North Carolina Steamrolls Manhattan

Fifteen different Tar Heel men’s lacrosse players scored Saturday as second-ranked UNC defeated Manhattan 26-6 at Navy Field on a sunny morning before 418 fans.

Sophomore Luke Goldstock had career highs for goals in a game with five, assists in a game with four and points in a game with nine. His five goals were the most by a Tar Heel since Joey Sankey scored five against Johns Hopkins on March 29, 2014. His nine points were the most by a UNC player since Marcus Holman had 10 points against Michigan on May 5, 2012. Goldstock scored on all five of his shots in the game.

Both Michael Tagliaferri and Chad Tutton added had tricks in the game for UNC. It was the second of Tagliaferri’s career and the 15th career hat trick for the Canadian lefty midfielder Tutton. Patrick Kelly, Brian Cannon and Joe Costigan each tallied two goals for UNC with Cannon and Costigan both recording career highs for goals in a game.

Like Goldstock, Jimmy Bitter had four assists in the game and he also scored a goal. Bitter’s four assists equal his career high set against Denver on February 27. Joey Sankey had three assists for the Tar Heels. Altogether, 10 different Tar Heels had assists in the match.

Manhattan was led by Marcel Godino who had three goals and an assist. The Jaspers fell to 0-6 on the season after starting their 2015 campaign with six straight road games. UNC improved to 6-0 on the campaign heading into Tuesday’s 4 p.m. home game against Bryant at Fetzer Field.

Five different Tar Heel players – Brian Cannon, Luke Walsh, Chris Cloutier, Timmy Gehlbach and Brett Bedard – had their first career goals in the match. Freshman Patrick McCormick had his first career point, assisting Cloutier’s goal.

Carolina jumped out to a 6-1 lead at the end of one quarter and never looked back. Michael Tagliaferri broke a 1-1 tie at 11:15 of the first quarter off an assist by Jimmy Bitter, giving the Tar Heels a 2-1 lead they would never relinquish. Both Goldstock and Tutton had two goals apiece in the opening 15 minutes of the game.

UNC had a 9-3 lead at the 7:50 mark of the second period before Jimmy Bitter scored off an assist by Stephen Kelly seven seconds later, jumpstarting a four-goal run that put Carolina up 13-3 heading into halftime. Joe Costigan notched his second goal of the game off a William McBride assist just five seconds before intermission to give UNC its first 10-goal lead of the match.

Carolina went on a four-goal run midway through the third quarter with Goldstock scoring once and assisting twice, putting the Heels ahead by an 18-4 count with 5:05 left in the frame. Manhattan answered with back-to-back goals by Stephen Farrell and Marcel Gordino before Carolina ran off the final eight goals of the game spanning the third and fourth quarters. Steve Pontrello notched his first goal of the season, followed by Patrick Kelly’s second of the game before the third quarter ended.

In the fourth quarter, Cannon got his career first at 11:57 followed by another career first by Gehlbach at 7:53. After Michael Tagliaferri finished his hat trick at 6:41, Cloutier scored his career first, Cannon garnered his second of the game and Luke Walsh recorded his career first to finish off the scoring at 26-6 with 2:02 to play.

The 26 goals scored by Carolina were the most since April 26, 2011 when it defeated Pfeiffer 27-7. The total was the most scored by Carolina against an NCAA Division I team since April 19, 1995 when Carolina beat VMI 26-8.

UNC scored on more than 50 percent of its shots against the Jaspers, notching 26 goals on 50 shots. UNC scored on all 13 of its shots on goal in the second half of the game. Both teams played multiple goalies. Michael Wiatrak had 10 saves for Manahattan. Brian Balkam and Kieran Burke shared the first half for UNC while Duncan Saunders played the second half and had a career-high four saves in the match.

Stephen Kelly was outstanding at the face-off position for UNC, winning 15 of 19 draws and scooping up a game-high nine ground balls. The 15 face-off wins equaled the second most in Kelly’s career. Freshman Riley Graham also saw his first career action and won five of nine face-offs. UNC utilized four different face-off men with Jack Lambert and Brent Armstrong also taking draws.

The game got sloppy at times with the teams combining for 35 turnovers. UNC also had a season-high six face-off violations, three times giving the Jaspers EMO opportunities in the second half.

NEXT UP: Carolina will play host to 2014 NCAA quarterfinalist Bryant Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Fetzer Field. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN3.