CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The North Carolina men's lacrosse team scored five goals to Navy's one in the fourth quarter yesterday to score a 12-8 victory over the Midshipmen in the first round of the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament at Fetzer Field.
North Carolina (10-5) advanced to play Duke on Sunday in the quarterfinals at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
"This was a very close, hard-fought contest," said coach Richie Meade, whose Navy team finished 11-4. "You have to give a lot of credit to the North Carolina defense. Their 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 [Grant Zimmerman] did a good job of stopping the shot."
The Navy offense was sharp early, scoring four goals in the first 10 minutes. 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 two 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 fare much better, as on five occasions North Carolina answered a Navy goal with one of its own in less than a minute. The fifth time came after Navy had cut the Carolina lead to 9-8 with 11:54 left.
North Carolina took its first lead with 4:46 left in the second quarter on an unassisted goal by Sean Delaney that made it 5-4. Dingman tied it with a man-up goal off an assist from Looney, and then Looney gave the Mids a 6-5 halftime lead, scoring with 49 seconds left.
The score remained 6-5 until there was 2:19 left in the third period when North Carolina's Gavin Petracca scored an unassisted goal. 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 7-7.
North Carolina took the lead for good with 13 minutes left on an unassisted goal by Michael Burns, and went up 9-7 just 58 seconds later on an unassisted goal by Wagner.
Navy 4 2 1 1 - 8
UNC 3 2 2 5 - 12
Goals: N-Looney 3, Dingman 2, Daratsos, Paul, Higgins; NC-Burns 3, Wagner 2, Petracca 2, Delaney 2, Tintle, Hunt, Burke. Assists: N-Mirabito 3, Dingman, Looney; NC-Gregory, Petracca, Wagner. Saves: N-Finnegan 10; NC-Zimmerman 12.