North Carolina wins ACC men’s lacrosse championship
Luke Goldstock and Chris Cloutier tallied hat tricks and Stephen Kelly won 10 of 11 faceoffs in the fourth quarter as fourth-seeded North Carolina defeated third-seeded Notre Dame 14-10 to claim the 2017 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Sunday at Koskinen Stadium.
The defending national champion Tar Heels, who entered the weekend needing two wins to finish the regular season above .500 and remain eligible for selection to the NCAA tournament, defeated the top two teams in the country in the NCAA RPI en route to the championship. The Tar Heels (8-7) claimed the 13th title in program history and ninth in the tournament era. Both North Carolina and Notre Dame will find out their postseason fate when the selections are announced at 9 p.m. on May 7 on ESPNU.
Luke Goldstock led the way for the Tar Heels, scoring four goals for his sixth hat trick of the year. Named the Most Valuable Player, Chris Cloutier posted three goals on Friday and three on Sunday to go along with three assists for nine total points in the tournament.
Brendan Gleason scored three goals on Sunday to lead the Irish offense for his first career hat trick. Brian Balkam stopped 11 shots in net for the Tar Heels, while Shane Doss made 12 saves in the loss for Notre Dame.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack earned a 14-2 win against Virginia Tech (20-26- 8-16 ACC) Sunday at Doak Field to complete its first ACC series sweep of the season. Junior Brian Brown picked up the win for the Pack (25-20, 11-13) with seven innings pitched to move to 2-1 on the year, while Virginia Tech’s Packy Naughton was hit with the loss (2-6). With the win, the Wolfpack put the finishing touches on a perfect week, posting a 5-0 record and outscoring opponents 46-10 during the week.
UNC: Tyler Lynn’s infield single in the 10th was the winner as the Tar Heels completed a sweep of Clemson with a 3-2 victory Sunday at Boshamer Stadium. Lynn had three hits and drove in all three runs to make a winner of Josh Hiatt, who tossed 2 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings on a day when the Tar Heels bullpen went seven shutout frames. Clemson (34-11, 16-8 ACC) led for the third straight day thanks to Chris Williams’ two-run homer off Jason Morgan in the first. That, however, would be all for the Tigers thanks to the standout pitching of Morgan and three Tar Heels relievers. The Heels (36-9, 19-5) tied the score with unearned runs in the fourth and sixth against Tiger starter Pat Krall. Krall allowed just five hits over eight innings, but an RBI groundout by Lynn in the fourth and a first-pitch single by the senior outfielder in the sixth evened the score at 2.
Mount Olive: The Trojans escaped elimination, defeating Pfeiffer University, 16-2, in the fourth elimination game of the Conference Carolinas baseball tournament. The team advances to the Conference Carolinas Championship against Belmont Abbey. Powered by a nine-run second inning, the Trojans never looked back, led by Braxton Shetley (5-3) who picked up the win, tossing eight complete and allowing two runs off eight hits.
Elon: After leading for much of the game, the Phoenix found itself trailing by a run entering the ninth inning before rallying for three runs in its final at-bat to claim a 6-4 victory over the College of Charleston on Sunday. The Phoenix (20-24, 10-8 CAA) got three hits from Cam Devanney, while Ryne Ogren went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Kyle Jackson and Shawn Blake both drove in a pair of runs for the Phoenix. Charleston (22-22, 12-6) saw both Dupree Hart and Tommy Richter go 3-for-5. Robbie Welhaf (4-4) picked up the win following a relief effort that spanned two innings. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out one. The loss went to Cougar reliever Justin Baker (1-1). Baker was charged with three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of work.
UNC: Led by tournament MVP Molly Hendrick, Carly Reed and Sydney Holman, the top-seeded Tar Heels closed Sunday’s ACC championship game on a 9-0 run to defeat second-seeded Syracuse 18-11 before a sun-splashed crowd at Sports Backers Stadium. Hendrick tied her career high with seven goals and added two assists for a career-high nine points. Reed delivered four goals, and Holman finished with a hat trick and three assists as the Heels claimed their 22nd win in their last 23 matches versus ACC opposition. The defending national champion Tar Heels (16-2) again receive the ACC’s automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA championship. Syracuse (15-6) is a virtual lock to receive an at-large berth when the tournament field is unveiled on May 7. Seven ACC teams have earned postseason eligibility.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack concluded its series at Boston College on Sunday by dropping a heartbreaking 7-6 decision. The Pack moves to 17-34 (10-11 ACC) and the Eagles improve to 29-19 (13-7) on the season. Despite the 2-1 series loss, the Wolfpack has clinched a spot in the 2017 ACC championship, which will be held May 11-13 in Chapel Hill.
Elon: An RBI single from senior Alaina Hall in the bottom of the seventh pushed the Phoenix to a 1-0 walk-off victory over Delaware in Sunday’s rubber match against the Blue Hens. The win marks the second straight season that the Phoenix (32-18, 9-8 CAA) earned a walk-off victory on its Senior Day, having deafeated James Madison on Senior Day last year with a 5-4 victory in walk-off fashion in the 15th inning. The Phoenix concludes its regular-season next weekend at CAA-leader James Madison.
N.C. Central: An unearned run proved costly for the Eagles as visiting N.C. A&T used it to secure a 1-0 MEAC Southern Division victory in the three-game series finale Sunday at Thomas Brooks Park. The win in the rubber game will keep the Aggies ahead of the Eagles in the league standings heading into postseason play. N.C. A&T (16-28-1, 8-7 MEAC) will be a third seed in the MEAC Softball Championship while NCCU (11-28, 6-8) will be a fourth seed.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacon’s bid to repeat as ACC champions came up just short Sunday, as the team was edged by Virginia, 4-3, in the ACC championship match held at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. In a repeat of the ACC title match in each of the past two seasons, the Cavaliers (27-1) avenged last year’s title loss and this year’s regular-season loss to the Deacs (27-2) with a match that ultimately went down to the final court in play. For just the fourth time this season, the Demon Deacons dropped the doubles point. Action across all three courts were even late into doubles play, but breaks by the Cavaliers in the closing moments secured 6-3 and 6-4 victories on courts 2 and 3, respectively. The Deacs now await word on their destination for the NCAA tournament. As a top-16 team in the country, the Deacs are scheduled to host, but official word will be made on Tuesday when the tournament field is formally announced at 5 p.m.
UNC: Simultaneous victories on courts three and four lifted the top seeded Tar Heels to a thrilling 4-3 victory over third seed Georgia Tech to repeat as ACC champions on Sunday from Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. The Heels (30-2) win their eighth championship in program history, and third under the leadership of head coach Brian Kalbas, who brought home previous titles in 2011 and 2016. The Tar Heels also notch back-to-back titles for the first time since winning four in a row from 1977-80. Hayley Carter, the 2017 ACC Player of the Year, was named the championship’s Most Valuable Player after initiating the Tar Heels’ comeback.
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