Friday Recap: Second Half Run Lifts North Carolina Past Richmond, Epstein Leads John Hopkins Past Towson

(Photo Courtesy of North Carolina Athletics)

Joe Breschi’s North Carolina Tar Heels may be a little greener than usual at multiple spots on the field, but they are still as talented as ever. The Tar Heels opened up the season with a 13-9 victory over the Richmond Spiders on Friday night.

After a three-goal Richmond run that saw Luke Frankeny, Lance Madonna, and Ryan Dunn all find the back of the net to put the Spiders ahead 6-5 at the half, North Carolina was able to fight back and earn the victory. Two straight from Chris Gray late in the third helped spark a game-ending 6-1 run in the final 18 minutes of play to seal the deal for the Tar Heels.

North Carolina came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, getting up 3-0 within the first four minutes of play and eventually leading 4-0 with 7:25 left in the first frame. Richmond finally settled in late in the first with Dalton Young and Ryan Dunn each finding the back of the net. A man-up goal from Luke Grayum tied things early in the second and gave the Spiders the momentum they needed to push ahead by the end of the half.

With the exception of that second quarter, the Tar Heels dominated nearly every facet of the game. The Carolina ride held Richmond to just 18-for-26 (69%) in the clearing game. That includes a 8-for-14 mark in the second half alone. The Tar Heels also won the ground ball battle 35-21, had 16 turnovers (nine caused) to the Spiders’ 16 (11 caused), and outshot them 58-24. 29 of those Carolina shots were on cage while Richmond put 15 of their shots on cage.

At the faceoff dot, Zac Tucci went 16-for-23 (69%) as the main option for the Tar Heels. Freshman Jared Chenoy went 8-for-22 (36%) as the top option for Richmond.

Chris Gray put up eight points off four goals and four assists to lead the Tar Heels. Jacob Kelly had five points off three goals and two assists. Collin Krieg made six saves in cage.

Ryan Dunn had a hat trick to lead the Richmond offense while Ryan Lanchbury dished out three assists., which all came on the Spiders’ first three goals of the game. Jake Saunders had five caused turnovers and three ground balls to lead the defense out in front of the cage while Devin Craven made 16 saves in between the pipes.

Epstein’s Big Day Helps Johns Hopkins Past Towson

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays move to 2-0 on the season after taking down the Towson Tigers 18-12 on Friday night. Joe Epstein led the way for the Blue Jays with seven points off six goals and one assist. His six goals ties his career-high set last season against Michigan. Epstein’s big day comes after being blanked in the Blue Jays’ opener last weekend.

Garrett Degnon also had eight points off four goals and two assists while Brendan Grimes had a hat trick and an assist for four points on the day.

Johns Hopkins’ offense sparked in the second quarter as they scored six unanswered (the first five from Epstein) to help them get ahead 11-4 and eventually take a 12-6 lead at the half. While Towson was able to answer with a run of their own, scoring five consecutive goals to close out the third quarter, they were never able to claw all the way back.

The Blue Jays blanked the Tigers in the final period of play while putting in four of their own to secure the six-goal win.

A big part of the Blue Jays victory was their ability to win at the faceoff dot. Tyler Dunn went 20-for-32 (62%) at the faceoff dot.

In cage, Josh Kirson started and played the first half whole Gib Versfeld played the second half. Kirson had four saves with a 40% save percentage while Versfeld made three saves with a 33% save percentage.

A pair of Maryland transfers led the way for Towson in their debuts with the Tigers. Kyle Berkeley tallying four goals while Nick DeMaio had a hat trick. Shane Brennan made 13 saves to anchor the Tigers defense.

Asher Nolting Calls Game in Overtime

With 3:10 left in the first overtime period, Asher Nolting dodges his defender from behind, takes it around GLE, and puts in the game-winner to secure the 11-10 victory for the High Point Panthers over the Colgate Raiders.

In what was very much a game of runs, the Panthers led 8-6 at the half after a five-goal run that ended with Hunter Vines finding the back of the net in the final 20 seconds of the first half of play. Colgate scored the only two goals of the third quarter to knot things all up at eight and then added two more in the fourth to take their first lead, 10-8, since early in the second quarter.

Jaxson Lamb forced overtime with 19 seconds left on the clock and Nolting put things away less than a minute into the extra period of play. The game-winner marked the fourth goal of the day for Nolting, who led the game in goals and points.

Brayden Mayea had one goal and one assists while Lamb had two goals. Parker Green made 13 saves in cage for the Panthers. Collin Hoben went 11-for-20 (55%) at the faceoff dot as the Panthers’ primary option.

Brian Minicus had a hat trick for the Raiders. Matt Lacombe made 10 saves in cage to anchor the Colgate defense.

Duke Blows Past Manhattan

Despite finding themselves down 2-1 at the end of the first quarter with Manhattan goalie Brendan Krebs saving everything like it was a beach ball, the Duke Blue Devils blew out the Jaspers in the final three periods of play to take home the 17-7 win.

Dyson Williams led the way with four goals for the Blue Devils while Joe Robertson had four points off two goals and two assists. Jake Naso went 9-for-14 at the dot.

Kyle Gucwa led Manhattan with four goals. Brendan Krebs made 19 saves in the contests, 12 of which came in the first half alone.

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