CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Thirteenth-ranked North Carolina celebrated a successful Senior Day at Kenan Stadium as the Tar Heels bolted to an early five-goal advantage and went on to defeat No. 20 Hofstra 13-9 before a crowd of 1,358 sun-drenched fans in collegiate men's lacrosse action. The game was the final regular-season home game for 10 UNC seniors -- defenseman Brian Burke, defenseman Tim Kaiser, goalkeeper Andrew Moss, midfielder Brian Connors, midfielder Jamie DeBole, midfielder Mike Munnelly, midfielder Nick Tintle, midfielder Rob Driscoll, defenseman Tim McCall and midfielder Fletcher Gregory.
Carolina halted a two-match losing streak and improved to 8-4 on the campaign. The Tar Heels are 4-0 in games at Kenan Stadium dating back to the 2002 season.
Shane Walterhoefer dominated the face-off X by winning 20 of 25 draws, the third most face-off wins in a single game in UNC history. His performance came just seven days after he won a school record 23 face-offs in UNC's 14-11 loss to Ohio State last Saturday. Those 23 wins had broken the old school record of 22 set by Todd Oudemool against Towson in 1989.
Carolina's attack unit was clicking on all cylinders as it produced 10 of UNC's 13 goals and six of the 12 assists. Sophomore Gavin Petracca had his high-point game of the season with four goals and one assist while junior Michael B. Burns had three goals in the match. Kevin Federico had a pair of goals for the Tar Heels.
Nick Tintle added a goal and three assists for the Heels, while Bart Wagner had a goal and two assists. Ben Hunt had a goal and an assist and freshman attackman Billy Bitter had two assists.
Hofstra was led by Anthony Muscarella and Michael Unterstein who each had two goals and two assists for the Pride, which fell to 6-5 with the loss. Tom Dooley and Michael Colleluori also had two goals apiece for Hofstra.
Besides winning 20 of 25 face-offs, the Tar Heels led in shots 40-34 and in ground balls 41-25. Grant Zimmerman made 13 saves and allowed eight goals in over 57 minutes in the goal. Senior Andrew Moss finished up in goal for UNC, making his second career save in the process. Hofstra goalkeeper Danny Orlando had 10 saves and 13 goals allowed for the Pride.
Carolina's passing game was outstanding as 12 of the Tar Heels' 13 goals were assisted.
The Tar Heels got off to an early 3-0 lead in the first 4:15 of the match on goals by Wagner, Petracca and Burns, each a member of the starting attack unit. After Muscarella scored for the Pride with 9:49 left in the first quarter, the Tar Heels ran off the next three goals, the first two by Petracca and the third by Connors to give Carolina a 6-1 lead with 9:07 left in the first half.
Hofstra went on a run in the final four minutes of the opening half as goals by Dooley, Colleluori and Unterstein cut the Tar Heel lead to 6-4 just 27 seconds before halftime.
Carolina responded by tallying the first two goals of the second half. Ben Hunt scored UNC's only unassisted goal of the game 3:31 into the third quarter and just 47 seconds later a goal by Burns off an assist by Bobby McAuley made the score 8-4.
Hofstra jumped right back into the fray with Jay Card scoring in an unassisted fashion at 8:20 of the quarter and Unterstein scoring 28 seconds later when the Pride had a two-man advantage.
The Tar Heels won back the momentum quickly as 13 seconds after Hofstra had cut the lead to 8-6 it was Hunt who fed Petracca for a goal after a face-off win by Walterhoefer. Carolina then made the score 10-6 heading into the fourth quarter on a goal by Kevin Federico with one second left in the third quarter. Federico's goal was assisted by Wagner.
The Tar Heels eventually built their lead to 13-6 on goals by Tintle, Federico and Burns in the first 6:22 of the final period. Hofstra answered back with the final three scores of the game bringing the final score to 13-9.
UNC returns to action in six days when the Tar Heels meet No. 1-ranked Duke in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament next Friday at 5 p.m. at the University of Virginia's Klockner Stadium.
Photos: Mark Abbott
|Gavin Petracca||(4, 1)|
|Nick Tintle||(1, 3)|
|Bart Wagner||(1, 2)|
|Michael B Burns||(3, 0)|
|Kevin Federico||(2, 1)|
|Ben Hunt||(1, 1)|
|Billy Bitter||(0, 2)|
|Bobby Mcauley||(0, 1)|
|Sean Delaney||(0, 1)|
|Brian Connors||(1, 0)|
|Grant Zimmerman||13 (0.619)|
|Andrew Moss||1 (0.500)|