Attackman Dave Wingate's sixth goal today, on an assist from defenseman John Haus 3 minutes 25 seconds into sudden-death overtime, gave top-ranked North Carolina a 13-12 college lacrosse victory over Johns Hopkins before an overflow crowd of 10,300 at Homewood Field.
The victory, the 17th straight and fifth this season for the defending national champions, was Hopkins' first home defeat since a 1978 loss to Cornell. It also was the first regular-season loss since 1980 for the Blue Jays, who had won three straight national titles until dethroned in a one-goal final by UNC last year.
Hopkins (5-1), ranked second in the polls, privately hoped to settle that score today. And, for awhile, it looked like the revenge factor would work. Hopkins led, 12-9, with less than eight minutes to play. But Carolina tied the game on goals by Jeff Homire, Mike Burnett and Brent Voelkel, the last with 1:43 left in regulation.
With 18 seconds left in regulation, North Carolina's Haus was called for holding on all-America attackman Jeff Cook, who was held to one goal and two assists, mainly being covered by defenseman Gary Burns. However Henry Ciccarone Jr.'s ensuing shot was wide of the goal and the game went into overtime.
Losing Coach Henry Ciccarone Sr. said his team had some mental lapses in the overtime and one of them eventually cost it the victory. The goal was set up when Haus picked up a loose ball about 15 yards in front of the Carolina goal. He then sprinted, unchecked, toward the opposing goal.
"I thought Haus was going to shoot the ball," said Wingate.
It looked that way to most of the spectators, too, as Haus raced down the field untouched by Hopkins defenders before finally passing off to Wingate, who bounced the winning shot past Hopkins goalie Brian Holman.
"I was going to shoot it at first, but then I saw Wingate open," Haus said. "I was surprised that no one picked me up. I thought for sure that someone was going to get me. I've never gotten an assist before and I'll probably never get one again."
No one picked up Haus coming down the field. We handed it over. It was a mental error on our part," said the coach. "Our midfielders ran very well. We played 60 minutes of good lacrosse, but the last four minutes we had some bad mental lapses."
North Carolina moved ahead, 1-0, just 29 seconds into the game on a goal by Voelkel. The teams virtually traded goals the remainder of the half and Carolina led, 6-5, at intermission.
Hopkins appeared on the verge of pulling away in the second half, though. John Donnelly tied the score 40 seconds into the third quarter and Hopkins built an 8-6 lead with additional goals from Ciccarone and Joe Ciletti before North Carolina came back to tie the score at 8.