North Carolina senior captain Marcus Holman scored the game-winning goal with 1:28 to play to beat Duke 18-17 in the semifinals of the ACC Men’s Lacross Tournament Friday night in front of 4,576 fans at Kenan Stadium.
The win advanced the Tar Heels to Sunday’s ACC Tournament finals against Virginia.
Holman tallied six points (4 goals, 2 assists) while teammates Chad Tutton (4 goals, 1 assist), Jimmy Bitter (3 goals, 1 assist), and Joey Sankey (2 goals, 2 assists) led the remainder of the Tar Heels’ nine goal scorers in the win over their Triangle rival.
“They shot the lights out,” Duke head coach John Danowski said. “Offensively their key guys were terrific.”
The sixth-ranked Blue Devils made the trek back to Chapel Hill to face the third-ranked Tar Heels after beating them 11-8 at Fetzer Field back on Mar. 13.
Since that game, neither team had lost a game as the Blue Devils came into the game with a nine-game win streak, the longest active streak in the nation, while the Tar Heels’ seven-game streak was second to that.
Attackman Jordan Wolf led the Blue Devils with five goals and two assists while Josh Offit (3 goals, 2 asssists), Josh Dionne (3 goals), and six others tallied goals to try to keep pace with the Tar Heels.
North Carolina took control early, built up a lead that swelled to as many as nine goals, leading 15-6 with 11:31 to play in the third quarter, and then had to recover from Duke’s resurgence during the final half of the game.
The Blue Devils fought back to tie the game 17-17 with 5:01 remaining and narrowed the gap as best they could.
However, in the end, the Tar Heels managed to come out on top and it was their lone senior and captain, Holman, who finished the job.
“Duke is a terrific team,” North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi said.
“Coach Danowski and his staff do a phenomenal job. Any time you play them it’s a rivalry game. You gotta’ keep scorin’ because both teams are explosive.”