CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Dartmouth men’s lacrosse returned to action after two weeks away, falling to No. 7 North Carolina, 17-6, under the lights of Navy Field on Saturday. The Big Green dipped to 1-4, while the Tar Heels improved to 5-3.
Junior Richie Loftus led the team with his hat trick, while freshmen Harlan Smart (1G, 1A) and Ben Martin (2G) were right behind with two points apiece. Senior Wiley Osborne assisted on Loftus’ second.
"I thought we played hard and I was impressed with how our group handled the environment," head coach Brendan Callahan said. "We played well in stretches, but ultimately we made too many mistakes against a good team. A lot of those were in the middle of the field and created second chances for UNC. Tonight was a great experience for our guys to compete at that level and know it will help our preparation as we head into league play."
Following a brief lightning delay, the teams took to the field for what was sure to be an aggressive game. The Tar Heels struck almost immediately, scoring twice in the first 57 seconds. The Big Green got one back less than two minutes later thanks to Loftus’ first of the quarter to make it 2-1. A combined 15 shots were taken in the next 12 minutes, but both goalkeepers were on point. With 43 seconds to go in the first, Loftus netted a man-up marker to tie the score (2-2) heading into the second.
North Carolina outscored Dartmouth, 5-1, in the second quarter to make it a 7-3 game. After the Tar Heels had netted three in a row, Smart snuck one past goalie Brian Balkman to cut the home team’s lead to two (5-3), but two more at the end of the quarter put North Carolina ahead by four goals. Freshman George Christopher had four saves in net to bring his two-quarter total to seven.
Loftus completed his hat trick halfway through the third (10-4) with an unassisted tally. Two more by the Tar Heels gave North Carolina a 12-4 edge as the teams made their way to the fourth quarter.
Martin started things off with his first of the day less than a minute in, adding another three minutes later (13-6), with the assist going to Smart. After two North Carolina goals in a row, sophomore Griffin Miller made his season debut in net. He spent the last four minutes between the pipes, allowing two goals.
The Tar Heels outshot the Big Green, 54-27. Christopher made 11 saves throughout 55 minutes, while Miller did not have to make one.
Dartmouth will play one more non-conference road game before Ivy League contests begin. Three days after returning from Chapel Hill, the Big Green will head to Annapolis to face Navy.