UNC Tops Duke, Earns Share of ACC Crown With Blue Devils

PHOTO BY JEFFREY A. CAMARATI / UNC ATHLETICS


Outside of a nine-minute spurt in the first quarter, North Carolina was in close to total control.

After trailing by two, Duke scored four straight goals in the first quarter. But with 33 seconds left in the period, William Perry scored a clutch tally that would prove to be the spark UNC needed.

Perry’s tally sparked a nine-goal run, turning the game on its head. North Carolina hung on to beat Duke 15-12, earning a share of the ACC title with the Blue Devils. In all likelihood, North Carolina will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, depending on what the selection committee makes of undefeated Maryland, which played a conference-only schedule this year.

The North Carolina defense (and especially the ride) kept Duke uneasy through prolonged spurts. UNC dominated the battle on the ground (37-22), and when Duke was able to get shots, Collin Krieg was there.

The freshman goalie made 11 saves, matching Mike Adler on the other end shot-for-shot during several stretches.

Down 11-4 after the 9-0 run, Duke got back on the board when Michael Sowers (one goal, seven assists) found Dyson Williams for the much-needed score. Williams (three goals) has now scored in all 20 NCAA games he’s played in.

Freshman Brennan O’Neill followed with one of his own. Duke continued to chip away, but the Blue Devils didn’t get closer than four goals until Joe Robertson’s score with 1:43 left to play.

The final two minutes were hard-fought and sloppy, and Duke was unable to secure possession to continue makings its comeback attempt.







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