NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: North Carolina Thumps Lehigh

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

The Tar Heels unloaded on the Mountain Hawks in the first round of the tournament.

Remember that time that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee made North Carolina a five-seed because the criteria said so? That was a good time, the nadir of the human existence and likely the reason that you're getting your "discussin' stuff" pitchfork and "reasonable dissension" torch and heading to NCAA headquarters "work things out like gentlemen."

The Tar Heels unloaded on Lehigh at Fetzer Field on Saturday, earning a 16-7 win over the Mountain Hawks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina was a crushing force of destruction against the Patriot League champion, getting 16 goals from 11 different players and dominating possession generation at the dot (six of Carolina's faceoff wins immediately led to goals on the ensuing possession; that kind of efficiency crushes souls). The Tar Heels looked every bit a national title contender against a solid Lehigh team, using extended runs -- partly attributable to the team's supremacy at the dot and ability to string together unanswered possessions (and tallies) -- to create an advantage cushion:

  • Knotted at two early in the second quarter, Carolina used a four-goal run over just three minutes to build a 6-2 lead;
  • After Lehigh pulled within two early in the third quarter, the Tar Heels proceeded to score three of the periods next four goals en route to building a 10-6 lead at the start of the fourth quarter; and
  • In the fourth quarter, an R.G. Keenan goal just five seconds into the final stanza (off a Keenan win the draw) gave Carolina an 11-6 lead and set the stage for a period in which the Heels would score six goals, allow just one, and leave the remains of Lehigh strewn about the field.

For as good as North Carolina was on the day, Lehigh put together one of its most uneven performances of the season: The Mountain Hawks were a disaster with the bean, playing loose with the ball and not limiting Carolina from causing turnovers; the team didn't meet its offensive ceiling in either shooting accuracy or maximizing their offensive opportunities; and the defense was torn to shreds by the totem of North Carolina's offense, leaving open and free Heels in preferable shooting positions. Matt Poillon's effort between the pipes was notable as was David DiMaria's day, but otherwise Lehigh took a shot to the mouth from a superior team with much to prove.

Here's a truncated tempo-free box score:

Lehigh-North Carolina: Truncated Tempo-Free Box Score
Metric Lehigh North Carolina
Offensive Efficiency (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 25.00 48.48
Offensive Opportunities 28 33
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.07 1.61
Offensive Shooting Percentage 51.52% 53.33%
Offensive Assist Rate 33.33 10.71
Turnovers (per 100 Offensive Opportunities) 53.57 27.27
Caused Turnovers (per 100 Defensive Opportunities) 12.12 32.14
Team Save Percentage 51.52% 53.33%
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 51.52 28.57
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