April 17, 2011

Galasso Breaks UNC Freshman Scoring Record

from press release

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Nicky Galasso, Pat Foster and Thomas Wood all recorded hat tricks as the ninth-ranked North Carolina men's lacrosse team defeated Lehigh 15-8 Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 1,493 at Goodman Stadium. The Tar Heels scored the first seven goals of the game and cruised from there to improve to 9-4 on the season heading into next weekend's Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

Galasso and Foster equaled their career highs for goals in a game with four and three, respectively, while Wood recorded his sixth career hat trick and third of the season, while also adding an assist. Galasso, Billy Bitter and Jimmy Dunster each had three assists to power a UNC offense that recorded assists on 11 of its 15 goals. Dunster matched his career high for assists in a game while Galasso's seven points equaled his career best mark in a match and was just one shy of the school record for points in a game by a freshman.

Galasso's seven points pushed his season total to 51, breaking the school record for points in a season by a freshman. The previous record was 45 set by John Webster in 1990. Galasso now has 29 assists this year, the most by a Tar Heel player since Brendan Carey had 40 in 1996.

The win over the Mountain Hawks, who fell to 6-8, gives the Tar Heels momentum heading into Friday's ACC Tournament semifinal game against fourth-ranked Maryland. That game will be played at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. The Tar Heels will meet the Terrapins at 5 p.m. Friday in the first semifinal game while Duke will play Virginia at 7:30 p.m. in the second semifinal. The ACC championship game is schedule for next Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
UNC improved to 6-1-1 all-time against Lehigh by recording its sixth straight win in the series. The Heels were playing a Lehigh team which had lost a heartbreaking 12-11 decision to Patriot League leader Bucknell on Friday evening. The Tar Heels took advantage by scoring the opening seven goals of the match.

In the opening period the Tar Heels were virtually shot out of a cannon, dominating in shots 13-2 and ground balls 10-3. Six first quarter saves by Griffin Farha helped keep the Mountain Hawks within shouting distance as the Heels led 3-0 after 15 minutes. Wood opened the scoring off an assist by Dunster at 11:11 of the opening quarter. The Heels then made it 3-0 with a pair of goals only eight seconds apart later in the period. Mark McNeill scored an unassisted goal with 2:32 to play in the quarter and eight seconds later Wood scored his second of the opening frame off the first career assist by face-off man R.G. Keenan.

The Tar Heels continued to pound away at the Lehigh goal in the second quarter. Just five seconds into the period Keenan had a goal of his own as he won the face-off clean and tallied his third goal of the season. It was the first game in which Keenan has had multiple points. The Tar Heels made it 5-0 in just another 36 seconds as Galasso scored the first of his four goals off Dunster's second assist of the match.

Neither team scored for over 10 minutes before a flurry of three goals were scored in less than a minute later in the half. Galasso notched his second goal off Bitter's first assist of the game at 3:31 of the period and just 10 seconds later the two attackmen switched roles with Bitter scoring and Galasso providing the assist. Lehigh then got on the board with Dante Fantoni scoring an unassisted goal at 2:37 to make the score 7-1 at the half.

The Mountain Hawks scratched first in the second half on an unassisted goal by Cameron Lao-Gosney 1:17 into the third period. But the Heels struck right back as Mark Staines scooped up the ground ball on the ensuing face-off and went in and scored his fourth goal in the last three games and his fifth of the year. The goal came just 10 seconds after Lao-Gosney's tally and started a five-goal UNC run that would boost the lead to 10 goals at 12-2.

Pat Foster scored back-to-back goals for the Tar Heels at 11:09 and 5:49 of the quarter as Galasso assisted on both scores. The freshman from West Islip, N.Y., continued his offensive assault with goals of his own at 3:54 and 3:48 of the period, giving the Tar Heels to 12-2 lead. Bitter and Wood had assists on the goals. The second of the two goals gave Galasso his fourth goal and seventh point of the match. He previously had four goals against Robert Morris in the season opener on February 12 and seven points against Maryland on March 26.

Lehigh scored the last two goals of the third quarter on tallies by Jonathan Stumpf and Lao-Gosney with 19 seconds and one second left, respectively, pulling the Mountain Hawks within 12-4 heading into the final period. The Mountain Hawks would outscore the Heels 4-3 in the final quarter helped by three goals in the final 1:31 of the game.

Foster opened the scoring in the fourth quarter as he scored off Bitter's third assist of the game 1:02 into the period. The tally gave Foster three on the game. He also had a hat trick versus Maryland on March 26. Adam Johnston scored a man-up goal for Lehigh at 7:30 but the Heels got the next two scores to make it 15-5 with 3:28 to play. At 6:04, Wood finished off his hat trick, his first since the win at Princeton on March 8, with an assist by Dunster. The junior midfielder previously had three assists in a game on March 16, 2010 against Princeton. Freshman midfielder Ryan Creighton had Carolina's final score of the game at 3:28, his seventh goal of the season.

Lehigh got three goals in the final 1:31 to pull the final tally to 15-8. Stempf scored at 1:31 and Kyle Stiefel and Matt Smith had tallies at 22 seconds and one second remaining, respectively.

The seven-goal margin of victory was Carolina's largest in a road game since the Tar Heels beat Navy 11-4 on February 25, 2010 in Annapolis, Md.

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