October 12, 2013

Carolina Solid at Thumbs Up Event vs. Ohio State

by Adam Bednar | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

UNC Midfielder Peyton Klawinski, a sophomore, fires off a shot toward Ohio State's freshman goalie Nick Doyle.
© Adam Bednar 

Baltimore, Md. - University of North Carolina head lacrosse coach Joe Breschi almost always put his son to bed at night, and the ritual would end with Michael Breschi telling his father "thumbs up" and making the gesture.

Before the start of the University of North Carolina and Ohio State University men's lacrosse scrimmage at Calvert Hall's Kelly Field, Joe Breschi, players and fans stood and gave thumbs up in memory of Michael Breschi who died in an auto accident in 2004 when he was just 3-years-old.

"It's much more than just wins and losses, and turnovers and goals and all that. It's about life lessons, and the fact that Michael was able to kind of bring everybody together in this kind of setting is really special,"Joe Breschi said.

Saturday marked the third time the schools have played a scrimmage in the Baltimore-area as a fundraiser for the Michael R. Breschi Memorial Scholarship that goes to a senior at Ohio State where Joe Breschi was head coach for 11 seasons.

Breschi's Tar Heels performed well enough against a short-handed Buckeyes squad to earn a thumbs up following a 15-9 victory.

The Buckeyes scored first when sophomore Gordie Koerber snuck the ball past goalie Kieran Burke from the just outside the left side of the crease, but the lead was short lived.

The game settled into a back and forth defensive battle until the second period when North Carolina's offense erupted.

Junior Joey Sankey scored his team's first two goals sparking a seven-goal run and a 12-3 halftime lead for the Tar Heels.

"Joey's done a fabulous job. I mean he's been the leader down at the offensive end, you know we're mixing guys up... the constant is Sankey him playing in the first half, and then a little bit in the third quarter, and to see him produce, and not really carry our offense, but kind of generate the offensive opportunities, I think that's what helped us jump out to where we did in the first half," Breschi said.

Breschi said he was happy with his team's fast start, but thought his squad made too many "silly mistakes" including 10 visits to the penalty box.

The Buckeyes, playing without standout junior Jesse King, struggled to establish a rhythm on offense during the first half, and had nearly as many turnovers as shots in the first quarter.

Ohio State was also without senior goalie Greg Dutton because of an injury. True freshman Nick Doyle started and played the entire game, and made several impressive saves to keep the game close in the first period.

"I thought [Doyle] hung in there and did a really nice job," said Nick Myers, Ohio State's head coach.

After halftime, Ohio State rallied to narrow the score, but didn't have enough to overcome the deficit. Myers was happy with the back-and-forth first 15 minutes of the game, but said his team was humbled by North Carolina in the second period.

"We knew today it was going to be a bit of a test of our character with some guys out of our line up, but I thought coming out of the half we responded the way you'd like to see a team respond," Myers said. "We came back and fought, and we really talked about as a goal coming down here is to lay some bricks, lay a foundation we can build on for the spring."


In Bulk: UNC played three midfield groups and a total of 28 players saw game time in the first half.

Young in the Middle: Five of the first eight midfielders off the bench for Ohio State on Saturday were freshmen.

Homecoming: A combined six players from both rosters graduated from Calvert Hall.

Fundraising: The game helped raise $7,000 for the Michael R. Breschi Memorial Scholarship.

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