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2015 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: North Carolina Moves Past Colgate, 19-12

The Tar Heels won a freaky offensive show at Fetzer Field.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Colgate v. (3) North Carolina

North Carolina and Colgate engaged in an offensive firefight with the Tar Heels coming out of the hectic situation with a courageous 19-12 victory. The win advances the Tar Heels to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament where Carolina will dance with Maryland in a rematch of a regular season meeting between the two teams. Colgate's season ends with the Raiders booking a 10-6 record. Luke Goldstock (five points), Jimmy Bitter (six points), and Joey Sankey (five points) paced the Heels while Chase Wittich registered five points on a three-and-two effort for the Raiders.

The Tar Heels opened up a five-goal advantage in the second quarter after Colgate earned a 4-3 lead after the first 15 minutes of competition. North Carolina looked every bit the part of a national title contender in the second stanza, banging home eight goals -- a four-goal spurt and a three-goal run built the push in the period -- against only two Colgate tallies to enter the intermission with an 11-6 cushion. The Heels were an estimated plus-six in possession margin in the quarter and generated markers on over 57 percent of their 14 estimated offensive opportunities, shooting 50 percent as a team and forcing Brandon Burke into holding only a 27.27 save percentage. Carolina's defense was just as strong as it offense's effort in the second quarter-hour: Kieran Burke turned away four of the Raiders' six shots on goal and the field defense in front of Burke helped the Tar Heels hold Colgate to an estimated offensive efficiency that registered at 25 percent. It was a clean and ambitious period for North Carolina, one that would serve as the team's platform for shuttling the Raiders out of the tournament and continuing the Heels' pursuit for a Championship Weekend appearance for the first time since 1993.

The second half merely moved furniture around a room, although Colgate did make a determined attempt to change the volition of the game. The two teams combined for nine goals in the third quarter but the Raiders were able to pull back only one goal from its halftime shortfall, the scoreboard blinking a 15-11 edge for North Carolina at the sunrise of the final frame. Colgate was able to cut the Tar Heels' lead to three on a Chase Wittich bucket from Matt Clarkson early in the final period -- it took the Raiders more than 22 minutes to hang within a trio of goals of North Carolina, the last time that Colgate was that close to North Carolina coming just before Zach Powers put the Tar Heels up 9-5 with 5:55 remaining in the first half -- but Carolina pivoted from Colgate's charge with four unanswered goals to obstruct the Raiders' path to a potential upset.

TRUNCATED ESTIMATED ADVANCED BOX SCORE: COLGATE-NORTH CAROLINA
METRIC COLGATE CAROLINA
Score 19 12
Estimated Possession Margin -6 (35) +6 (41)
Estimated Raw Offensive Efficiency 34.29 46.34
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 32.43% 35.19%
Estimated Turnover Rate 34.29 26.83
Team Save Percentage 42.42% 47.83%