It’s hard to lose in lacrosse when you don’t give up the ball, something Cardinal Gibbons provided a textbook lesson on in Chapel Hill Tuesday night.
The Crusaders (9-4) cruised to a 15-1 victory over the Tigers at Culton-Peerman Stadium for the team’s seventh straight victory. Gibbons midfielder Stephen Albright won 11 of 12 faceoffs during the first half, leading to a dominant victory where five different Crusaders scored two goals each. Nick Forbes finished with five points, including four assists. Mark Schachte finished with a hat trick.
Connor Scanlin, Jack Zarnik, Charles van Dyke and Hunter Van Horn all had two goals for Gibbons, which handed the Tigers their worst loss in school history.
A fourth quarter goal from Chris Matthews was the only thing keeping Chapel Hill (6-3) from getting shut out for the first time ever.
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“I think we’ve shown a lot of improvement since February,” said Gibbons coach Alex Buckley. “As somebody who coaches our defense a lot of times in practice, I don’t know how to stop our offense in practice. They’re moving the ball very well. They’re very unselfish. There is no ego on this team right now, and I’m very proud of these kids the way they’re playing together.”
The Tigers were already shorthanded against the deeper Crusaders. It only got worse when midfielder Kyle Healy suffered a forearm injury in the first quarter. Healy was taken to the hospital at halftime.
Scanlin opened the scoring with consecutive goals in the first 1:32. Then Zarnick sent a whip shot over goalkeeper Kyle Hornik to make it 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Gibbons poured on nine more goals in the second quarter, including three from Schachte. Van Dyke had four points in the quarter.
Gibbons outshot the Tigers 27-to-8 in the first half. Hornik made 10 saves just to keep the margin at 10-0 at intermission.
“Stephen Albright is a heckuva player,” said Chapel Hill coach Brent Voelkel. “We’re pretty inexperienced on defense, and we played a lot of defense tonight. We’re very thin, and they have a very good team.”
After losing four games to out-of-state competition in March, the Crusaders have outscored in-state opponents 104-25 during their current seven-game winning streak.
“We were ready to play hard,” said Buckley. “We had a tough March, and we’ve been working really, really hard. I think our guys are starting to come together, and they really wanted this one badly.”