Furious Rally by #4 North Carolina Sinks Navy

Despite the hometown fan encouragement, North Carolina came to life in the fourth quarter, scoring a game-high four goals and relying upon its veterans to rally the Tar Heels' way back into the game. UNC's leading scorer Davey Emala was held without a goal until the 12:12 mark in the fourth when he took advantage of a failed clear by the Mids. Although the Mids double-teamed Emala, he was able to thread his shot in past Wickham.

The Mids had a chance to answer back when at the 9:38 mark UNC's Tyler Morton was flagged for a 30-second push. Navy sophomore midfielder Erik Hoffstadt (Dover, Del.) fired off a hard shot from roughly 10 yards out that would ricochet off the cross bar and go out of play.

Hoffstadt's shot was the Mids' lone shot of the fourth quarter, as the Tar Heels outshot Navy, 15-1.

Meanwhile, Wood, who sat out Carolina's first three games of the season with an injury, scored two of the Tar Heels' final three goals of the game, while Holman, an All-American, scored the equalizer with 4:33 remaining in the contest.

Wood led the way for the Tar Heels with his three goals, while Holman scored two goals and added four assists. Keenan won 18 of the game's 20 faceoffs and picked up 11 ground balls.

Dabbs led the Midshipmen with his first-collegiate hat trick, while Jones scored a goal and added a pair of assists and Hull pitched in three assists. Reynolds and Durkin each finished with a pair of goals, while Hoffstadt turned in an assist.

Defensively, Wickham provided the necessary spark in goal, making eight first-half saves and 12 total on the day, while senior Ian Crumley (Oakton, Va.) and junior Jay Christopher (Winston-Salem, N.C.) filled in nicely on defense for the short-handed Mids.

Sowell sat eight players for violating team rules, including starting defenseman Nik Mullen (Wading River, N.Y.), while the Mids were already without starting long pole Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.), who broke his hand two weeks ago.

“We had a few guys who let their teammates down and as a result were suspended for this game,” said Sowell. “This is about the team, about the program and holding players accountable.

“I feel good about what's ahead of us,” added Sowell. “For whatever reason we didn't play well last weekend and I don't have an answer for that. But if we can play like we did today, I think there are a lot of wins out there for us. We have to continue to work hard and hopefully the ball will bounce our way the next time.”

The Midshipmen will be back in action next Saturday when they open Patriot League action and play host Bucknell. Faceoff is slated for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

* * * *

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — Fourth-ranked North Carolina scored four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter including the game winner by Thomas Wood with 1:16 to play as UNC rallied past Navy 9-8 in men's lacrosse action before 1,801 fans at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Wood saw his first action of the year and scored three times and team captain Marcus Holman had two goals and four assists as Carolina took the best shot from a Navy team coming off a 13-7 loss at Jacksonville and survived to go to 4-0 on the season. It was UNC's second successive win over Navy in Annapolis and its fourth in a row over Navy overall.

Carolina trailed by four goals on two occasions and rallied to overcome its biggest deficit in a game since May 8, 2010 when the Tar Heels were down to Ohio State four goals in the first half before eventually winning 19-13. The win was also the first time Carolina has trailed at halftime of a game and come back to win since May 9, 2009 when the Heels were down to UMBC 8-6 at halftime of an NCAA Tournamentfirst round game. Carolina rallied in the second half of that one to prevail 15-13.

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