February 22, 2014

UNC Sails Past Big Green Behind Sankey's Seven Points

from press release

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --  Joey Sankey matched his career high with seven points on three goals and four assists to lead the No. 3 North Carolina men's lacrosse team past Dartmouth 18-5 Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 1,125 fans at Fetzer Field.

Jimmy Bitter also had a hat trick for the Tar Heels whileChad Tutton, Michael Tagliaferri and Pat Foster each rang up a pair of goals. Carolina improved to 3-0 on the season heading into a 12 noon matchup against ACC foe Notre Dame next Saturday at Fetzer Field. Dartmouth dropped its season opener.

The Tar Heels started strong, notching the first five goals of the game, all from different players. Long-stick midfielder Evan Connell scored his second career goal off a feed from Foster at 12:32 of the second quarter to build the 5-0 cushion. After Adam Phillie scored Dartmouth's first goal a little less than four minutes into the second quarter, UNC ran off three goals in a row to take an 8-1 halftime lead. Freshman close defenseman Austin Pifani recorded his first career goal 6:25 before the end of the half off an assist by Greg McBride to finish out scoring in the first half.

Carolina put the game out of reach with a four-goal run in a matter of just 2:18 early in the third quarter. Chad Tutton and Walker Chafee sandwiched extra-man tallied around unassisted goals by Sankey and Bitter and the Tar Heels were up 12-1 with 10:36 left in the third quarter. After the Big Green scored back-to-back goals, UNC went on a 5-0 scoring run to gain its biggest lead of the game at 17-3 with 10:56 to play in the contest. Foster scored with five seconds left in the third quarter and then Sankey, Tagliaferri, Luke Goldstock and Tutton recorded four goals in less than two minutes in the early stages of the final period.

Sankey had a hat trick for the third straight game and now has 11 for his career. He also extended his point-scoring streak to 24 games over the past three seasons. His seven points equaled his career high initially set against Dartmouth on March 18, 2013. Jimmy Bitter's three goals gave him his ninth career hat trick and extended his point-scoring streak to 29 games. His streak equals the 11th longest point-scoring streak in UNC history, matching the 29 games his older brother Billy recorded points in from Feb. 7, 2009 to April 17, 2010.

Chad Tutton's two goals, both in the second half, give him scores in 16 straight games, the seventh longest goal scoring streak in Tar Heel history. Freshman Michael Tagliaferri had his first career multi-goal game and junior midfielder Walker Chafee had his first multi-goal game since February 12, 2012 versus Mercer. Attackmen Spencer Parks and Luke Goldstock each had a goal and an assist.

The brothers Kelly did a great job at the face-off X for the second straight game as R.G. Keenan is currently out of the lineup with an injury. Frankie Kelly won 11 of 18 face-offs, his second straight game with more than 10 wins at the X. He also had five ground balls. Freshman Stephen Kelly had a 7 for 8 day in the face-off circle and led UNC with seven ground balls. UNC won the ground ball battle 43-26. Joey Sankey had six ground balls and Mark McNeill, Austin Pifani and Ryan Kilpatrickeach seized four. All but one player in uniform for the Tar Heels saw playing time in the game.

UNC outshot the Big Green 52-20. Both teams were efficient on the extra-man with UNC going 3-4 and Dartmouth 2-3. The Big Green also had a short-handed goal. The Tar Heels committed only 10 turnovers while Dartmouth had 19. UNC's edge at the face-off circle ended up being 18-9.

Sophomore Kieran Burke started his 20th straight game in goal for UNC and made eight saves while allowing just three goals in 49 minutes. Starting goalkeeper Blair Friedensohn had 12 saves in 49 minutes of action for the Big Green. Jibran Ahmad was the top scorer for Dartmouth with two goals while Donald Stephen had a goal and an assist.

Carolina's defense has limited opponents to five goals or less in the opening three games of the season. The last time UNC did that was the first four games of 2010 when opponents Jacksonville, Bryant, Lehigh and Navy were limited to five or less goals.

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