May 28, 2016
PHILADELPHIA - The University of North Carolina scored 12 of the game's first 14 goals and later held off a strong Loyola University Maryland charge to defeat the seventh-seeded Greyhounds, 18-13, in the NCAA Semifinals on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Tar Heels (11-6 overall) took a 3-0 lead just over five minutes into the game when Timmy Kelly scored unassisted at 9:59 in the first quarter. North Carolina tallied their first two goals with 32 seconds of each other, the first coming on a two-man-up goal and the second on a Steve Pontrello strike at 11:19.
The Tar Heels scored four-straight goals in three-minutes, 10-seconds to take a 7-1 advantage on Chris Cloutier's second goal of the run. Cloutier would end with a career-high nine goals, tying the NCAA Championships record in the process.
Brian Sherlock used a rocker-step at the top of the box to draw space, and he bounced in a 19-yard shot to tally Loyola's second goal. Again, North Carolina would respond with a stretch of goals, scoring five in a row, including three by Cloutier.
Nick Mazza tallied a run-stopping goal for Loyola at 7:57, bringing the margin to nine, 12-3. The teams traded goals for the remainder of the half when Spencer came down the middle, beat his man and scored with just over 41 seconds left before halftime.
North Carolina led 14-6 at halftime, but the Greyhounds scored the first four of the second in 5:19.
Tyler Albrecht used a Spencer feed to shoot and hit the inside of the right post, scoring 71 seconds into the second half. Sherlock then tallied his second goal of the game, again on a bouncer, at 11:54, and Albrecht had his second, catching a Spencer feed from behind to score on the doorstep at 9:41.
The Tar Heels came back with two unassisted Cloutier goals at 8:59 and 4:51, sending the teams into the fourth quarter with North Carolina ahead, 16-8.
Loyola quickly came back with three goals in the first 3:44 of the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 11:16 when John Duffy beat North Carolina goalkeeper Brian Balkam between the legs. That goal cut the deficit to five, but it took Loyola almost five more minutes of clock time to score again.
Herreweyers struck with a low-to-low rip at 6:25, getting Loyola within four on a goal assisted by Spencer.
The assist was Spencer's fifth of the game and his sixth point. It moved him into a tie for the school single-season points record this year. His 89 points matched Gary Hanley's 1981 total, matching the school record that has stood for 35 years.
Less than a minute after Herreweyers got Loyola within four, Cloutier added his final goal of the day at 5:32, pushing the Tar Heels' lead back to five.
Romar Dennis struck with a hard rip from 10 yards up top, tallying his second goal of the day, this coming off an Albrecht assist.
Four goals, however, was as close as Loyola would draw as Pontrello tallied an unassisted goal with 1:55 remaining in regulation.
Herreweyers and Albrecht each scored three times in their final collegiate games, and Albrecht had a season-high four points with his assist. Sherlock and Dennis each added two goals.
Spencer finished the year with 89 points on 37 goals and 52 assists. His assists total was one shy of tying Justin Ward's single-season record. He tallied two or more points in all 18 of the Greyhounds games this year.
The Greyhounds' second-half comeback attempt was spurred by Graham Savio's play at the faceoff `X.' Savio went 9-of-14 on restarts after the break and 16-of-31 overall. Savio also had a team-best eight ground balls for Loyola.
Grant Limone entered the game to start the second quarter for Loyola and made seven saves.
Herreweyers wrapped up his Loyola career with 103 goals in just 42 games, a total that ranks ninth in school history. He had three or more goals in exactly half (21) of his collegiate games.
Loyola's 14 wins in 2016 rank third-most in school history, trailing only the 2012 and 2014 teams.