Team of the Week: North Carolina's big win vs. Syracuse sets up top-two battle
North Carolina is the NCAA.com Men’s Lacrosse Team of the Week for games played April 7 through April 13.
The Tar Heels are 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time in 23 years after posting a 17-15 win against then-No. 2 Syracuse in front of a sellout crowd at Fetzer Field on Saturday.
Six Tar Heels had at least two goals in a balanced attack that saw Joey Sankey become the all-time leading scorer in UNC history with a two-goal, one-assist performance for 214 career points. Luke Goldstock led North Carolina with five points, including four goals.
North Carolina jumped out 5-0 and never relinquished the lead. Kieran Burke made 17 saves for the Tar Heels, including 10 in the first half to allow UNC to own a 10-6 lead at halftime.
After Sankey’s final goal with 9 minutes to play, Syracuse rallied to 17-15 with 2 minutes to go. The Orange had a man-up situation but Jake Bailey forced a turnover by Kevin Rice with 28 seconds to play and Evan Connell claimed the ground ball, allowing Carolina to run out the clock.
The Tar Heels outshot the Orange 49-48, while Syracuse held an edge in ground balls 35-28.
North Carolina’s victory sets up another No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup as the Tar Heels (12-1, 3-0 ACC) face top-ranked Notre Dame (8-1, 3-0) Saturday, April 18, in South Bend, Indiana. The winner will claim the ACC regular season crown.
Duke (8-4): The Blue Devils crushed higher-ranked Virginia, 15-8, to continue unprecedented dominance against the Cavaliers and clinch a spot in the ACC Tournament.
Maryland (11-1): Maryland eked two one-point victories last week against No. 17 Loyola (11-10) and Rutgers (9-8) to remain undefeated in Big Ten play and No. 3 in the national polls. The Terrapins visit No. 11 Ohio State Saturday.
Navy (8-4): Navy overcame a 6-3 deficit to beat archrival Army and end a streak of six consecutive losses to the Black Knights. The Midshipmen also earned at least a share of the Patriot League regular season title.