Following a two-week break from competition, the Dartmouth men’s lacrosse team is back this weekend, heading to warmer weather to face its first ranked opponent of the season, No. 7 North Carolina. The game was originally scheduled to be held on Feltzer Field, but will now take place on Navy Field.
LAST TIME OUT
On March 4, the Big Green played their first overtime game in two years, falling to Wagner by a score of 7-6 (2OT) at Hameline Field. This was Dartmouth’s first of three consecutive road games.
Jack Korzelius, Ben Martin and Harlan Smart all ended the game with two points. Rookie goalkeeper George Christopher played well in the first overtime performance of his young career, making 13 saves.
Both teams’ defense was on point in the first quarter, allowing a combined 10 shots in the first 15 minutes. It looked as if neither team would break through, but Wagner’s William McMenamin found the back of the net with just three seconds remaining to put the Seahawks ahead by one.
The second was a lot more action-packed, with a total of five goals being scored. Halfway through, Wagner had a 3-0 edge, but an unassisted tally by Korzelius got Dartmouth on the board with 7:23 to go in the quarter (3-1). The Seahawks got their three-goal edge back, but Smart pulled the Big Green within two again with 21 ticks to go (4-2).
Korzelius made it a 4-3 game three minutes into the third, only to have Wagner score twice in a row to put the Seahawks back ahead by three (6-3). Dartmouth found its stride in the fourth quarter, scoring a trio of goals to tie the score at 6-6. Martin got one just over five minutes into the quarter, with the assist going to Richie Loftus. Jack Connolly followed that up with his first of the season a minute later, following a pass from Wiley Osborne (6-5).
Martin’s second of the quarter came with 7:58 to go, tying the score. Smart picked up his second point of the afternoon by assisting on the play. Eight shots were taken in the remaining eight minutes, but none made it past the goalies and, for the first time since a 2OT victory over Harvard in 2015, the Big Green went to overtime.
Twelve seconds in, Martin’s shot hit the post, setting the pace. Both teams took two shots, but just one was saved by Christopher, and the game continued. The first play of the second overtime period resulted in a goal. Fifty-two seconds in, Wagner’s Paul DeVita ended the game with his second of the afternoon.
SCOUTING THE TAR HEELS
UNC enters this weekend’s game with a record of 4-3 and is on a two-game losing streak in the midst of a five-game homestand. The Tar Heels’ last win was on March 4 in the form of a 13-9 road victory over Denver, but since returning home, UNC has fallen to Hofstra (11-9) and No. 19 Richmond (6-5).
LAST TIME AGAINST UNC
It has been a few years since the Big Green and the Tar Heels have played each other, last meeting in Chapel Hill on Feb. 22, 2014. Dartmouth opened its season with an 18-5 loss against third-ranked UNC.
North Carolina jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after the first period. With the Tar Heels leading, 5-0, early in the second quarter, Adam Philie put Dartmouth on the board. Philie’s goal was the lone tally for Dartmouth in the opening half, as North Carolina entered the break with an 8-1 advantage.
In the second half, the Tar Heels outscored the Big Green, 10-4.
Christian Guinchard scored Dartmouth’s second goal of the game with 8:02 remaining in the third and Don Stephan added his first career goal for the Green just over five minutes later. KC Beard assisted on Stephan’s tally.
In the fourth quarter, Jibran Ahmad scored a pair of goals for the visitors. A pair of goalies saw action for Dartmouth as Blair Friedensohn got the start and made 12 saves in a losing effort, while Jake Landman stopped one shot in relief. On the opposite end, Kieran Burke turned aside eight shots.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Christopher is getting better and better in each game during his first year in Hanover and has now started and appeared in every minute of the team’s four games. Through 245 minutes, he has made 52 saves, has a .542 save percentage and 10.78 goals against average. The Big Green’s other goalkeeper, Griffin Miller, has not yet seen any playing time this season.
LEADING THE WAY
Three players have now made it to double-digit points. Osborne leads the team with 12 and is also first with eight assists. Korzelius has a team-leading nine goals and he and Loftus are second with 10 points. Loftus has also netted two of the team’s four man-up tallies. Christopher is first in ground balls (25), while Jack Richardson has gone 9-for-19 (.474) in faceoffs.
Dartmouth will play one more non-conference road game before Ivy League contests begin. Three days after retuning from Chapel Hill, the Big Green will head to Annapolis to face Navy.