LAX: Navy falls to North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--North Carolina (10-5) outscored Navy (11-4), 5-1, in the fourth quarter to lead the Tar Heels to a 12-8 victory over the Midshipmen in the first round of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina advances to play Duke next Sunday in the quarterfinals at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

"This was a very close, hard fought contest," said Navy head coach Richie Meade. "You have to give a lot of credit to the North Carolina defense. There zone gave us some problems and threw our timing off. We got people open, but we either couldn't get it to them or if we did get it to them their goalie (Zimmerman) did a good job of stopping the shot."

The Navy offense was sharp early, scoring four goals in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Basil Daratsos, Ian Dingman (from Nick Mirabito), Billy Looney and Tim Paul all scored goals as the Mids took an early 4-3 lead.

The Mids offense, however, went stone cold over the final 30 minutes scoring just four goals. Navy connected on just eight of 43 shots for the game, including four goals on 31 shots over the final three periods.

The Navy defense didn't fair much better as North Carolina was able to answer a Navy goal with one of their own in less than a minute on five different occasions. Four times the Mids took a one-goal lead, only to see UNC tie the game in less than 60 seconds. The fifth time came after Navy had cut the Carolina lead to 9-8 with 11:54 left.

North Carolina took its first lead of the contest with 4:46 left in the second quarter on an unassisted goal by Sean Delaney. The Mids bounced back to take a 6-5 lead at the half on a man-up goal by Dingman off an assist from Looney and then Looney scored his second goal of the half off an assist from Mirabito with 49 seconds left in the half to give the Mids a one goal advantage at the intermission.

The score remained 6-5 until 2:19 left in the third period when North Carolina's Gavin Petracca scored an unassisted goal to tie the game at six. Looney scored his third goal of the game with 37 seconds left in the third to put Navy back up by one, but North Carolina's Bart Wagner answered with four seconds left in the quarter to tie the game at seven.

North Carolina took the lead for good with 13 minutes left in the contest on an unassisted goal by Michael Burns and went up 9-7 just 58 seconds later on an unassisted goal by Bart Wagner.

Navy's Terence Higgins closed the deficit to one at 9-8 off an assist from Dingman with 11:54 left in the contest. Navy won the ensuing face-off, but never took a shot as Carolina defenseman Brian Burke poked the ball away from a Navy midfielder, kicked the ball ahead, picked it up and raced the length of the field unimpeded to score his second goal of the year.

The play by Burke seemed to deflate the Mids as Navy didn't put up much of a fight over the final 10 minutes. Delaney scored his second goal of the game with 5:10 left in the contest to make it 11-8 and Nick Tintle scored an unassisted goal with 2:15 left in the contest to provide the final margin.

Looney scored three goals and one assist to lead Navy, while Dingman scored two goals and had one assist. Mirabito added three assists for the Mids.

Burns led the Tar Heels with three goals, while Petracca and Wagner had two goals and one assist apiece.

Navy took 43 shots in the game to North Carolina's 32, while the Mids won the ground ball battle, 41-39. Each team won 11 of the 22 face-offs.

North Carolina's Grant Zimmerman was outstanding in goal, making 12 saves, including seven in the fourth quarter. In the first meeting in Annapolis, which Navy won 19-8, Zimmerman gave up 17 goals in 49 minutes. Navy's Colin Finnegan made 10 saves.


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