May 8, 2010

More Good from Wood in UNC Victory

from press release

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Sophomore attackman Thomas Wood matched his career high with five goals to lead a balanced offensive attack as fourth-ranked North Carolina rallied past Ohio State 19-13 on a hot day at Fetzer Field before a crowd of 1,572 fans. The Tar Heels improve to 12-2 heading into the NCAA Tournament while Ohio State sees its season end at 7-8. The Tar Heels will now await their NCAA Tournament fate which will be announced Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU when bids, seeds and host sites are revealed during the NCAA Selection Show.

The Tar Heels honored 10 members of the Class of 2010 in pregame ceremonies playing their final regular-season game at Fetzer Field. Carolina improved to 15-1 all-time against the Buckeyes and the Tar Heels are now 21-1 against non-conference teams in Coach Joe Breschi's two years as head coach. Carolina has won 41 of its past 45 games against non-league teams dating back to 2006.

It was a wild offensive slugfest between the two teams as the Tar Heels totaled 19 goals, the most since they beat Detroit Mercy 19-4 on March 3, 2009 at Henry Stadium. Ohio State came into the game allowing only 8.95 goals per game and saving 57.3 percent of its opponents' shots. UNC scored on one half of their shots on goal Saturday. The six-goal margin matched OSU's largest final deficit this year, equaling the 11-5 loss at Bucknell.

It did not come easily for the Tar Heels however as UNC head coach Joe Breschi matched up against his former assistant coach Nick Myers. Both teams seemed to know each other well and the offensives thrived on it. After UNC built and early 3-1 lead, the Buckeyes ran off six goals in a row to take a 7-4 lead with 14:05 left in the second quarter. After the teams traded the next two goals, UNC rallied to score six of the last eight goals of the first half, forging a 10-10 deadlock at intermission.

UNC came out of the locker room at intermission and ran off the first four goals of the period, taking a 14-10 lead. They were never headed although the Buckeyes did pull within two goals with 10:20 to play in the game. Carolina then ran off the last four goals to produce the final margin.

Both Thomas Wood (five goals, one assist) and Gavin Petracca (three goals, three assists) had six points for the Tar Heels. Wood matched his career high for points in the win and Petracca passed the 150-point mark in his career, boosting his total to 152. UNC's offense was buoyed by the return of senior midfielder Sean DeLaney who had two goals and two assists. Freshman attackman Marcus Holman had two goals and an assist for the Heels while single goals were tallied by Jeff Muscatello, Zander Walters, Chris Layne, Billy Bitter, Michael Burns, Milton Lyles and Matt Davie. Muscatello added two assists, giving him a career-high three points. Jimmy Dunster, Layne, Greg McBride and Walters also had assists for UNC.

Carolina's defense struggled again the play of OSU super frosh Logan Schuss, who scored more than half of the Buckeyes' 13 goals with seven. He ended his season with 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 points. All three stats led the Buckeyes in 2010. Mario Ventiquattro had two goals for the Buckeyes while Mike Pires, Mike Smail, Paul Berry and Jarred Bowman had single goals for Coach Myers' team. Mike Pires had two assists to lead OSU.

Both teams employed two goalies. Chris Madalon started for UNC and played 24:48, making five saves while allowing nine goals. Freshman Steven Rastivo, who had played only 22:35 heading into the game, came on and was brilliant over the last 35:12. He made eight saves, allowed only four goals in the final 35 plus minutes of the game and also claimed four ground balls.

Brandon Freeman started the game for OSU and played 47:35 overall. He left the game in the third quarter and came back in at the start of the fourth. He made 15 saves while allowing 16 goals. Ryan Brant played 12:25 for the Bucks and had four saves while allowing three goals.

UNC outshot the Buckeyes 56-32 including 33-10 in the second half when the Tar Heels pulled away with a 9-3 second half scoring run. UNC also had the edge in ground balls 46-33, including 16-6 in the deciding fourth quarter. Michael Burns and Mark Staines both had six ground balls for UNC. That was a career high total for Staines.

Burns and Staines both had career highs for face-off wins in a game as well as Burns won 15 of 26 draws and Staines was successful on seven of nine. OSU used four different face-off men. UNC won 22 of 35 overall at the X. UNC forced the Buckeyes into 18 turnovers and eight failed clears. UNC committed 14 turnovers and has four failed clears.

Both teams excelled on the EMO with UNC going 3 of 4 and OSU 2 of 2. UNC headed into the game leading the nation in EMO percentage at 55 percent.

Carolina opened the scoring just eight seconds into the game on an unassisted goal by Billy Bitter. Schuss tied the game at 9:31 with the first of his seven goals. UNC answered with goals by Jeff Muscatello, assisted by Zander Walters, and Gavin Petracca, assisted by Chris Layne, and the Heels were up 3-1 with 5:17 to play in the first quarter. Ohio State then exploded and scored on six straight possessions without UNC touching the ball as a 3-1 deficit turned into a 7-3 lead with 14:05 left in the second quarter. Schuss scored three straight goals in just 54 seconds to fuel the run and then Mario Ventiquattro scored back-to-back 33 seconds apart early in the second quarter to build the four-goal cushion.

The Tar Heels were able to get back into the game by halftime with a furious rally. After Wood and Jarred Bowman exchanged goals, the Tar Heels got back-to-back goals from Marcus Holman and Milton Lyles, the latter a fast break tally off an assist by Greg McBride, to pull North Carolina within 8-6 with 8:30 left in the half. Mike Smail responded for OSU at 7:17 before DeLaney's extra-man goal and Petracca's second goal got the Heels within one at 5:12 of the period. At that point, Rastivo entered the game for UNC and he made three saves on OSU's first possession before Logan Schuss scored his fifth goal at 3:04.

The Tar Heels forged a tie by halftime, however, as Gavin Petracca scored with 2:08 left in the half, the start of UNC's own six-goal run. Thomas Wood then tied the game at 1:25 with an extra-man goal assisted by Petracca.

Carolina come out in the second half and ran off the first four goals to take control of the match. Michael Burns scored on a hard bounce shot from 15 yards out to give the Tar Heels the lead for good at 11-10 with 14:27 to play in the third period. Just over two minutes later, Thomas Wood scored on another hard bounce shot from the left side to make it 12-10. Carolina's second line midfield took over for the next two goals. Matt Davie scored his first career goal on a tough angle shot from the right side at 9:12 off Jeff Muscatello's first career assist. Then at 5:17, Zander Walters got his first career goal from 12 yards up top, assisted by again by Muscatello.

Schuss then scored his final two goals of the game, wrapped around a tally by Wood, and the teams went into the fourth quarter with the Tar Heels up 15-12. The Buckeyes struck first in the fourth period as Mike Pires scored from Paul Beery at 10:20. But from then on it was all Tar Heels. DeLaney scored his second man-up goal of the game at 7:18 off an assist by Petracca to make it 16-13. Chris Layne made a nifty move to dodge past a defender and increase the lead to 17-13 at 5:35. Wood got his fifth and final goal at 4:55, off an assist by Jimmy Dunster, and Marcus Holman closed out the scoring at 2:25 of the final frame.

Carolina's margin of victory was it biggest against the Buckeyes since a 14-5 win in 2006. The Buckeyes gave up a season-high 19 goals, exceeding the 14 they gave up to Bellarmine last Saturday. The 13 goals were the second most the Heels have given up this season.

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