The quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament concluded, and now we know who will be going to the semi-finals at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels will join Maryland, Brown, and Loyola as they defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 13-9, their first semi-finals appearance since 1993.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth between both teams. North Carolina got things started with the help of Michael Tagliaferri, who scored the first goal of the game. Notre Dame was quick to respond with a goal by Mikey Wynne. Patrick Kelly got the Tar Heels the lead back with a goal, but Matt Kavanagh quickly tied the game at 2. A late goal by Chris Cloutier gave UNC a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter belonged to North Carolina. Notre Dame was struggling to hold onto the ball on the offensive end, and when they did hold on to it, they couldn’t make their shots count, not scoring a single goal. North Carolina, on the other hand, was making the most of their scoring opportunities. Cloutier led the Tar Heel offense with two goals, including an amazing over-the-shoulder shot. Luke Goldstock also contributed to the offense and North Carolina went into halftime with a 6-2 lead.
` The third quarter was more of the same story as the second quarter. This time, it was Steve Pontrello leading the North Carolina offense with two goals in the quarter while Tagliaferri and Goldstock tallied another goal and Timmy Kelly notched a goal in his stat line. Wynne’s second goal was the only offense Notre Dame put up in the third quarter and found themselves down 11-3 going into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Notre Dame and North Carolina switched offensive roles. Pontrello scored the only two goals for the Tar Heels in the fourth quarter. The Fighting Irish’s offense, however, woke up and went on an offensive tear. Wynne managed to have a good day despite the lack of offense by his team, and he continued to improve, scoring two goals in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame also got offensive contributions from Kavanagh, Ryder Garnsey, Brendan Collins, and Drew Schantz, but the contributions were too little, too late as the Tar Heels won the game 13-9.
Next Saturday, the Tar Heels will take on the Greyhounds of Loyola University. The winner of the match will go onto the finals and face-off against the winner of the Maryland/Brown matchup on Memorial Day.