Holman stakes claim on North Carolina's overloaded offense

With fellow North Carolina attackmen like 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year Nicky Galasso, former Princeton transfer Jack McBride and former Georgetown transfer Davey Emala garnering much of the attention in the preseason, it’s perhaps easy to see why Marcus Holman has flown under the radar.

That likely won’t happen anymore after the junior recorded a game-high six points on two goals and four assists to propel the No. 4 Tar Heels to a thrilling 9-8 comeback win against Navy Saturday.

But in case you were wondering if Holman was upset at the lack of press, he’s just fine, thank you very much.

“Those guys are phenomenal players,” the Baltimore native and Gilman graduate said. “We pride ourselves on not being individuals. We’re one unit down on the offensive end and just as a team in general.”

As surprising as it may seem, Holman faced a similar scenario last season as Galasso, Billy Bitter and Thomas Wood were the starters on attack. Holman was asked to shift to the midfield.

Holman posted 23 goals and five assists, but has been more of a playmaker this season. Not only does he paced the offense in points with 14, but he also leads the team in assists with seven.

Holman is the first junior to be named a team captain under coach Joe Breschi, who lauded his player’s ability to inspire his teammates when they trailed the Midshipmen, 6-3, at halftime.

“[For] him to come out there and lead and get these guys right in their mittens at halftime and call everybody out and say, ‘You’ve got to play with heart and fight and desire,’” Breschi marveled. “And he plays that way all the time in practice. So it’s nothing that we haven’t seen in practice. And they follow. So as a captain and as a junior, can’t say enough about him.”

When told of Breschi’s comments, Holman seemed embarrassed. And he made a point to emphasize that he doesn’t play the game to open the eyes of those who have forgotten about his prowess.

“I don’t look at it that way,” he said. “Going out and giving your best is what I’ve been brought up to do. And I think coming out with the win is the most important thing. Those numbers don’t mean anything if we lose.”

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad