That’s how long the No. 4 North Carolina men’s lacrosse group had been on pause considering that its last video game. But on Sunday, senior attackman Chris Gray and the UNC offense showed little proof of having any rust from that time off.

UNC scored 24 goals, including 14 before halftime, beating No. 5 Denver 24-13. The assault of objectives was led by an excellent performance from Gray, who completed the day with 6 objectives and a help after playing just 3 quarters, including a hat technique prior to the very first quarter ended.

” You can’t secure him honestly, he’s a feeder, he’s a dodger, he can do all of it,” junior attackman Nicky Solomon said. “It’s sort of hard to search him because he’s so diverse in how he plays that it’s quite hard to guard him individually.”

Denver opened the video game quick, scoring the first objective just 39 seconds in on first-year goalkeeper Collin Krieg.

Just after that, however, UNC started scoring in fast bursts, with five objectives in about two and a half minutes from four different gamers– including 2 from Solomon and one from Gray in the period of 45 seconds. The rest of the first quarter consisted of 4 more objectives from UNC, with Gray scoring back-to-back objectives to assist the team finish the quarter up 9-2.

” This is clearly our first game, so we wanted to come out and be as sharp as possible,” Gray stated. “Like every team, the very first video game includes a little bit of rust, but I think we were able to settle in quite quickly.”

Gray finished the very first half by including another goal and an assist to his statistics, and UNC took a 14-3 lead into the half.

The lead UNC brought into the second half grew bigger as the Tar Heels’ attack and midfield pressured Denver all the way as much as the midfield line, causing turnovers that led to objectives. One such objective came when a stick check by Gray on a protector caused the ball rolling in off the protector’s stick, bringing the UNC lead up to 13 objectives. The rest of the group included on to this, and by the end of the third quarter, ball game was 21-6– with nine different UNC gamers having actually scored over the course of the game.

” Through 3 quarters, 21-6, clearly offensively it’ll continue if we play unselfish and share the ball,” head coach Joe Breschi said.

In the final quarter, UNC took out its first-team defense and made a switch in the crease, getting Krieg for junior Caton Johnson. Ball game suggested this, as the defensive pressure on the Denver offense wasn’t the very same as it remained in the first 3 quarters of the video game. As a result, Denver scored seven objectives in the final quarter, and Johnson only taped two conserves out of the 9 shots he saw.

Although Denver’s late resurgence effort failed, the postgame event for North Carolina looked different than it generally would in a pre-pandemic world. Still, the win’s influence on the team wasn’t lost on Gray. After the game, he talked about what it suggested to be able to play again after that 334-day break.

” Really for me, it was just another chance to play the game I like with the men on the group,” Gray said. “It was just a terrific group win today, and we were thankful to get out there.”