Although No. 18 Richmond (6-2) was able to get on the scoreboard in the first 70 seconds against No. 17 North Carolina (5-3) on Saturday night, the Spiders were not able to hold the lead and ultimately their three-game winning streak came to an end in Chapel Hill.
UNC was the Spiders’ second top-20 opponent of the season, and though the team came up with a historic win against No. 9 Duke, the Tar Heels were too much to handle. The final score was 15-6.
Richmond sophomore Eric Haehl scored the first goal of the night, but the Tar Heels were able to swing the momentum in their favor with a five-goal streak of their own. UNC’s offense is ranked ninth in the nation.
Spider head coach Dan Chemotti said that they weren’t able to get into a rhythm offensively because of UNC’s ability to limit their possession throughout the night. The Tar Heels’ faceoff man, Stephen Kelly, won 17 of the 23 draws.
The Spiders went into halftime trailing 7-2, but both teams came out swinging in the second half. In the third quarter alone, each team scored three goals, which made it the most successful offensive section for Richmond.
In the fourth quarter, UNC outscored Richmond once again, 5-1, extending its lead before the end of the game.
Mitch Goldberg led Richmond’s offense with two goals. Alex Hatem, Haehl, Brendan Hynes and Jean-Luc Chetner all also added one goal of their own. The Tar Heels outshot the Spiders 42-31 throughout the game. UNC’s goalkeeper, Brian Balkam, tied his career best with 12 saves.
“While we’ve had success early in this season, we’ve talked a lot about how much lacrosse is still to be played and how we must work to get each time we take the field and that thought process won’t change going forward,” Chemotti said. “Our goal is and will continue to be better than the day before.”
Richmond’s next game will be played against High Point at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, in the Robins Stadium. It is an important matchup in the Southern Conference and will have weight in determining whether or not the Spiders make it to the NCAA tournament at the end of the season.
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