For the first time since 1996 the North Carolina men's lacrosse team can call themselves ACC Champions. The Tar Heels defeated Virginia on Sunday 16-13 in front of a crowd of 4000 at Kenan Stadium to win the title.
The road to the title game was a dramatic one with the Heels knocking rival Duke out on Friday night in a game that saw UNC blow a huge lead. The Heels led 13-6 at halftime and extended the advantage to 15-6 early in the third quarter. Then the wheels came off. Duke would score eight straight goals before UNC would find the back of the net again. Even that wasn't enough to keep the Blue Devils from ultimately taking the lead at 17-16. The Heels would ultimately even it up at 17-17. ACC Tournament MVP Marcus Holman collected the game winner with 1:28 left to play. UNC and Duke set an ACC Tournament record with most combined goals in a game.
In the title game, the Tar Heels used a 12-6 advantage in shots during the second quarter to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 10-7 halftime lead. In the second half UNC survive a flurry of shots from the Cavaliers. UVa had 29 shots in the second half compared to UNC's 17 with some clock burning part of that on the Tar Heels' end. Virginia also went 0-5 in man advantage situations while UNC capitalized on those opportunities scoring on three of their four chances.
The title was UNC's 12th ACC crown in lacrosse. According to UNC's Adam Lucas, the title was North Carolina's 252nd ACC championship in all sports which is sixty more than Maryland and more than Duke and NC State combined. UNC has now won nine straight games after starting the season 3-3 and will be one of the favorites heading into the NCAA Tournament.