HIGH POINT, N.C. – The sixth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels managed to outdistance themselves from the High Point Panthers to finish the regular season with a 12-8 win in front of 1,897 in attendance at Vert Stadium on Friday.
Chad Tutton scored a career-high four goals while Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey supported with a combined five more while goalkeeper Kieran Burke made 13 saves against the Atlantic Sun Lacrosse League’s leading team.
The crowd was the second largest for a High Point home game and exceeded only the crowd of 2,004 that witnessed the Panthers’ first-ever Division I game against Delaware on Feb. 2, 2013.
High Point (8-5, 4-1) made quite a statement against the Tar Heels, holding them to one goal in the first quarter and also keeping them scoreless in the third quarter.
North Carolina (10-3, 2-3) needed highly explosive six and five-goal goal surges in the second and fourth quarters to earn the win.
Leading 8-7 early in the final quarter, Tutton led a 4-0 run that finalized the win for the Tar Heels.
Statistically, the game was as close as it played out until the final quarter, with UNC holding a 35-32 edge in shots, a 38-33 advantage in ground balls, while High Point won 14 of 24 draws at the faceoff X.
The Tar Heels next prepare for their next matchup against Virginia as part of the initial ACC Showcase in association with the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament next weekend in Chester, Pa.
The Panthers finish off their regular season with a home game against Drexel next Friday before heading into conference tournament play looking to earn their first-ever title and NCAA postseason berth.