No. 7 North Carolina Rallies Late to Get Past High Point

HIGH POINT, N.C. - High Point trailed No. 7 North Carolina by one goal early in the fourth quarter before the Tar Heels pulled away with the 12-8 victory. Redshirt-junior Austin Geisler made 13 saves in the game, while sophomores Matt Thistle and Mitchell Dupere each tallied three points.

Redshirt-senior Bucky Smith scored with 12:11 to play in the fourth quarter to get High Point within one, 8-7. North Carolina answered with four-straight goals to pull away for the win. Thistle scored the games final goal with 1:13 remaining to make the final score 12-8.

"I am extremely proud of the way this team performed tonight," said head coach Jon Torpey. "We prepared hard all week and came out with a ton of energy and focus tonight. North Carolina is a top-10 program and to hang with them for much of the game is a testament to how hard this works. A few things didn't go our way at the end and that was the difference in the game."

Thistle finished with one goal and two assists while Dupere added two goals and one assist. Sophomore Jamie Piluso went 14 of 24 from the face-off X with a game-high 10 ground balls. High Point held North Carolina scoreless in the third quarter, the first time all season UNC has not scored in a quarter.

Chad Tutton led the North Carolina offense with four goals while Joey Sankey added two goals and two assists. Jimmy Bitter scored three goals for the Tar Heels. Kieran Burke made 13 saves in the cage.

North Carolina picked up 38 ground balls while High Point grabbed 33. The Panthers were 15 of 18 on clear attempts and UNC went 21 of 22. Both teams were 0 of 2 on extra-man opportunities.

The loss drops High Point to 8-5 overall while North Carolina improves to 10-3.

Tyler Cook scored the games first goal, assisted by Dupere with 11:12 on the clock in the first quarter. The game was tied 2-2 after a goal by freshman Matt Koerder early in the second period. North Carolina went on a five-goal run, taking a 7-2 lead with 1:01 left in the second quarter.

Dupere scored the last goal of the first half and opened scoring in the second half to make it a 7-4 game. Adam Seal and Michael LeClair each found the back of the goal to pull High Point within one, 7-6, with 5:29 to play in the third.

Tutton opened scoring in the fourth quarter to give UNC a two-goal advantage, 8-6, with 13:47 to play. Smith fired in an unassisted score just over a minute later and HPU trailed by one with 12:11 left in the game. North Carolina scored four straight goals to break open the game and pull off the 12-8 win.

Geisler had two caused turnovers to go with 13 saves and one ground ball. Nick Bittner had one caused turnover and three ground balls.

High Point wraps up the regular season on Friday, April 25, when Drexel comes to Vert Stadium for an 8:00 p.m. game. Seniors Bucky Smith, Garrett Swaim and Stevie Kirkup will be honored before the game.

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HIGH POINT, N.C. - Chad Tutton, Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey combined for nine goals and Kieran Burke made 13 saves as sixth-ranked North Carolina outlasted High Point 12-8 Friday night before a crowd of 1,897 fans at Vert Stadium. The crowd was the second largest for a home High Point lacrosse match, exceeded only by the crowd of 2,004 which saw the Panthers against Delaware on February 2, 2013.

North Carolina improved to 10-3 on the season heading into next Saturday's ACC Showcase Game against Virginia in Chester, Pa.. while High Point fell to 8-5 on the campaign. The Panthers, who won only three games in their initial varsity season in 2013, have won eight games this year and they lead the Atlantic Sun Conference standings at 4-1.

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2014-04-18



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