(Photo Courtesy of North Carolina Athletics)
The North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils are your 2021 ACC Co-Champions after the Tar Heels’ 15-12 victory over the Blue Devils on Sunday to split the season series and further cement their case for earning that coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Zacc Tucci and Andrew Tyeryar went a combined 16-for-31 at the faceoff dot to help lead the Tar Heels and provide a sizable possession advantage. That is especially true in the second quarter where North Carolina went 7-for-1 at the dot to help.
During that second period, which the Tar Heels entered trailing 4-3, North Carolina not only held Duke scoreless but added seven goals of their own to sprint ahead 10-4 at the half. The Tar Heels added on early in the third, pushing their run to nine goals since the 33-second mark of the first and increasing their lead to 11-4.
While Duke was able to gain back some traction and outscored the Tar Heels 8-4 in the final 28 minutes of the contest, the Carolina defense was able to hold off the Blue Devils’ effort and never let their lead drop below four goals. Tar Heel goals Collin Kreig made six of his 11 saves in the final two quarters of play and the Tar Heels caused three of the Blue Devils’ five turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Chris Gray led the Tar Heels with three goals and three assists for six points, four of which (3G/1A) came during North Carolina’s game-changing nine-goal run.
Dyson Williams and Joe Robertson scored the final two goals of the day to get their third and second goals of the day for the Blue Devils. Brennan O’Neill also had a hat trick.
This contest marked the final ACC game of the season. With the ACC not having a conference tournament this season, both of these teams will now turn their focus towards the NCAA Tournament. Next Sunday, May 9th, is Selection Sunday.