CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Freshman attackman Marcus Holman, a late addition to the starting lineup in lieu of Billy Bitter, led third-ranked North Carolina to a 9-7 win over fourth-ranked Maryland in a battle of unbeaten men's lacrosse team Saturday afternoon before a near sellout crowd of 4,542 fans at Fetzer Field. Holman scored four goals and added an assist and goalkeeper Chris Madalon made 11 saves while limiting a Maryland team that scores 12.11 goals per contest to only seven.
Carolina's win improves the Tar Heels to 9-0 on the season, its best start since the 1993 team captured its first nine. The Tar Heels are 2-0 in the ACC, the first time the squad has won two ACC regular-season games since 2004. Maryland fell to 6-1 on the season and is 1-1 in the ACC.
Bitter, a first-team All-America attackman last year, has a leg injury and was held out by team medical personnel in a game-time decision, allowing Holman to start for the first time since the Tar Heels played Lehigh on February 20. The freshman responded with four goals, matching the four he had in UNC's 11-4 win at Navy on February 25. He also had an assist, giving him a career high five points in the game. Thomas Wood also had a big day for the Tar Heels with two goals and two assists while Gavin Petracca and Jimmy Dunster both added a goal and an assist.
Maryland was led by two goals each by Ryan Young and Adam Sear. Grant Catalino had a goal and an assist for the Terrapins.
Maryland outshot the Tar Heels 33-28 and also won the ground ball battle 33-28. The Tar Heels won the face-off battle 11-8 with Michael Burns taking all 19 draws for UNC. Maryland scored on three of four extra-man opportunities in the game while Carolina went one-for-two.
Madalon was a big difference in the game for the Tar Heels as the redshirt junior made 11 saves while allowing only seven goals. Brian Phipps made seven saves for the Terrapins while allowing nine goals. Carolina has now held 20 of its past 28 opponents to single digits in goals.
The victory was the first regular season win for the Tar Heels over Maryland in Chapel Hill since March 23, 1996 when UNC beat the Terps 17-16 at Fetzer Field. Maryland had won 12 of the last 13 regular-season meetings with the only Tar Heel win in that time being a 10-6 Carolina win at Maryland in 2003. The Tar Heels did defeat the Terps in the ACC Tournament semifinals last year at Kenan Stadium 16-10 in their most recent meeting.
The win also broke a 23-game losing streak for the Tar Heels against teams ranked in the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's top four teams. The last win for the Tar Heels over a top four team came on March 22, 2003 when UNC beat Maryland 10-6 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
Carolina ran off to an early lead over the Terps before Maryland staged a strong second period rally to tie the game at halftime 4-4.
It was the Terps who struck first as Dean Hart scored a fast break goal off a Tar Heel turnover at 13:49 of the first quarter. Brian Farrell assisted on the goal for Maryland.
Carolina then went on a four-goal run. Phipps made a save on a shot by Cryder DiPietro but Holman pounced on the ground ball and fed Thomas Wood for the equalizer at 8:52. The Tar Heels scored another opportunistic goal after a shot by Jimmy Dunster hit the pipe with a little over four minutes left in the quarter. Dunster retrieved the ball and fed Holman for the go-ahead goal at 3:57 of the period. Carolina added to the lead when Petracca picked up a ground ball and fed Wood for his second goal of the period at 1:41.
UNC made it 4-1 at 8:21 of the second quarter as Jimmy Dunster scored an unassisted goal. But Maryland rallied and tied the score by halftime. Owen Blye scored an unassisted goal at 6:21 to make it 4-2. Adam Sear then scored man up for the Terps at 3:03 of the period followed by a goal by Ryan Young at 2:12 that tied things up.
Maryland opened the third quarter with a man advantage after the Tar Heels were hit with a minute penalty as the first half expired. Maryland, which came in scoring 12 of 20 on the extra-man, was held scoreless on the man-up chance despite getting three shots off. That seemed to switch the momentum back to Carolina and the Tar Heels capitalized.
Sean DeLaney scored the goal that put UNC up for good with 12:15 left in the third quarter, taking an assist by Thomas Wood and going high and hard past Phipps. DeLaney was shaken up on the play and left the field and did not return to the match. The Tar Heels played the final 27:15 of the game without both Bitter and DeLaney but still found a way to win.
The Heels made it 6-4 on a man up goal by Gavin Petracca, assisted by Thomas Wood with 9:07 left in the third quarter. Holman then made it 7-4 with 1:36 left in the third quarter as he scored the second of his four goals. The Tar Heels ended up outscoring the Terps 3-0 despite being outshot in the period 10-7.
Three times in the fourth quarter Maryland pulled within two goals but could never get closer. The Terps scored their second EMO goal of the game at 12:32 as Adam Sear scored off an assist by Grant Catalino. On the ensuing face-off, Milton Lyles and Marcus Holman hooked up on a play that gave the Tar Heels immediate momentum. Just 14 seconds after the Maryland score, Lyles emerged from the face-off pack with a ground ball and he fed Holman who had slipped behind the defense. Holman went top shelf past Phipps from 10 yards out on the left side and UNC's lead was 8-5.
Maryland again cut the Tar Heel lead to two goals on its third man-up goal of the game as Ryan Young scored unassisted at 7:16 of the quarter. UNC iced the game on Holman's fourth goal of the contest as he beat his defender and scored unassisted with 2:31 to play. A late turnover by the Heels led to a goal by Grant Catalino with 17 seconds to play but that would prove to be the final margin.
Carolina will travel to Homewood Field next Saturday to meet No. 12 Johns Hopkins (4-4) in a noon game to be televised nationally on ESPNU.
North Carolina vs. Maryland