No. 4 North Carolina Rallies to Defeat Ohio State in Shootout

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Sophomore attackman Thomas Wood matched his career high with five goals to lead a balanced offensive attack as fourth-ranked North Carolina rallied past Ohio State 19-13 on a hot day at Fetzer Field before a crowd of 1,572 fans. The Tar Heels improve to 12-2 heading into the NCAA Tournament while Ohio State sees its season end at 7-8. The Tar Heels will now await their NCAA Tournament fate which will be announced Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU when bids, seeds and host sites are revealed during the NCAA Selection Show.

[Note: Box score available on final page of post.]

The Tar Heels honored 10 members of the Class of 2010 in pregame ceremonies playing their final regular-season game at Fetzer Field. Carolina improved to 15-1 all-time against the Buckeyes and the Tar Heels are now 21-1 against non-conference teams in Coach Joe Breschi's two years as head coach. Carolina has won 41 of its past 45 games against non-league teams dating back to 2006.

It was a wild offensive slugfest between the two teams as the Tar Heels totaled 19 goals, the most since they beat Detroit Mercy 19-4 on March 3, 2009 at Henry Stadium. Ohio State came into the game allowing only 8.95 goals per game and saving 57.3 percent of its opponents' shots. UNC scored on one half of their shots on goal Saturday. The six-goal margin matched OSU's largest final deficit this year, equaling the 11-5 loss at Bucknell.

It did not come easily for the Tar Heels however as UNC head coach Joe Breschi matched up against his former assistant coach Nick Myers. Both teams seemed to know each other well and the offensives thrived on it. After UNC built and early 3-1 lead, the Buckeyes ran off six goals in a row to take a 7-4 lead with 14:05 left in the second quarter. After the teams traded the next two goals, UNC rallied to score six of the last eight goals of the first half, forging a 10-10 deadlock at intermission.

UNC came out of the locker room at intermission and ran off the first four goals of the period, taking a 14-10 lead. They were never headed although the Buckeyes did pull within two goals with 10:20 to play in the game. Carolina then ran off the last four goals to produce the final margin.

Both Thomas Wood (five goals, one assist) and Gavin Petracca (three goals, three assists) had six points for the Tar Heels. Wood matched his career high for points in the win and Petracca passed the 150-point mark in his career, boosting his total to 152. UNC's offense was buoyed by the return of senior midfielder Sean DeLaney who had two goals and two assists. Freshman attackman Marcus Holman had two goals and an assist for the Heels while single goals were tallied by Jeff Muscatello, Zander Walters, Chris Layne, Billy Bitter, Michael Burns, Milton Lyles and Matt Davie. Muscatello added two assists, giving him a career-high three points. Jimmy Dunster, Layne, Greg McBride and Walters also had assists for UNC.

Carolina's defense struggled again the play of OSU super frosh Logan Schuss, who scored more than half of the Buckeyes' 13 goals with seven. He ended his season with 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 points. All three stats led the Buckeyes in 2010. Mario Ventiquattro had two goals for the Buckeyes while Mike Pires, Mike Smail, Paul Berry and Jarred Bowman had single goals for Coach Myers' team. Mike Pires had two assists to lead OSU.

Both teams employed two goalies. Chris Madalon started for UNC and played 24:48, making five saves while allowing nine goals. Freshman Steven Rastivo, who had played only 22:35 heading into the game, came on and was brilliant over the last 35:12. He made eight saves, allowed only four goals in the final 35 plus minutes of the game and also claimed four ground balls.

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