Greenville, S.C. – A two-goal second period proved to be the difference, as the No. 1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels downed the Furman Paladins on Saturday afternoon in Paladin Stadium, 7-3. The win moves the Tar Heels to 2-0 on the year, while the loss drops the Paladins to 0-3.
William Holcomb led Furman with two goals, while Lou Yovino added one. Graham Dabbs and Gus Pinsoneault each tallied an assist for the Paladins, while Dabbs tied a team-high with three ground balls. Furman's defense was strong against the Tar Heels, holding an opponent to under 10 goals for the first time this season. Freshman Alec Van de Bovenkamp made a Furman season-high 16 saves in his first career start in goal, but was saddled with the loss.
North Carolina opened the scoring on a goal by Justin Anderson, but Furman responded with a transition goal by Lou Yovino, his fourth of the season, to tie the game at one just under two minutes into the first period. The teams played solid defense for the next eight minutes, before the Tar Heels added a man-up goal by Brian Cannon to take a 2-1 lead with 5:00 remaining in the first. With just 32 seconds remaining in the period, Gus Pinsoneault found William Holcomb for his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at two at the end of one period of play.
The Tar Heels kept the Paladins off the board and pushed the lead to two at 4-2 in the second period to take a 4-2 lead into halftime. Furman had chances to cut into the lead in the third, but couldn't capitalize, as UNC pushed the lead to 5-2 after three.
Alec Van de Bovenkamp opened the fourth period with three-straight saves, before Graham Dabbs found William Holcomb for his second goal of the day to cut the Tar Heel lead to two at 5-3. The Paladins continued to have chances on the offensive end, but North Carolina's stingy defense continued to hold, as the Tar Heels held the Paladins off the board for the remainder of the game, while the Tar Heel offense scored two goals in the game's final 15 minutes to down the Paladins 7-3.
North Carolina was led on offense by Chris Cloutier and Justin Anderson, each netting two goals. Stephen Kelly was 11-14 from the faceoff 'X' and goalie Brian Balkam held the Paladins scoreless for two periods, making 12 saves on the day.
Furman is back in action on February 18, taking on Sacred Heart in Baltimore, Md., on the campus of US Lacrosse.