Virginia vs. North Carolina
April 20, 2012
The Game Story:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - Ninth-ranked North Carolina got three goals from Marcus Holman and two goals and three assists from Joey Sankey to upset fourth-ranked Virginia 11-9 Friday night in the second semifinal game of the 2012 ACC Men's Lacrosse Tournament at Klockner Stadium. The Tar Heels advance to the championship game for only the second time since 1996 and will play Duke, the tournament's top seed, Sunday at 3 p.m.

The win for Carolina broke a nine-game losing streak for the Tar Heels against Virginia as it beat the Wahoos for the first time since April 11, 2004. Carolina, which last won the ACC Tournament championship in 1996, last played in the ACC Tournament final in 2009 when it lost to Duke 15-13 in Chapel Hill.

The Tar Heels have now won six of their past seven games and improved to 10-4 on the season while Virginia fell to 10-3 with the loss despite a seven-point effort by senior attackman Steele Stanwick who had seven points in a game for the third time in the last four outings for the defending NCAA champion Wahoos.

Holman finished with three goals and an assist for Carolina while Joey Sankey had two goals and three assists for the Tar Heels. Jack McBride had two second-half goals for the Tar Heels, including the game-winning goal with 6:33 to play in the game. That was the 100th career goal for McBride, a graduate student, who played his undergrad career at Princeton.

Ryan Creighton had a goal and an assist for the Heels while Jimmy Bitter, Chad Tutton and Nicky Galasso each scored once. Pat Foster and Thomas Wood added assists for Carolina.





Stanwick led the scoring for the Cavaliers with his two-goal, five-assist effort. Rob Emery and Colin Briggs also had two goals each for the Wahoos while Matt White, Chris Bocklet and Chris LaPierre each scored single goals for Virginia.

Virginia outshot the Tar Heels 41-29 but the Tar Heels had the edge in shots on cage 22-16. Virginia also led in ground balls 38-31 while Carolina led in the face-off circle 11-10. UNC's defense forced 16 Virginia turnovers while Carolina had only 12 miscues.

A back-and-forth first half resulted in a 4-4 halftime tie with Holman's goal with 2:06 left in the half evening the score after 30 minutes.

The Cavaliers went up less than three minutes into the second half on a man-up goal by Rob Emery but UNC answered with goals by McBride and Sankey and the Tar Heels never trailed again. Stanwick's unassisted goal with 6:06 left in the third quarter tied the game for the last time at 6-6 with 6:06 left in the third quarter. UNC took the lead for good on Holman's second goal of the game as he rolled the crease to score past Rob Fortunato with 2:46 left in the third quarter.

The Tar Heels upped their lead to 8-6 with 12:22 to play on a Nicky Galasso goal assisted by Sankey. Less than two minutes later, Virginia answered with a fast break goal by Chris LaPierre off Stanwick's third of five assists.

Carolina then got three successive goals with tallies by Chad Tutton, Jack McBride and Marcus Holman making the score 11-7 with 1:55 left. After he scored, Holman was assessed a one-minute non-releasable penalty and Virginia still had life. Emery and White scored for Virginia in a span of just 40 seconds to cut UNC's lead to 11-9 with 1:03 to play.

Carolina's R.G. Keenan won the ensuing face-off and the Tar Heels were able to kill off most of the remaining minute. Virginia had one final chance but the UNC defense held firm and ran out the clock.