Hofstra showed its support for the Wounded Warriors Project by wearing multi-colored camouflage-style uniforms Saturday night. But it was the offense of visiting North Carolina that operated with military-like precision.
The No. 3-ranked Tar Heels scored 11 consecutive goals, including seven in a torrid third period, to defeat No. 20 Hofstra, 14-5, in a non-league game that drew a season's best crowd of 5,345 to Shuart Stadium.
"That's probably the best attack in the country," Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. "They have a talented offensive team. There's no way around it."
Marcus Holman led the way for North Carolina (9-3) with three goals and four assists. Holman, a Baltimore native, moved into second place on North Carolina's career list with 114 goals and into fifth place in career points with 193.
The Tar Heels obliterated Hofstra's defense, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the NCAA, allowing just 6.36 goals per game. But after taking a 5-3 lead late in the second quarter, the Pride (7-5) couldn't contain Carolina's efficient attack.
"They were a little deeper. They ran some different guys at us in the second half," Tierney said. "They had some long possessions and it was like our defense was in a bit of quicksand out there."
Ryan Creighton started the third-quarter blitz with an unassisted goal on a dodge from behind the cage to tie it at 5. Steve Pontrello's unassisted goal put North Carolina on top for good and then it was showtime for Holman.
After setting up Chad Tutton's third of the game with a nifty pass, Holman made a spectacular spin-and-duck-under dodge and finished with a blistering low shot to make it 8-5. He added two more assists and a goal in the second half as eight different Tar Heels scored at least one goal.
The offensive outburst made it easy for former St. Anthony's star Kieran Burke to register the victory in the netl. Burke gave up five goals in the first half but nothing after that as his offense picked him up big time.
Hofstra built a 5-4 first-half lead as former Hauppauge star Sam Llinares had a goal and an assist, Lance Yapor had two goals and Adrian Sorichetti had a goal and an assist. "The first half was as fast a half of lacrosse as I've seen this year," Tierney said. "We were locked in."
Former Hauppauge star Llinares, a freshman, got Hofstra going with a low rocket off a feed from Tyler Johnston five minutes into the game. Yapor gave the Pride a 2-0 lead with an unassisted goal.
The Pride scored two goals in less than two minutes to take a 5-3 lead. But Tutton, a Canadian native like Sorichetti, made a superb play for Carolina for the last scoring play of the first half. He raced down the middle, made a clever ball fake that made it appear he was passing to his right, but continued cradling and beat Chris Selva to make it 5-4.
Turns out, North Carolina was just getting started.