CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – The fourth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels earned a valuable Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) road win, beating the sixth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers 10-6 in front of a crowd of 3,900 at Klockner Stadium on Friday.
The win improved the Tar Heels’ overall record to 11-1 and 2-0 in the ACC, while the Cavaliers fell to 8-3 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Joey Sankey posted four goals and an assist to lead the Tar Heels, claiming his 20th career hat trick.
Jimmy Bitter (2 goals, 2 assists), Steve Pontrello (2 goals) and Luke Goldstock (1 goal, 1 assist) supported North Carolina’s offensive push during the second half.
Greg Coholan (3 goals), Tyler German (2 goals), and Zed Williams (1 goal, 1 assist) powered Virginia’s effort to keep pace against the Tar Heels.
Kieran Burke made 12 saves for North Carolina while Virginia keeper Matt Barrett also stayed busy, finishing with 18 saves in the losing effort.
For the second game in a row, midfielder Steve Pontrello’s scoring punch provided the go-ahead goal and surge North Carolina needed to earn another win over a league opponent ranked in the top-10.
Pontrello’s back-to-back goals at 12:39 and 11:47 of the third quarter gave the Tar Heels a 6-4 lead over the Cavaliers.
It was an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.
With little time to rest and recover, North Carolina next prepares to host second-ranked Syracuse who visits Fetzer Field next Saturday for the first time since 1993.