#4 North Carolina Survives Shootout with #12 Delaware

Ruiz committed a turnover at the 43-second mark and the Tar Heels cleared quickly, taking the ball into their own end and with the aid of a timeout killing off all but the last six seconds of the game. Delaware won a ground ball in its own end with two seconds to play but it was too late for the Blue Hens to get off a shot in an effort to tie the game.

In a key stat, UNC's combination of Wood, Holman, Layne and Davie accounted for nine of UNC's 14 goals in the game despite combining for only 11 of UNC's 43-shot total.

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The up and down battle that the University of Delaware expected in the Blue Hens' NCAA Tournament opener at the University of North Carolina was evident early. And it never stopped.

The No. 12 Blue Hens and No. 4 Tar Heels battled to a 6-6 stalemate after a feverish first quarter and were tied nine other times during the non-stop action. But when the smoke finally cleared Sunday night at Fetzer Field, it was North Carolina that was on top as the Tar Heels ended the Hens' inspirational season with a 14-13 victory.

Delaware (10-6), which had a five-game win streak snapped and lost for the first time since early April, was looking to repeat the magic of its 2007 run to the NCAA Final Four, but came agonizingly short.

"This was two excellent teams playing hard for 60 minutes but someone had to lose," said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw, who had taken the Hens to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time, including three times in the last six seasons. "This game was just what I expected it would be - up and down transition with plenty of crazy plays. I just wish we could have had two or more crazy plays go our way."

The start of the game was delayed 90 minutes when a thunderstorm moved into the Chapel Hill area. When the rain and lightning left, the electricity remained on the field.

All-American and Tewaaraton Award finalist Curtis Dickson, Delaware's career record holder for goals and the nation's leader with 62 coming in, was held without a score for the first time since March, 2009, put the Hens got help from plenty of others.

Anthony Ruiz (at right) and Martin Cahill, who both missed most of the week of practice due to injuries, came up big with Ruiz scoring three of his career-high four goals in the opening quarter and Cahill netting two of his three in the opening nine minutes.

D.J. Widlake added two goals and two assists, Grant Kaleikau contributed two goals and an assist, and Kevin Kaminski had a goal and an assist for the Hens, who converted on six of nine man-up opportunities. Goalkeeper Noah Fossner (at left) collected 12 saves for the Hens.

Dickson, who was harassed all night by the Tar Heel defense and drew most of the nine UNC penalties, did manage to dish out two assists and extended his school-record point scoring streak to 57 straight games. He finished the season with 77 points and his career with 212 points to rank No. 4 all-time.

North Carolina (13-2), a four-time NCAA champion, took the lead for good on a fastbreak goal by Marcus Holman with 1:29 left in the third quarter and held on down the stretch to post the win and advance to the NCAA quarterfinals where the Tar Heels will play rival Duke next Saturday at Princeton University.

Holman and Sean DeLaney each netted three goals for North Carolina while Thomas Wood, Matt Davie, and Chris Layne each scored twice.

"I can't even describe the experience of coaching this team," said Shillinglaw, now in his 32nd season at Delaware. "I probably learned more from them than they did from me this season. I knew we would get a great effort tonight. There are no moral victories here. We are disappointed. We came into this game expecting to win and I was proud of our effort."

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2010-05-17



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