Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.06.2012 at 1.45 p.m. by Gary Lambrecht

Holman Adjusting as UNC's Leader, Playmaker

North Carolina junior Marcus Holman knew he would be needed as a point-getter for the Tar Heels in 2012. After moving from the starting midfield unit down to attack earlier this season, Holman has been equally busy directing fellow starting freshmen attackmen Joey Sankey and Jimmy Bitter, two of Carolina's most dynamic and prolific scorers.

In last week's 13-9 victory over previously undefeated and top-ranked Johns Hopkins, Holman was magnificent with two goals and four assists. He was just as busy in his role as mentor to Bitter, who led the Tar Heels with a hat trick, and Sankey, who added a goal in the victory that elevated Carolina to No. 9 in the rankings.

"We want to play faster, and [Sankey and Bitter] are two of our fastest guys. They were two reasons why the Hopkins defense was hunched over at times," Holman said. "At times, they can get a little out of control. They're freshmen, which means they don't have the best grasp of game sense.

"I meet with them during every timeout and go over situations. It might be just to say, 'OK guys, we're up by two goals right now, so we don't need to force passes inside or go kamikaze to the goal. I try to be the calm, veteran presence for them out there. I'm trying to be leader and trying to make plays. It's about having a balance."

The Tar Heels will need more of it on Saturday, when they face the new and former No. 1 in Virginia. As of now, the Carolina attack is giving opponents all it can handle and more. Holman leads the team with 23 assists and 39 points. Sankey is second with 18 goals and 27 points. Bitter is third with 15 goals and 22 points.