowd of 748 fans at Fetzer Field. The victory sent off the Tar Heels' four seniors - Sam Wagner, Ben Staines, David Ryan and Tom Sciolla - in style in their final home regular-season game in Carolina Blue uniforms.

Carolina dominated the game statistically and featured a balanced offensive attack in improving to 9-4 on the season. The Heels halted a three-game winning streak by the Friars as Providence fell to 3-9 on the campaign. Carolina is off to its best 13-game start at 9-4 since 2004. Prior to that the best 13-match start was 10-3 in 1996.

UNC outshot the Friars 49-18 in the game, including a 15-1 margin in the first quarter and 29-4 margin in the first half. Carolina won the battle of ground balls 55-24 and UNC was dominant in the face-off circle, winning 17 of 24 battles there. UNC also cleared the ball effectively, successfully completing all 14 of its attempts, and the offense committed only 10 turnovers on the day.

Offensively, the Tar Heels had a myriad of players get involved in the attack. Bart Wagner had five points in the match on three goals and two assists, the five points equaling his career high in a match. Freshman midfielder Sean Delaney had a career-high three goals in the game. Freshman attackman Kevin Federico had a goal and three assists, setting career highs for both points and assists in a match.

Shane Walterhoefer won 17 of 23 face-offs and gathered in 11 ground balls, just two short of his career highs for face-offs won in a game and ground balls in a match. Bart Wagner had seven ground balls, his career high, and Ben Staines, senior short-stick defensive midfielder, matched his career high for ground balls with six.

Walterhoefer's has now won 179 face-offs this season, the second most in a single year in Carolina history. He has moved into fifth place in career face-offs won with 293, five short of Jason Sanders, who won 298 from 1993-96 and currently ranks fourth.

Other scorers for UNC included sophomore attackman Michael Burns with two goals and an assist, freshman attackman Gavin Petracca with two goals and an assist and senior attackman Sam Wagner with two goals. Junior midfielder Nick Tintle added a goal and an assist. Freshman attackman Colin Sherwood earned his first career point at UNC with an assist on one of Sam Wagner's two goals.

Providence had five different players score goals, while Brendan Ryan led the Friars with four assists.

Each team played three goalkeepers. Six of UNC's seven saves came from freshman Chris Madalon who played the first 27 minutes of the second half. Providence's starting goalkeeper Peter Littell played the opening 40:16 and he had 12 saves while allowing in 12 goals.

The nine wins by UNC mark only the second time since 1996 the Tar Heels have reached that standard. The other time was 2004 when the Heels finished 10-5.

Carolina opened up a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Nick Tintle opened the scoring at 7:30 on a dodge move and just 58 seconds later Bart Wagner fed Sean Delaney to make the score 2-0. Tintle earned the assist on a goal by Bart Wagner with 2:44 to play in the first quarter to finish off the scoring in the period.

The Tar Heels exploded for the first six goals of the second period to lead 9-0 with 3:25 to play in the half. Wagner scored the first goal of the period followed by back-to-back goals by Michael Burns, both on difficult angle shots from the right side goal line extended. Sean Delaney then got into the act as on successive extra-man opportunities he took passes from fellow freshman Kevin Federico and scored to boost the lead to 8-0 with 5:32 left before halftime.

Carolina went up 9-0 on sophomore attackman Matthias McCall's third career goal with 3:25 to play. Providence then answered with two tallies before intermission as Brendan Ryan assisted on goals by Bennett Murphy at 2:17 and Michael Farley at 1:15.

Each team scored three goals in the third quarter to move the score to 12-5 in favor of Carolina heading into the final quarter. Bart Wagner scored 29 seconds into the quarter off a nifty assist by Michael Burns. Providence answered that goal with a tally by Bobby Labadini with 7:40 to play. But Federico and Petracca hooked up on the next two goals to put the Heels up 12-4. Petracca scored from Federico at 6:50 and then Federico scored from Petracca exactly one minute later.

The Friars ended the quarter with back-to-back goals, the first by Jason Trout, assisted by Brendan Ryan, and the second by Jackson Fallon on an extra-man chance, assisted by Ryan yet again.

Carolina outscored the Friars 3-0 in the final quarter. Petracca scored unassisted at 11:14 and then senior Sam Wagner scored two late goals to make the final 15-5. With 2:35 to play Wagner took a pass from fellow senior Ben Staines to score on a fast break. Then after Colin Sherwood did yeoman work to break a Providence clear, claimed the ground ball and he fed Wagner for an empty net goal with 1:25 to play, ending the scoring.

UNC will be off before playing second-ranked Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals next Friday at 8:30 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.