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Tar Heel Comeback Falls Short in National Semifinal

No. 4 Virginia upsets No. 1 UNC 12-11 in the NCAA Final Four

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Similar to the UNC women’s lacrosse team just 24 hours earlier, the men’s lacrosse team mounted a frantic comeback that fell just short in the NCAA national semifinal round.

While the women’s comeback ended in an 11-10 defeat to Boston College, the No. 1 Tar Heel men fell 12-11 to No. 4 Virginia.

The first 17 minutes of the game was a see-saw battle back and forth with the lead changing hands between the Tar Heels and Cavaliers. The tight affair led to a 4-3 Carolina lead.

But then the first half wheels fell off for UNC. Virginia ended the second quarter on a 6-0 scoring run that turned a 3-4 deficit into a 9-4 halftime lead. The real onslaught occurred when Virginia scored four straight goals over the course of 2:07 in the middle of the second quarter.

The Tar Heels came out of halftime determined to make a match of things, scoring four of the first five goals to cut the lead to 10-8 with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter. At this point, a comeback was well within reach.

Unfortunately, Virginia scored two more goals to end the quarter and retake a four-goal lead at 12-8. But this was the end of the Cavalier scoring. The Tar Heels shut them out in the final quarter.

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The four-goal deficit proved to be too much to overcome in the final 15 minutes. The Carolina attack managed three goals, the final one coming with 3:05 left on the clock. Despite the Tar Heels best efforts and a couple more shots on goal, they were unable to tie things up or take the lead and time ran out with one final attempt.

William Perry was the leading scorer for Carolina, netting five of his six shots on goal. Chris Gray was the second leading scorer with three goals plus two assists.

The men’s lacrosse team joins several other Tar Heel teams to lose in the Final Four this spring – including women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s tennis.

All-in-all, it’s been another great year for Carolina athletics, even in the midst of COVID-19 and all its accompanying frustrations.

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