Tarheels Keep Stranglehold on #1

The Tarheels keep a stranglehold on the #1 spot. A match-up between two Top Ten ranked teams in the NCAA D1 class featured the current #1 University of North Carolina (7-0) facing the challenge of the #8 Virginia Cavaliers (5-2). UNC never trailed in this but held on at the end to stake a 16-13 victory. Nicky Solomon (3g,3a), and Chris Gray (4g, 1a) put the Tar Heels in front 2-0 with just 2:30 played.

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Virginia would respond with a Payton Cormier (3g) net bender to make it 2–1. Solomon and Regan Quinn (2g) exchanged goals but, the ‘Heels were poised and went on a run. William Perry (2g,2a) and a man-up marker from Jacob Kelly (1g,2a) ended the initial fifteen minutes with UNC in front,5-2.

The rarest of rare occurred when the Tar Heels were staring at a 3:00 nonreleasable man down. Adversity would be quickly reversed when Brian Cameron (1g,1a) and Andrew Tyeryar (1g) each scored on the disadvantage. Charlie Bertrand (1g) calmed the waters but, UNC went another surge fueled by Tanner Cook (2g,2a), Chris Gray achieving his 26th of the season, Perry and Solomon bagging his 14th and it appeared the rout was on, 11-3.

Griffin Harris (1g) ended the half with a Virginia score that got it to 11-4. The Cavaliers seemed to find their mojo and rattled off goals from Payton Cormier with a pair and Jeff Conner (2g) and things were getting tight at 11-7. The run was quickly stopped with a Chris Gray tally.

Matt Moore (2g,2a) and Tanner Cook converting a William Perry set up, closed the third quarter with UNC up, 13-8. Moore nailed his 13th to cut it to a four-goal game before Gray and Matt Wright (1g) got it back to a six-goal spread.

At that point, a sense of urgency overwhelmed the Cavs and they responded when Matt Moore hit Regan Quinn, Moore went back to work and found Connor Shellenberger (2g,3a), Shellenberger getting the helper on another Jeff Conner marker and with just 1:35 on the clock, Shellenberger closed it to 15-13. Justin Anderson (1g) supplied the 16th and final Tar Heels goal to end the 16-13 affair.

Notes

Despite the score, Virginia was on the right side of all stats with a 62-48 edge in shots. 38-24 in ground balls and handling face-offs, 21-11. This marked the first time UNC has gotten the better of Virginia since 2017. The Tarheels keep a stranglehold on the #1 spot.

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