The #3 Falls

The #3 falls, 18-16. The third-ranked UNC Tarheels (8-2, 1-2 ACC) invited the #6 Virginia Cavaliers (9-2, 2-2 ACC) to Chapel Hill.
A frantic first quarter had each team firing 15 shots to set the stage for a wild affair that Chris Gray (3g, 1a) started at 13:55 to give the Tarheels a 1-0 edge.

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Henry Schertzinger (2g) doubled the lead before Payton Cormier (2g) answered for Virginia. Tanner Cook (1g) for UNC and Cormier exchanged goals as would Peter Garno (1g) for the Cavs and Connor McCarthy for UNC to put it to 4-4. Ian Laviano (4g,2a) gave Virginia the lead but was quickly answered by Alex Trippi (1g,1a). Matt Moore (2g,6a) and with just :36 on the clock, Jeff Conner (4g) ended the entertaining quarter with a score of 7-5 leaning the Virginia way.

The second quarter was a total opposite with just two markers, both by UNC, courtesy of William Perry (4g,2a) as well as another from Connor McCarthy. The third quarter more resembled the first and McCarty picked up his 6th of the season at 12:20. Virginia countered with Xander Dickson (1g) and Jeff Conner to seize the lead.

Chris Gray and Perry countered before Virginia went on a run with goals from Dox Aitken (1g), Laviano, Garno, and finally, with :09 remaining, Matt Moore assisted on another from Laviano to close the third with The Cavs riding high, 13-10. Petey LaSalla (1g,1a) added to the run at 14:48 which left UNC a hill to climb. Schertzinger stopped the deluge but Conner stepped up to get it to 15-11.

Jacob Kelly (1g) brought the Tarheels within three but LaSalla won the draw and Laviano pushed it back to a four-goal cushion. Perry and Connor Shellenberger (1g,2a) exchanged scores but a frantic final 1:52 was about to unfold. Chris Gray picked up his 35th at 1:52, Matt Moore made it 18-14 with exactly 1:00 to go. Perry at the :37 mark and a man down tally from Connor Maher (1g) brought the 18-16 final.

Did You Hear?

Petey LaSalla went 11 of 12 in the final quarter and 26 of 38 from the “x” for the Cavs. Shots were 51-44 for UNC with on goal showing a 33-31 Virginia edge. Ground Balls went the way of UNC, 37-36.

Obviously, we scored, both goalies were solid, and we did a nice job with the ground ball work, clearing, riding,” UNC coach Joe Breschi said. “We just played a lot of defense and we didn’t play great defensively.  “At the end of the day, I thought we created enough opportunities. Their goalie did a nice job – I thought both goalies were solid.”

UVA keeper Alex Rode and UNC’s Krieg finished with 15 saves each had 15 saves. The six-point game set a career-high for William Perry. The #3 Falls.

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