UNC Advances Over Navy 12-8

UNC Advances Over Navy 12-8

UNC Advances Over Navy 12-8

UNC Advances Over Navy 12-8

UNC Press Release:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Eighth-seeded North Carolina outscored Navy 5-1 in the fourth quarter and utilized a terrific performance by sophomore goalkeeper Grant Zimmerman to defeat the Midshipmen 12-8 in the first-round of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Tournament Sunday afternoon before 1,615 at Fetzer Field. The Tar Heels advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 and UNC will play top-seeded Duke for the third time this season next Sunday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Game time will be set Monday.

The win was only Carolina's second in the NCAA Tournament since 1993. The victory broke a five-game losing streak for the Tar Heels against the Midshipmen and it avenged a 19-8 loss to the Mids on March 2 of this season in a game played at Annapolis.

Carolina improved to 10-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played on Fetzer Field.

Navy, which went into the game ranked eighth by by the USILA coaches polls, saw its season end at 11-4. All three previous losses that Navy suffered this year had been by a single goal - against Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and Maryland. North Carolina improved to 10-5 on the season, an amazing turnaround from a 4-10 season of a year ago.

The game Sunday was an intense battle throughout the game and no team ever took more than a one-goal lead until 12:02 remained in the game. Bart Wagner of the Tar Heels scored his second goal of the game at that point, giving the Tar Heels a 9-7 lead. Navy won the ensuing face-off which led to a goal by Terrence Higgins off an assist by Ian Dingman just eight seconds after Wagner's goal. That cut the UNC lead back to 9-8.

Less than a minute later, Tar Heel junior defenseman Brian Burke made the game-changing play for Carolina. Burke scooped up a ground ball on the sideline nearest the grandstand and eluded a pair of Navy players as he tightroped the chalk line. Burke cleared the ball himself into the offensive end and had looks at both Wagner and attackman Michael Burns. But with the defense drawn to the Tar Heel attackmen, Burke let go a searing shot from his long pole which found the back of the net behind Navy goalkeeper Colin Finnegan. The goal, which came with 10:45 left in the game, ignited the crowd and put the momentum back on the side of the Tar Heels.

With the two-goal lead, the Tar Heel defense held firm in the final 10 plus minutes of the game. Navy outshot the Heels 15-10 in the final period, had a 14-10 ground ball edge in the last 15 minutes and won all six face-offs, but Carolina's defense never faltered. Zimmerman made seven of his 12 saves in the final period, frustrating any comeback attempt by the Midshipmen.

With 5:10 remaining, UNC attackman Gavin Petracca found a cutting Sean Delaney 10 yards in front of the net and Delaney ripped a shot into the twine, extending the Tar Heel lead to 11-8. With Zimmerman continuing to stymie the Mids on their offensive end with save after save the Heels put the game away with 2:15 to play as junior midfielder Nick Tintle muscled his way to the goal to make the final margin 12-8.

Carolina had a balanced scoring attack and was very opportunistic, converting in transition and scoring a handful of goals after winning ground balls in unsettled situations. Five times in the game the Tar Heels answered Navy goals after less than a minute of clock time had expired.

During the regular season the Tar Heels recorded assists on 64 percent of their goals but on Sunday great individual efforts led to the 12 goals, only three of which were assisted. For the second straight game, UNC's Michael Burns led the Tar Heels in goal scoring with three. Wagner, Petracca and Delaney each had two goals while Tintle, Burke and Ben Hunt had single tallies. Petracca and Wagner had single assists and junior tri-captain Fletcher Gregory assisted on UNC's third goal of the game, his first career point.

Navy was led by senior midfielder Billy Looney who had three goals and an assist for the Mids. Senior attackman Ian Dingman had two goals and an assist for Navy while junior attackman Nick Mirabito added three assists.

The Mids were the first out of the gate in the scoring column as Basil Daratsos, a freshman middie, scored at the 13:04 mark of the opening period. But as happened five times in the game, UNC would bounce back with a goal less than a minute later. It was sophomore middie Ben Hunt who drove to the goal and scored to tie the game at 1-1 with 12:39 left in the opening period.

Those two goals would open a first 15 minutes that was full of end-to-end action and plenty of scoring.

After a slashing call against Bart Wagner, Navy capitalized to take a 2-1 lead with 10:06 left in the first period as Ian Dingman scored on the extra-man opportunity, assisted by Nick Mirabito. Thirty-six seconds later, the Tar Heels tied the game again as Gavin Petracca scored off an assist by Bart Wagner. It did not stay 2-2 for long as Navy got a Billy Looney unassisted goal at 8:36 of the quarter. UNC came right back and with 7:48 to go in the 15-minute first frame, Michael Burns tallied his first of three goals off an assist by junior midfielder Fletcher Gregory. The assist marked the first career point for UNC's junior tri-captain from Charlotte, N.C.

Navy would take the lead before the end of the quarter on the seventh goal of the game in the first 9:50 of play. Tim Paul had the unassisted goal for the Mids who led 4-3 at the end of the quarter.

The Tar Heels had the first two goals of the second quarter to take their first lead of the game at 5-4. After Brian Connors' shot was saved by Colin Finnegan, Michael Burns was there to claim the ground ball and score on the rebound with 11:30 to play in the quarter, tying the game at 4-4. With 4:46 left before halftime, Carolina seized its first lead of the game on an unassisted goal by Sean Delaney.

Navy was resilient, however, and the Midshipmen bounced back to take the lead before halftime. After Brian Burke was whistled for an illegal body check with 2:56 to play in the first half, Navy got its second extra-man goal of the contest as Billy Looney fed Ian Dingman to tie the game at 5-5. Then with 49 seconds to play before halftime Navy scored again with Looney this time providing the goal on Mirabito's second assist of the game.

Navy took the 6-5 lead into halftime but the first nine minutes of the third quarter proved to be one of the key parts to the game. With the one-goal advantage, the Midshipmen took the first 10 shots of the second half but were unable to add to their lead as shots were off cage or Zimmerman stopped them. In fact, with six minutes to play in the third quarter UNC had as many turnovers as shots in the game with 14 each.

But the scoreboard did not change in that crucial period and Carolina would go on to score six times from that point on and commit only two turnovers in the final 21 minutes. After Brendan Teague of Navy was called for slashing with 3:17 left in the third quarter the Heels did not immediately take advantage. After Navy got a possession and looked to kill the rest of the penalty, the Heels were able to get the ball back and clear it successfully. Gavin Petracca then went one-on-one against his defender on the left of the crease and snuck a shot past Finnegan from close range with two seconds left on the EMO. The game was now tied at 6-6 with 2:19 to play in the period.

Navy retook the lead for the last time with 37 seconds left in the third quarter as Looney scored his third goal of the contest off the third assist by Mirabito. Carolina then won the following face-off and looked for a shot to tie the game before the end of the period. After a restart with 10 seconds left on the clock, Wagner ran with the ball from the left side goal line extended and scored with four seconds left while being pushed from behind into the crease.

Carolina took the lead for good on a goal by Michael Burns with exactly 13 minutes to play. Wagner scored his second goal 58 seconds later and after Navy cut the lead to 9-8 eight seconds after that the final theatrics were now ready to unfold. Burke's game-changing scoring play, Delaney's insurance goal and Tintle's late-game tally finished off the scoring in the final 10:45 of the contest.

Navy outshot the Tar Heels 43-32. Both teams had 40 ground balls and both teams won 11 face-offs, a marked turnaround from the first game when Navy won the face-off battle 20-10.

Finnegan finished with 10 saves for the Midshipmen while Zimmerman had 12 saves for Carolina.

The Tar Heels now meet No. 1-seeded Duke for the third time in 2007 next Sunday in Annapolis, Md. The Blue Devils won the regular season meeting 9-7 in Chapel Hill after rallying from a 6-1 deficit. In the second meeting in the ACC Tournament semifinals at Durham, N.C., on April 27, Duke led 7-6 late in the third quarter and then ran off six goals in a row in what was eventually a 13-9 Blue Devil win.

Post A Comment To This Story >

    by (#136419) on 5/14/07 @11:54AM
Sorry to say this again, but they have to toughen up their schedule a bit. They play 3 cake teams in the Patriot League in Lafayette, Lehigh, and Holy Cross. However, they also play Canisius and St. Joseph's. They NEED to take those 2 teams off if they want to do better against the big boys. In their places, they should put 2 regular Top 10-15 teams.

However, take nothing away from John Haus and North Carolina! They played great and got revenge and then some. I think they are the most improved team in the country right now.
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i agree
    by (#103345) on 5/14/07 @4:29PM
that's whats holding them back.
i'll take this a step further saying that for the good of the game, they should get rid of all the AQs, except the Ivy leage and ACC.
This will force teams like Navy, Towson, and all other teams who are on the brink, but in weak leagues, to get harder opponents and step up their game. Also, the quality of teams in the tournament will go up, leading to closer games and more upsets.
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    by (#165421) on 5/14/07 @12:14PM
wow this is great for UNC. Every year they are expected to get back on track, but every year the fail, besides this one. I think their insanly hard schedule lets them able to play against all teams, so they get better every game. It shows how much they got better since they got dominated by Navy early in the season. UNC will be a strong team in the play-offs this year and many more years to come.
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    by (#136419) on 5/14/07 @3:16PM
These 2 teams have played each other 2 times, and Duke has won them both. Although it is not easy to beat a team 3 times in 1 season, I say that Duke will get it done. They are more talented and hungrier than almost everyone else.

I say:


In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it is a dead even dogfight for most of the game and then Duke pulls away in the end.

How about you all?
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    by (#142595) on 5/14/07 @4:49PM
i just hope UMBC can beat who ever wins the duke carolina game, they play awsome ver maryland,
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this spells doom for navy
    by (#142595) on 5/14/07 @4:35PM
I love and always will love navy sports, but unfortunately i belive the decline of navy lacrosse has begun for many reasons and this is just another dagger. First reason to begin with would be that because of are president the military service required when graduating from any of the academies was just upped to six years starting with this years freshman class. It will be a very tall order to keep recruiting top 200 players with that in their minds. Next lets talk about coaching. Ray finnegan(goalie coach) turned out a great player in matt russel, but failed measurably with his son colin who only held 2 of the 7 top 15 teams they played to single digits that being a greta game vs maryland( those teams being colgatex2,uncX2, hop,g-town. Next rechie meade simply can not contend with the best.
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    by (#142595) on 5/14/07 @4:46PM
Its the facts he just cant do it any more. 2004 was a great run and amazing but the numbers dont lie. Every years navy play UNC,umd, g-town, and hopkins. EAsily the only real quality win teams on there sced. Since 2000 meade is :10-24 with 5 of those ten coming vs unc, only 2 wins vs g-town, 3 vs maryland and none vs hopkins. Dominating the patriot league is very unimpressive in most selection commttie memebers minds. Meade also has never made the Ncaa tournament before without the help of the AQ the league offers(which is a whole different story SEE PROVIDENCE). To me navys future doesnt not look good unless major changes are made in coaching and especially the recuiting process. Not a whole lot you can to there tho
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    by (#136419) on 5/14/07 @5:17PM
Tillman, of course, is Navy's top assistant and runs the offense. He has a great lacrosse mind, is still in his 30s, and is supposedly interested in a head coaching job. He has not been a head coach before, but why not go for it? What do you all say?
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I like tilman
    by (#142595) on 5/14/07 @5:23PM
I like tilman because he is still young. The game is evolving and so are the mind sets. I think i younger coach may be just what they need.YOunger coachs can always relate really well to their players and bond the best i think. Somone younger with experience as an assitant at D1 would do good. I give meade plenty of credit and think he is a good coach, but beating cupcakes doesnt mean much
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    by (#136419) on 5/14/07 @5:56PM
Even if Tillman were the head coach, having any more cupcakes besides Lafayette, Lehigh, and Holy Cross, whom Navy HAS to play, is too much for a Top 10 program if they expect to be a serious contender year in and year out. I don't think many coaches could be regulars in the Final Four playing that many cupcakes. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I want to see Navy do well, too.
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no i understand but...
    by (#142595) on 5/14/07 @6:21PM
those teams you mentioned are fine though. Take out st joesphs and cansius and replace them with towson and and princeton then there fine. Then they would be playing. ADD those to hopkins , UMD, UNC, and G-town and we have 6 teams that regulary can make the ncaa tounry. Everyone has cupcakes like lehigh and holy cross so im not worried about them cuz their conference. Imagine how much are sos would jump if we dumped those two and added the teams i mention. We would easily be in the top 10 because of what colgate and bucknell add. Ithink playing cansius and st joes hurts so much because their SOS are 48 and 52
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    by (#1248) on 5/15/07 @8:07AM
Anyone calling for Meade's job is insane. That program is back on track considering how far down they had gone in the late 80's and early 90's. There is much more at stake than wins and losses at the Academy and Richie Meade understands that and has a big hand in molding those young mens lives. How he gets his teams to consistenly rank in the top 10 and beat or take teams like MD, UNC, Georgetown to the wire is amazing. His recruiting pool is so extremely limited between the strict admissions of the Academy and the fact that maybe only 10% of those with the qualifications actually will entertain the idea of going to a Military Academy. Navy has a great lacrosse tradition, nobody understands this better than myself as I've been a part of it my entire life. It would be great if they could bring back the "Decade of Dominance" but so many things have changed at the Academy, in the sport of Lacrosse and in the world in general since the 1960's when they were without question a lacrosse dynasty.

I'd love to hear what kind of changes can be made in the recruiting process, maybe we can find the future leaders of our country at local community colleges like Herkimer and Essex. That might get them past Hopkins finally, but I won't sleep better at night if they start letting any idiot into the Academy. Those men go on to serve and protect our country and the choice of who is admitted to the Service Academies is one that should be taken very seriously. Within the lacrosse community very few coach's are as respected as Richie Meade and there is certainly no better choice for the Academy right now.

They win their conference championship every year, if the weather is even somewhat decent for a big home game they get 14,000 fans, they go to the tournament, they hang with and beat the top teams in the country, what more can he do. For the Naval Academy to win a National Championship in anything other than fencing or squash would be a miracle in 2007. UVA is already out, Syracuse didn't even make it, Hopkins should have gotten bumped out, it's called parity and every year Navy is up there as a top 10 team. Yes it would help to toughen the schedule, I'm sure they are considering this, but scheduling is tricky. Most teams are scheduled a few years out so they could schedule Rutgers and Fairfield instead of Canisus and St. Joseph's, but in two years Rutgers and Fairfield might be as bad as Canisius and St. Joseph's. There is a lot more to the coaching choice at the Academy than the flavor of the month.
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    by (#136419) on 5/15/07 @12:58PM
As St. Joseph's and Canisius, that is. It is true that scheduling is tricky, but IMHO, Rutgers and Fairfield will always be better than St. Joseph's and Canisius. First of all, Rutgers and Fairfield are more established programs. In addition, Rutgers is a big university with better facilities, and, although Fairfield is small, it is a much more yuppy school than St. Joseph's and Canisius. Chances are that many yuppy lacrosse players would rather go to Fairfield than one of the other two.
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You never know
    by (#1248) on 5/15/07 @1:11PM
Albany certainly came out of nowhere. If they are going to drop those two teams, which I agree they should, they might as well step it up and schedule Duke and UVA instead. With the Patriot league AQ almost always a lock, they might as well load up their out of conference schedule with the toughest possible competition. Like I said though, scheduling is tricky. Who is to say Duke or UVA would even schedule Navy, they have nothing to gain by doing so. They would be expected to win, but if they lost it would hurt them. A lot more goes into scheduling than just picking which teams you want to play and calling their coach up and setting a date. Hopefully the 08 schedule won't include St. Joseph's and Canisius, their home schedule was pretty boring this year.
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    by (#136419) on 5/15/07 @2:52PM
Powerhouse teams like Duke and UVA may well not want to schedule Navy. However, I think that replacing St. Joseph's and Canisius with teams that are REGULARLY IN THE TOP 15 could really help Navy. Such teams include:

Loyola-would be a good in-state rivalry
Delaware-The Blue Hens aren't doing too badly right now, we should say.
Princeton-They are solid, but they are not nearly as powerful as they once were.
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    by (#1248) on 5/15/07 @6:47PM
Again, you can't just look at teams you would like to play and call them up and start a series. A lot has to happen. All those teams have their conference schedule, then they have the teams they've had home and away matchups with for years. Very rarely does a Towson or Loyola have an open slot that just happens to fit the open slot Navy might have. They have to work it out years in advance.
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I agree but
    by (#142595) on 5/15/07 @2:51PM
the thing is with navy we have to worry about future leaders of america, unlike other schools. Which kills them alot. But they dont consitently compete with the top 10 like you said. 10-24 is not competing. I dont care what any one says but killing patriot league teams and winning league titles means nothing! I think the selection committie backs there considering they have won it two years in a row and two years in a row gone unseeded. He cant beat the top dogs, he needs to change something or go
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    by (#165751) on 5/14/07 @9:33PM
Im not really a UNC fan, but this is great. Not only did navy lose (i hate navy, can't ya tell?) but UNC is finaly back on track. IF they can pull another crazy upset over Duke, then theyll be in the final four for the first time in forever. Duke has already beat them twice this season but its awfully hard to beat someone 3 times in one season. I think its gonna be a good game
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wow can you say no class
    by (#142595) on 5/14/07 @10:21PM
from your post its not to hard to determine your age, prob still in high school but so i wont be to bad. Normally i would call him an army fan, but i doubt it considering he has no respect at all for the people who give him the freedoms he has. Its really a shame, i noticed he didnt say who his favorite team was, perhaps navy beat them or something, who knows his favorite team used to be Va prob until yesterday, now maybe its cornell. People like this really are a shame and its to bad no one can help them, poor waste of life.
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either its hard or...
    by (#143077) on 5/16/07 @1:32AM
it could be really easy to beat them three times in one season, who says it just won't be even harder for UNC.
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    by (#3709) on 5/15/07 @1:53AM
DId anybody notice how TERRIBLE CSTV is!!!

they barely aired one game a week, and they were not even the good games at that.

And what is werse, the first round of the play offs. They air NO games at all.

I am disgusted that Lax.com supports that terrible channel
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    by (#136419) on 5/15/07 @12:07PM
That is, it that John Haus raising his hand in triumph in the 2nd picture from the top? I am talking about the guy with the white shirt whose back is facing the camera?
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    by (#108912) on 5/15/07 @6:17PM
yep thats coach haus
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    by (#136419) on 5/15/07 @2:30PM
And, if you take away that unforgettable 2004 season, he is 6-20. That is not a very good record. Don't get me wrong! Richie Meade has done a good job at Navy. However, if you look at most of the great coaches throughout the years, they have a pretty good record in 1-goal games. Here are 2 examples:

1. Bill Tierney-Throughout Princeton's incredible 10-year run from 1992-2001, Bill Tierney and the Tigers lost very few 1-goal games and won 4 of their 6 national titles in overtime and several other playoff games by 1 goal.

2. Dave Pietramala-Since Pietramala took over at Hopkins in 2001, he has an incredible record of 29-6 in 1-goal games. I don't know if any coaches have ever had a record this good throughout so many 1-goal games.

Of course, it is easy for SOME Navy fans to use 1-goal losses to schools like Georgetown and Hopkins as moral victories, because Georgetown and Hopkins are "much easier sells for top talent", and to say that "before Richie Meade got to Navy, those teams would have won by a lot more." That may be true. However, I am starting to think that if people keep saying that, it will lower Navy's standards in the long run. Remember-a team can have "pretty" losses and "ugly" losses. But, in the long run, a win is a win and a loss is a loss. Personally, I hate to lose, whether in a close game or a blowout.

So, the question is-Why hasn't Richie Meade done better in 1-goal games? Is it coaching? Is it a weak schedule? Is it a combination of both? What do you all think?

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re: Meade's challenge
    by (#142666) on 5/15/07 @11:14PM
If he had amassed this record at UVA, SU, or JHU it would be cause for alarm. But Meade is required to operate his program under strict rules defined by the USNA. Rules that are completely foreign to other top 20 D1 lax powers. FE21 mentioned many of these impediments.

Should we also ask why Navy football can't match up with Notre Dame? Or why Navy basketball can't beat UCLA? The answer here is pretty apparent.
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wrong but right
    by (#142595) on 5/15/07 @11:48PM
I agree and understand what you guys are saying. It is really hard to get recuits and thats part of itbut... navy always seems to be able to play with navy umd, hopkins, g-town and the rest of the best. playing with them is one things but beating them is different. Navy basketball would get killed by ucla by 40 while navy lacrosse could possibly beat or only loose by a few goals to cronell. So you cant really use that as an example because we have the players, we jsut cant finish. Thats were i think Meade is at fault, two many close loosses to the best teams, whats it like 4 in a row to hopkins, both 1 goals vs g-town and umd this year. I think we have the players to compete but were not using them the best we could. I dont know maybe im just upset about another first round loss, but i think meade needs to change something or go
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    by (#1248) on 5/16/07 @9:48AM
Yours and others posts on Lax.com have absolutely no bearing on the situation and Richie Meade is going nowhere. You have a fundamental lack of lacrosse knowledge if you think Navy has as much talent as Hopkins, UVA, UMD from top to bottom. The reality is if Coach Meade and Navy had Hopkins talent they would be winning a lot of National Championships.
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    by (#142666) on 5/16/07 @11:51AM
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    by (#136419) on 5/16/07 @12:15PM
If Richie Meade were at UVA, he might well have more titles even than Dom Starsia. Hey, Navy almost beat UVA in the Quarterfinals 2 years ago up at Hopkins. UVA won 10-8, but Navy had it tied 8-8 until there were only a few minutes left. Navy was so-undermanned! Talent wise and easy-sell wise, on paper, Navy shouldn't be close to UVA. I bet that Richie did some good coaching that day.

P.S.-I have said that Richie has not done great in 1-goal games. However, that doesn't mean he hasn't done a great job at Navy.
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