CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- It was not precision lacrosse. But after 60 minutes in cold and rain on a field that looked like a swamp at game's end, eighth-seeded Loyola slipped up against North Carolina. In the National Collegiate Athletic Association quarterfinals, the top-seeded Tar Heels (14-0) eliminated the Greyhounds (9-4), 11-9, yesterday.
A career-high four goals by Tar Heels midfielder Dan Donnelly, including the team's final two, helped North Carolina advance to the lacrosse Final Four for the 10th time in 12 seasons.
"We figured him [Donnelly] to be their best offensive midfielder," said Dave Cottle, Loyola's nine-year head coach. "He was a guy we were going to put a long stick [defenseman] on when we went man-to-man.
"He can go right and left, and he's a good shooter. He's a nifty offensive player."
Donnelly's final two goals answered Greyhounds comebacks, and North Carolina goaltender Andy Piazza stymied Loyola's last comeback in the final minutes.
The game never was out of reach of the Greyhounds because, although Loyola could not clear the ball from its defensive zone and the Tar Heels kept down Loyola's number of shots, Piazza was not sharp in the early going.
"The key to it was we had to clear [the ball] and we didn't," said Cottle, whose team lost to Syracuse in the national championship game a year ago.
Loyola did keep the game within a three-goal margin and had itchances to beat North Carolina.
In the final quarter, senior Chris Colbeck scored his third goal of the game with 13 minutes, 8 seconds left to make it 10-9.
Colbeck curled around a pick, took a pass from Kevin Beach and fired past Piazza, who was screened off the play.
The score was Colbeck's 42nd of the season and 108th of his career.
However, Donnelly answered Colbeck with 10:52 remaining by beating Greyhounds goaltender Kevin Anderson from 18 feet.
Still, Loyola wouldn't quit, and midfielder Paul Cantabene drew his team within one again on his second of the game. He received a pass that crossed the goalmouth, faked a shot and fired point-blank into the net.
Again, Donnelly answered; this time, he beat Anderson with a one-touch shot off a pass from John Webster. That made the score 11-9 North Carolina.
The Greyhounds put the pressure back on, when they could maintain possession, and got more shots on Piazza. But the Tar Heels goalie came through.
Loyola .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 .. .. 2 .. 4 .. 2 .. -- .. 9
North Carolina .. .. .. .. 2 .. .. 3 .. 4 .. 2 .. -- . 11
Goals: L--Colbeck 3, Cantabene 2, K. Beach, Sloper, Burnam, Haas; NC--Donnelly 4, Goldstein 2, McNichol, Wade, Acee, Thomas, Speers. Assists: L--Sloper 2, Blanding 2, Curry, Haas, K. Beach; NC--Webster 3, Goldstein 2, Seremet. Saves: L--Anderson 11; NC--Piazza 9.