COLUMBUS, Ohio — North Carolina put eight consecutive goals on the scoreboard and shut out third-seeded Notre Dame (11-4) in the second period and most of the third en route to a 13-9 victory Sunday afternoon in an NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship quarterfinal game in Ohio Stadium.
From a tie at 2-2 after Matt Kavanagh’s goal for the Irish with :19.7 seconds remaining in the opening period, the 12th-ranked Tar Heels (10-6) took control with eight straight goals over a 25:41 timespan — one late in the first period, three in the second and four in a row to start the second half.
Notre Dame sophomore Mikey Wynne finally broke the drought with a score (the second of his team-high four goals) at 1:52 of the third period. But, at that point, North Carolina led 10-3.
The Irish scored the final five goals of the game and six of the last seven. Kavanagh notched a pair of scores in his final collegiate game, while Drew Schantz, Ryder Garnsey and Brendan Collins had one each. Schantz, Garnsey and senior Eddy Lubowicki had the Irish assists.
“It starts with face-offs and possessions — but take the flow of the game out and it came down to shooting in a huge way,” said Irish coach Kevin Corrigan. “We just did not hit the goal and they did. They put a lot of pressure on our goalie and we did not put a lot of pressure on theirs.”
Carolina put 13 of their 23 shots on goal into the net.
Carolina held Notre Dame (11-4) to a pair of first-half goals, matching the lowest-scoring first half of 2016 for the Irish.
The Irish outshot North Carolina 43-34. The Tar Heels won the ground-ball battle 26-23 and claimed 17 of 25 face-offs.
Senior Steve Pontrello led the Tar Heels with four goals,
The Irish were making their 11th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship and seventh straight in the quarterfinal round — the best current streak in the country.
North Carolina advanced to NCAA Championship Weekend for the first time since 1993.