NCAA Men's Lacrosse : UNC Beats Princeton in Konica Minolta Face-off Classic

D HoldingCorrespondent IIIMarch 12, 2012

Photo Courtesy - All Rights Reserved
Photo Courtesy - All Rights Reserved

With both teams entering Saturday's contest off losing efforts, the game between UNC and Princeton was all about getting back on track.

North Carolina had lost to both Lehigh and Penn in the previous days, leaving them looking for answers on the offensive end.

With a star-studded roster, UNC jumbled its line-up to give them a new look all across the field.

High-profile transfer Jack McBride (former Princeton captain) and sophomore stud Nicky Galasso got their first starts on attack this weekend.

Galasso has been sorely missed by the Tar Heels thus far, as he demands constant attention from all opponents. He finished the day with only a goal, but the offense was able to run well through him, something to be aware of as the season moves along.

McBride, playing against his old room mates and buddies, was the star of the show (offensively).

The Delbarton (NJ) alum was flashy in scoring two goals in the first half. He looked to have an extra boost of intensity while facing his former squad. His first goal was a laser from about five-yards out, putting an exclamation point on a quality possession for the Heels.

While McBride and Galasso held down the offense, goalie Steven Rastivo was a sensation for UNC.

He had 16 saves in the win, many completely deflating the rising momentum of the Tigers. His ability to find the ball in the shooter's sticks made him almost unbeatable down the stretch.

His play made the difference in a quality victory for his school.

For Princeton, sophomore star Tom Schreiber found a way to contribute with three assists on the day.

Even when getting consistently double teamed, Schreiber can distribute the ball and make his mark on the stat-sheet.

Also stepping up was senior Alex Capretta. Known for his shot velocity, Capretta netted three goals and added an assist.

He showed great form by scoring his goals in identical fashion with hard over-hand type shots.

Midfielder Tucker Shanley continued his stellar season with a goal and two assists, while freshman Kip Orban added two goals of his own.

With great production out of their midfield lines, Princeton must find a way to get their attack on the same level.

Junior Jeff Froccaro is a sneaky dodger behind the goal, but he had many quality attempts shut out by the impeccable Tar Heel goalkeeper.

Defensively, Princeton held a prolific offense under 10 goals, but should have done better.

In one sense, it could have been worse with UNC dropping many passes when they had room to shoot. On the other hand, All-American goalie Tyler Fiorito only saved 18 percent of the shots he saw for Princeton.

The senior goalie for the Tigers, Fiorito is struggling with only a 43 percent save percentage thus far.

The preseason favorite for first-team All-American, Fiorito will look to get back on track as the Tigers face a tough Villanova team on Tuesday night.

UNC improved to 5-2 on the season, while Princeton slipped to 2-2 thus far. UNC will face Duke on Saturday as they begin their brutal ACC schedule.

Look for both of these teams to get better and be contenders when the brackets are announced later in the year.