April 3, 2010

Courtesy of UNC Athletics

Billy Bitter returned from his leg injury to score four goals to lead the No. 3 North Carolina men's lacrosse team to an 11-7 victory over No. 14 Johns Hopkins before a crowd of 4,012 at Homewood Field. The Tar Heels improved to 10-0, the first time it has started a season with 10 wins in a row since the 1991 team went 16-0 en route to winning the national championship.

UNC's defense was stellar with Chris Madalon making nine saves. The unit as a whole limited the Blue Jays to seven goals, the fewest Hopkins has scored against Carolina at Homewood Field since 1988 in a 6-5 Johns Hopkins win.

Bitter's four goals matched his season high which he had in UNC's 13-7 win at Duke last month. He led a balanced scored attack which saw seven other Tar Heels score a goal each, including the first career goals for freshmen midfielders Cam Wood and Ian Braddish. Jimmy Dunster, Gavin Petracca, Marcus Holman, Michael Burns and Chris Layne also scored goals for the Tar Heels in the win. Dunster, Petracca, Holman and defenseman Milton Lyles all had a single assist for the Tar Heels.
The Blue Jays, who have now lost four in a row to fall to 4-5, were led by a hat trick by Kyle Wharton and two goals by midfielder Max Chautin. Tom Palasek had a pair of assists for Hopkins.

UNC and Hopkins traded the lead back-and-forth for most of the first half before the Tar Heels took a 6-5 lead into intermission. UNC then scored the first two goals of the second half and ended up outscoring the Blue Jays 5-2 in the second half. Gavin Petracca's goal with 11:04 left in the third quarter proved to be the game-winner.

UNC outshot the Blue Jays 39-36 and the Blue Jays had a slight edge in ground balls 24-21. Madalon played the whole 60 minutes in goal for UNC and improved to 10-0. Pierce Bassett made his first career start for Hopkins and had six saves and 11 goals allowed.

Hopkins won 11 face-offs to 10 for UNC with Michael Burns going 10 of 20 for Carolina. UNC scored the only two extra-man goals of the game while Hopkins went 0-for-4 in its extra-man chances.

Kyle Wharton opened the scoring for Hopkins with a goal just after a penalty had expired against the Tar Heels. The goal came with 12:45 left in the first quarter off an assist by Zach Palmer. Billy Bitter then tied the game on an unassisted goal on the doorstep of right crease at 9:44 of the first quarter. Bitter than put the Tar Heels ahead just 32 seconds later on a goal off an assist by Jimmy Dunster. Bitter took a pass from Dunster and then rolled in front of the crease for a putaway from three yards away. Hopkins tied it quickly at 7:23 on an unassisted goal by Max Chautin from the right side.

Bitter then scored after a Johns Hopkins shot hit the pipe and bounded out to midfield. Bitter won the ground ball just inside the midfield stripe, pivoted past his defender and raced down the middle of the field, scoring from 10 yards away. That proved to the last goal of the first quarter that ended with UNC ahead 3-2.

Hopkins tied the game 45 seconds into the second quarter on an unassisted goal by Steven Boyle while a delayed penalty flag was down on the field against the Tar Heels. The Blue Jays then went ahead 4-3 on a goal by Kyle Wharton assisted by Tom Palasek with 11:48 left in the second quarter. At 8:35, UNC's Ian Braddish tied the game on his first career goal, driving toward the middle and scoring high past Johns Hopkins goalie Pierce Bassett. The Tar Heels went ahead on a fast break goal by Chris Layne on a bounce shot off the goalie with an assist by Milton Lyles at 6:29. At 3:43 left in the quarter, UNC went up 6-4 on an extra-man goal with Gavin Petracca feeding Marcus Holman on the crease for the putaway. Hopkins answered right back less than a minute later on an unassisted goal by Max Chautin on a bounce shot.

The Tar Heels went ahead 7-5 as Jimmy Dunster drove the left alley and scored unassisted at 13:05. The Tar Heels scored an extra-man goal at 11:04 as Gavin Petracca took a pass on the left side from Marcus Holman and scored from 10 yards out. Hopkins pulled back within two goals at 8-6 as Kyle Wharton got an unassisted goal after claiming a loose ball in a scrum in front of the goal mouth. The Tar Heels scored just five seconds later as Michael Burns won the face-off on a violation, ran down the middle of the field and sent a high, hard shot in the upper right corner. That was the last goal of the quarter as the Tar Heels led 9-6 after three quarters.

Billy Bitter scored the first goal of the fourth quarter as he rolled the crease on the right side off a restart and scored unassisted at 6:46 of the period. Hopkins matched the goal less than a minute later on a goal by John Ranagan assisted by Tom Palasek with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter. Cam Wood then scored his first career goal at 1:14 of fourth quarter into an empty net as the Hopkins team was trying to get a takeaway.

The Tar Heels will travel to the new Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. to take on top-ranked Virginia next Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.