North Carolina’s Chris Cloutier Sets Record For Most Goals In A Championship Weekend
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 5/28/2016 – The North Carolina Tar Heels will advance to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Championship game defeating the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds 18 – 13 at The Linc in Philadelphia. The Tar Heels were led by attacker Chris Cloutier who scored 9 goals which set a record for goals scored in a championship weekend. The previous record was seven, and tied an NCAA tournament mark in any round for goals in a game. For Cloutier is was about the team.
“It all started out with these guys, especially Steve (Pontrello),” said Cloutier. “IT was working today. We just ran our offense to a ‘t’. Luckily I was getting open and had open shots.”
“Whenever I get my hands free, someone found me.”
Cloutier had six goals in the first half. He tied the championship weekend record in the third quarter scoring at the 8:59 mark. A little over four minutes later the sophomore from Kitchner, Ontario circled to the front of the goal and shot low beating the goalie to set the mark. He tied the overall record for goals in a tournament game at 5:32 of the fourth quarter with a low shot that got past the goalie.
In addition to Cloutier attacker Steve Pontrello added 5 points on 2 goals and 3 assists. Attacker Luke Goldstock added 2 goals and an assist, and Timmy Kelly found the back of the net twice.
UNC (11 – 6) took control early in the game getting out to a 3 – 0 lead at 9:59 of the first quarter. After a Loyola goal Carolina ended the quarter with a 6- 1 run to take a 9 – 2 lead after a quarter of play. It was most goals scored in any quarter of a Championship weekend game since Johns Hopkins scored nine against Syracuse in 2003.
The Tar Heels got firm control of the game in the second quarter by scoring three times in just 15 seconds to get a double-digit lead at 12 – 2.
The Greyhounds (14 – 4) showed life and won the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to 16 – 12 at 6:25 on a goal by Zack Herreweyers, his third, assisted by Pat Spencer, who had 5 and a goal in the game. It was the sixth point for Spencer who tied the school record for most points in a season with 89.
“When you are looking up at that score board and you’re down nine, there are a lot of emotions on the sideline,” said Loyola Maryland Coach Charley Toomey. “We kept asking them to stay the course, and try to win the fifty-fifties, and bow their necks. We did that.”
North Carolina will meet the winner of the Maryland vs. Brown game for the title. It will be their 6th appearance in the championship game, and a chance to win their first crown since 1991.
“I’m thrilled we are playing on Monday and have a chance to celebrate that ’91 team,” said North Carolina Coach Joe Breschi. “If the stars are aligned it is a credit to the guys in the locker room who made it happen. To celebrate with that ’91 team, it couldn’t get any better.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian