Memorial Day Weekend is the pinnacle of our sport. It provides amazing matchups and the excitement of playing to secure your place in history. Our first recap of the day, UNC vs Virginia.
UNC vs Virginia Recap
Quarter 1: UNC 3 – UVA 2
Jeff Conner (UVA) picked a hell of a time to get his first career goal as he helped UVA strike first to take a 1-0 lead. Teams traded goals through out the quarter before William Perry scored with 3:00 to go, giving UNC it’s first lead of the day. Both teams looked a bit sloppy, maybe it was nerves or field conditions, either way the stars are making their presence felt early, and the middle of the field is CHAOS.
Quarter 2: UNC 4 – UVA 9
The riding/clearing game became increasingly impactful. Virginia struggled to clear it cleanly but when they did they found themselves with scoring opportunities in transition. UNC really struggled offensively to find clean looks, working harder than they usually do just to get an average shot on goal. The Cavaliers scored 5 straight goals and won 10 straight face-offs forcing Breschi to take a timeout and reassess. Overall, Virginia dominated possession and situational doubles on defense gave the Tar Heels offense fits.
QUARTER 3: UNC 8 – UVA 12
North Carolina came out looking like a new team, tighter offense, crisper passing, and they finally won another face-off. The Tar Heels looked like the better team for about 11 minutes before UVA did Cavalier things and strung together some great possessions and closed the quarter with back to back goals. The issue was that even when UNC looked better, shots weren’t falling, and Alex Rode continued to dominate the goalie battle. UNC needs better goalie play, a continued fight for face-offs, and to convert on more possessions if they want a chance in the fourth.
QUARTER 4: UNC 11 – UVA 12
North Carolina continued to the improved play from the third, an incredible second half by Zac Tucci along with a tenacious ride led to increased opportunities for UNC, opportunities that William Perry didn’t waste. Virginia wouldn’t score this quarter, they would simply try and hold on.
Ultimately UNC found themselves with the ball within 1 goal and with 46.4 seconds on the clock. A missed shot by Carolina and an amazing backup by a Cavaliers defender gave Virginia the ball before immediately turning it over on the clear.
Now with 20.9 seconds on the clock, UNC had the ball and one last chance, but again the UVA defense left no room for a shot and ultimately created a turnover as time expired.
The pace was exhausting and the energy electric. Players were selling out for end line calls, groundballs, and double/triple teams were everywhere. If you wanted to teach players the clear find different film, but this is the game you use to exemplify the ride. There were so many difference makers in this game but none more glaring than the performance by Alex Rode (15 Saves, 11 GA, 57%). Rode wasn’t perfect but he made saves that his opponent didn’t (29%) and it ultimately made a huge difference.
Alex (Rode) bailed us out time and time again.Lars Tiffany
Virginia will await the winner of Duke vs Maryland and will play in the National Championship on Monday.