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Four Hat Tricks Power Heels Past Minutemen

Sophomore Peyton Klawinski has recorded hat tricks in back-to-back games.
Courtesy GoHeels.com

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Sixth-ranked North Carolina continued its early-season offensive assault as four players recorded hat tricks in the Tar Heels’ 20-8 win over Massachusetts Saturday at Fetzer Field. Coach Joe Breschi’s men’s lacrosse team improved to 3-0 on the season while UMass has lost its first two games.

Carolina has scored 15 or more goals in all three games this season and limited each of its opponents to single digits in goal. Joey Sankey, Jimmy Bitter, Luke Goldstock and Peyton Klawinski each scored three goals for the Tar Heels while Chad Tutton and Duncan Hutchins added two goals each.

The last time UNC had four players with hat tricks in the same game was April 24, 2009 when Billy Bitter, Ben Hunt, Bart Wagner and Gavin Petracca all scored three goals in a 16-10 win over Maryland in the ACC Tournament semifinals. All three Tar Heel starting attackmen – Goldstock, Sankey and Bitter – recorded hat tricks for the second time in three games this year. That had not happened since the aforementioned Maryland game in 2009 until the Tar Heels did it a week ago in the season opener versus Furman.

Bitter has recorded hat tricks in all three games this year and for the second straight game he had six points, just one shy of his career high of seven points in a game. His three assists matched his career high, the sixth time in his career he has achieved that total. Sankey had his second hat trick of the year. His four assists and seven points both matched his career highs. This is the third time he has had four assists in a game and the fourth time he has had seven points.

Both Bitter and Sankey now have 99 career goals. That total ties them with Harper Peterson (1968-70) and Billy Bitter (2008-11) for 10th place in Tar Heel history. After their three-goal performances on Saturday, Bitter now has 17 career hat tricks and Sankey has totaled 16.

North Carolina only outshot the Minutemen 40-35 in the game but the Tar Heels scored on 50 percent of their shots. UNC dominated in ground balls 43-31 and led in the face-off circle 19-13. Stephen Kelly won a career high 17 face-offs, prevailing on 17 of 28 draws. Kelly led the Tar Heels with nine ground balls. Kelly’s previous high for face-off wins was 15 against Princeton on March 7, 2014. Kelly has now also scored goals in back-to-back games.

Eighteen different Tar Heels had ground balls in the game with Evan Connell totaling five and Sankey, Tutton, Austin Pifani and William McBride each scooping up three. Pifani led the Tar Heels with three caused turnovers and Jack Lambert and Zach Powers each had two caused turnovers. Pifani also scored his second career goal.

Luke Goldstock had three goals and one assist for UNC. He recorded his third career hat trick and his second this campaign. He matched his career high of four points he also had against Furman last Saturday and against Bucknell on March 11, 2014. Sophomore Peyton Klawinski also had a hat trick against the Minutemen, the second straight game he has had a three-goal performance. His four points were a career high. The sophomore midfielder from Memphis has seven goals this season while running on the first midfield unit, more than double the total of three goals he had as a freshman.

Redshirt senior Duncan Hutchins, running on the second midfield unit, had his second two-goal game of the season after not scoring a single goal in 2014. Chad Tutton had his third multi-goal game of the season as well. Walker Chafee and Jake Matthai rounded out the goal scoring for UNC while Patrick Kelly had two assists and Michael Tagliaferri also added a helper.

For UMass, Nick Mariano had a hat trick to lead the way for the Minutemen while Peter Lindley had two goals and an assist. Dan Muller had a goal and an assist for UMass.

Zach Oliveri went the whole way in goal for UMass, making nine saves and allowing 20 goals. UNC played thee goalkeepers in the match. Redshirt freshman Brian Balkam started and made six saves while allowing four goals in the first half. Redshirt sophomore Duncan Saunders played the third quarter, making two saves and allowing two goals. Junior Kieran Burke played the fourth quarter, making three saves and allowing two goals.

The Tar Heels outscored the Minutemen in every quarter of the match, 4-2, 6-2, 5-2, 5-2.

After Jake Matthai and Buddy Carr traded the opening two goals of the game, UNC went up for good on a Jimmy Bitter goal assisted by Joey Sankey with 7:35 left in the first quarter. Leading 4-2 at the end of one period, UNC opened the second quarter with goals by Klawinski and back-to-back tallies by Bitter. The latter of those two scores came on a shot from the right wing that can be described as nothing but nasty as it zoomed over Oliveri’s left shoulder from 12 yards out before the goalkeeper could react. UMass stuck around by scoring the next two goals to cut UNC’s lead to 7-4. But a goal by Chad Tutton and two scores by Luke Goldstock put UNC up 10-4 with four minutes left I the first half.

Tutton and Pifani scored goals in the first three minutes of the second half to pace the Tar Heels to a 12-4 lead. Peter Lindley scored for UMass on a man-up situation with 9:50 left in the third quarter but the Tar Heels ran off five of the next six goals and Duncan Hutchins’ man-down tally with 10:46 left gave the Tar Heels an 11-goal cushion at 17-6. UNC’s largest lead of the game came with 3:45 to play when Peyton Klawinski finished his hat trick off an assist by Patrick Kelly.

NEXT UP: The Tar Heels will have a week off before playing host to fifth-ranked Johns Hopkins next Saturday at Fetzer Field at 2 p.m. The Blue Jays are 2-1 this year with wins over UMBC and Villanova and a loss to Towson.

NOTING THE TAR HEELS

• Jimmy Bitter has now recorded hat tricks in six of the past seven games he has played in dating back to April 12, 2014 versus Syracuse.

• UNC now leads the all-time series against the Minutemen 4-1. Saturday’s meeting was the first ever in Chapel Hill.

• The 20 goals scored were the most in a game by the Tar Heels since they defeated Bucknell 20-4 on March 11, 2014.

• Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey finished the afternoon each having scored his 99th career goal, tied for 10th in Tar Heel history with Harper Peterson (1968-70) and Billy Bitter (2008-11). Chad Tutton’s two goals give him 78, which is tied for 27th in UNC history.

• Jimmy Bitter has now recorded point in 44 successive games dating back to March 16, 2012. That’s the second longest current streak in the nation in Division I. The 44-game streak is also tied for the fourth longest in Carolina history.

• Joey Sankey has had at least one point in 39 successive games since April 20, 2012. That is the third longest active streak in the nation in NCAA Division I and the eighth longest streak in Carolina history.

• Austin Pifani scored the second goal of his career. His previous goal came against Dartmouth on February 22, 2014.

• Peyton Klawinski has now recorded hat tricks in back-to-back games. Coming into 2015, his previous high goal total was two versus Manhattan on February 16, 2014. Klawinski has seven goals so far this season after scoring thee in all of 2014.

• Joey Sankey has scored a goal in 19 successive games dating back to May 19, 2013. That is tied for the fourth longest current streak in the nation and tied for the seventh longest streak in UNC history.

• Jimmy Bitter has scored a goal in 17 straight games, dating back to February 16, 2014. That is tied for the sixth longest active streak in the nation and it is the ninth longest streak in UNC history.

• Stephen Kelly won a career high 17 face-offs. It is the 29th time in UNC history that a player has won as many as 17 face-offs in a game. His previous career high was 15 versus Princeton on March 7, 2014.

• Stephen Kelly has scored goals in back-to-back games. That equals his goal total from the 2014 season.

• Stephen Kelly’s nine ground balls were the third most he has had in a game in his career. He has 13 against Princeton and 10 against Bucknell in his freshman year.

• Joey Sankey’s seven points equaled his career high for points in a game. He also had seven versus Dartmouth on March 18, 2013, seven against Dartmouth on February 22, 2014 and seven versus Johns Hopkins on March 29, 2014.

• Joey Sankey matched his career high for assists in a game with four. He also had four assists versus Princeton on March 9, 2014 and against Dartmouth on February 22, 2014.

• Jimmy Bitter’s three assists matched his career high. He also had three assists versus Hofstra on April 14, 2012, against Notre Dame on March 2, 2013, against Princeton on March 9, 2013, against Maryland on March 23, 2013 and against Brown on March 27, 2013.

• Evan Connell’s five ground balls matched his career high set previously against Manhattan on February 16, 2014.

• Joey Sankey now has 172 career points, tied for ninth in UNC history with Mac Ford (1982-85) and Jed Prossner (2002-05).

• Jimmy Bitter now has 147 career points at UNC and is in 19th place, on point behind Matt Crofton (1997-2000).

• Chad Tutton has 96 career points, tied with Ben Hunt for 39th place.

• Joey Sankey has 73 career assists, ranking 10th in UNC history.

• Luke Goldstock now has three career hat tricks – vs. Bucknell as a freshman and against Furman and Massachusetts as a sophomore.

• Duncan Hutchins matched his career high for goals in a game with two. He has scored twice against Penn on March 8, 2011, against Princeton on March 10, 2012, against Furman on February 7, 2015 and against Massachusetts on February 14, 2015.




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