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Heels win opener 19-4

Carolina beats Furman 19-4 in 2015 season opener
Courtesy GoHeels.com

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - All three starting attackmen registered hat tricks as sixth-ranked North Carolina opened its 2015 men’s lacrosse season with a 19-4 victory over Furman at Fetzer Field before a crowd of 1,353 on a beautiful February afternoon.

Senior attackman Joey Sankey had four goals and two assists, senior attackman Jimmy Bitter had three goals and two assists and sophomore attackman Luke Goldstock had three goals and an assist to lead the way for Coach Joe Breschi’s team. Bitter had now scored in 15 successive games and has recorded a point in 42 straight contests. Sankey ran his successive games with a goal skein to 17 while earning a point in his 37th straight game.

Senior midfielders Duncan Hutchins and Chad Tutton each had two goals for UNC and Hutchins also had an assist for a three-point day. Junior Patrick Kelly and sophomore Peyton Klawinski each had a goal and an assist for the Tar Heels who will host High Point Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Fetzer Field in a game set to be telecast on ESPN3.

The Tar Heels led 6-3 midway through the second quarter before Carolina ran off four goals to end the half. North Carolina then scored the first five goals of the second half, going up 15-3 with 9:56 left in the third quarter on a goal by senior long-stick midfielder Ryan Kilpatrick, assisted by Bitter.

Carolina outshot the Paladins 52-31 on the day and had an edge in ground balls 45-27. Carolina harassed the Paladins into 21 turnovers on the day while UNC coughed up the ball only 11 times, seven of those turnovers coming in the fourth quarter.

UNC outshot the Paladins 19-7 in the first quarter but eight saves by Furman goalkeeper Jake Gavin kept Furman within shouting distance. Peyton Klawinski put the Tar Heels on the board 40 seconds into the match off an assist by Patrick Kelly. Just 33 seconds later, Joey Sankey scored the first of his four first-half unassisted goals to make it 2-0. Jonah Moore scored a transition goal for the Paladins at 12:27 of the quarter before Duncan Hutchins took a feed from Jimmy Biter and scored with 8:20 left in the quarter to make it 3-1. Sophomore Luke Goldstock scored the first of his three unassisted goals on the day at 3:09 to give the Tar Heels a three-goal cushion. Moore scored his second goal of the first quarter with 17 seconds left but Sankey answered Moore’s goal with one second left in the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Tar Heels started to solve Gavin in the goal and UNC outscored the Paladins 5-1 in the period despite being outshot 15-8. UNC starting goalkeeper Brian Balkam made five saves in the period on the 15 Furman shots while allowing only one goal. Meanwhile, Gavin did not make a second period save and that helped the Tar Heels pull away for a seven-goal advantage at the half.

Joey Sankey started the scoring in the second quarter at 10:25 before Trevor Atkins put up a goal at the nine-minute mark to pull Furman within three goals. But the last six minutes of the first half were owned by UNC as four different Tar Heels scored – Bitter, Goldstock, Hutchins and Sankey. Sankey’s fourth goal of the first half pushed the Tar Heels to a 10-3 halftime advantage.

After Carolina killed off a one-minute penalty to start the third quarter the Tar Heels ran off five goals in just 3:35 and suddenly the lead had ballooned to 15-3. All five goals in that run were assisted tallies with Chad Tutton scoring from Peyton Klawinski at 13:31, Patrick Kelly taking a feed from Joey Sankey at 12:24, Jimmy Bitter netting a goal off a helper by Tate Jozokos at 11:08, Chad Tutton scoring in a man-up situation from Luke Goldstock at 10:20 and Ryan Kilpatrick scoring with his long stick off Jimmy Bitter’s assist at 9:56 after a Tar Heel face-off win.

Furman’s last goal came at 7:12 of the third quarter but freshman William McBride scored his first career goal just 42 seconds later off an assist from fellow Gilman alumnus Duncan Hutchins. Bitter finished off his hat trick at 2:30 of the third period and UNC led 17-4 heading into the final 15 minutes.

Only two goals were scored in the final period as things got sloppy with 16 combined turnovers in the final 15 minutes. Jake Matthai scored for the Heels 46 seconds into the period and Luke Goldstock finished off his hat trick with 8:24 left in the final stanza to end the scoring.

In the goal, Brian Balkam played the first half for UNC, making six saves and allowing three goals. Duncan Saunders went the final 30 minutes for UNC and made one save while allowing one goal. Jake Gavin played 38:30 in goal for Furman and made nine saves. Reilly McDermott played the final 21:30 and was credited with four saves. McDermott led the Paladins in ground balls with four.

UNC’s man-down defense was a highlight for the Tar Heel coaches as it shut out the Paladins on six attempts. Defensive midfielder Jake Matthai led the Tar Heels with six ground balls while Austin Pifani, Jake Bailey, Evan Connell and Stephen Kelly had four ground balls each. Jake Bailey led UNC in caused turnovers with three while Austin Pifani had two.




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