Jacksonville Falls to #4 North Carolina in Program Opener

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 6, 2010 -The JU men's lacrosse team showed the lacrosse world that they're ready for Division I with a feisty 11-5 loss to No. 4 North Carolina at D.B. Milne Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Dolphins (0-1) kept the excited crowd of 4,762 on its feet as they played the Tarheels (1-0) to a 5-3 halftime score before falling further behind in the third quarter.

The Tarheels were led by Thomas Wood on a hat trick and an assist off seven shots while Marcus Holman and Sean DeLaney recorded two goals apiece.

The Dolphins were led by an electrifying performance from senior goalie Brad Hester whose 17 saves kept his team in the game as North Carolina out shot the hosts, 42-22. Freshman Ryan Serville topped the scoring charts for the Dolphins with two goals and one assist while freshman Alex Everett provided a goal and an assist of his own.

"We told the guys before the game that the score wasn't important today," said JU head coach Matt Kerwick. "After how we played today, I'm not sure that many of the guys listened to us. We showed an incredible amount of heart and that's all you can ask for."

The Dolphins gave up an early goal to Billy Bitter at the 2:15 mark but refused let it affect them with Serville answering several minutes later. Serville took a stylish underhand pass from freshman Cameron Mann in front of the goal and it was finished tidily for the first goal in JU men's lacrosse history.

The Tarheels would extend the lead to 5-2 in the second quarter but freshman Alex Everett scored with just under eight minutes remaining in the half to bring the lead down to two heading into the third quarter.

The Dolphins will look back at the third quarter thinking of what could have been as they were outscored 4-1 by the visitors with four different Tarheels getting on the board.

The fourth quarter yielded one more goal for the Dolphins with freshman Max Gurowski finishing on a nice assist from Everett to round out a valiant effort from the young team.

The telling stat of the game for the Dolphins came in the form of just two conversions on seven extra man opportunities. JU's speed created many man-up chances but the finishing was lacking at times.

Hester finished the game with nine saves in the first half and eight in the second, yielding much applause from the crowd throughout the game.

The Dolphins are back on the field next weekend when they face Bellarmine at 1:30 p.m. at D.B. Milne Field.

* * * *

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. - North Carolina's fourth-ranked men's lacrosse team opened its 2010 season by posting a methodical 11-5 win over the host Jacksonville Dolphins at D.B. Milne Field. The game marked the first in the JU program's history as a varsity program as a crowd of 4,762 packed the stadium.

Not only was it Jacksonville's initial game, it also marked the earliest date in history for the Tar Heels to play a regular-season game since the program's inception in 1949. They outscored Jacksonville in every quarter but were never fully able to pull away until the second half when the Heels had a 6-2 goal advantage.

Sophomore attackman Thomas Wood led the Tar Heels with a career-high four points as he notched three goals and an assist. Senior midfielder Sean DeLaney and freshman attackman Marcus Holman each scored two goals for Carolina while sophomore defenseman Mark Staines and senior midfielder Cryder DiPietro each had a goal and an assist.

Ryan Serville had two goals and an assist to pace Jacksonville while Alex Everett had a goal and an assist.

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