Brian Balkam made a career-high 17 saves to anchor the defense and No. 7 North Carolina upset No. 1 Denver, 13-9, Saturday in men’s lacrosse.
The Tar Heels improved to 4-1 and the host Pioneers fell to 4-1.
Luke Goldstock led North Carolina with four goals.
The Tar Heels led from start to finish and beat the top-ranked team for the sixth straight season, a streak that began against Johns Hopkins in 2012. North Carolina has defeated seven top-ranked teams since April 1, 2012, and is 7-3 against top-ranked teams over the past six years. Before the win over Johns Hopkins in 2012, the Tar Heels had gone 16 years without beating a No. 1 team.
Balkam’s 17 saves exceeded his previous career high of 14, against both Denver and Notre Dame in his sophomore season in 2016.
The Tar Heels needed all of Balkam’s saves as on paper the Pioneers had a statistical advantage, outshooting Carolina 43-34, winning the ground ball battle 25-19 and having a slight edge at the faceoff circle 14-10. The Pioneers were 9-for-9 on clears while the Tar Heels were 13-14. Carolina finished with a season-low eight turnovers while the Pioneers had just six.
Balkam allowed two goals and made two saves in the opening period as UNC took a 4-2 lead. He made five saves in each of the final three quarters, allowing only seven goals in that time.
Denver’s Alex Ready allowed 13 goals while making just six saves as Carolina’s offense shot with precision.
The Tar Heels lead the all-time series against Denver 10-5 and have won two of the past three games against the Pioneers after Denver had won the previous three games in NCAA play.
The Quakers fell to 2-1.
Penn State overcame a four-goal first-half deficit with seven goals in the third quarter. Nine players scored for the Nittany Lions, led by Nick Spillane with a game-high five goals.
“I thought in the second half we shared the ball more,” Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni said. “We made our shots a little more difficult for the goalie to locate and took advantage. Obviously, the momentum at the faceoff ‘x’ was just monumental. We had enough opportunities to get our offense in rhythm, and without that it may have been a totally different outcome.”
No. 14 Rutgers 13, No. 19 Brown 11: The Scarlet Knights (5-0) claimed their 11th straight home victory and 600th in program history, beating the Bears (1-2).
Freshman Kieran Mullins had a game-high four goals. With the score tied at 10 in the final quarter, he scored three times in the final minutes to ensure a Scarlet Knights victory.
No. 16 Army West Point 14, Lafayette 4: Nate Jones scored a career high six goals to lead the host Black Knights (4-1, 1-0 Patriot) past the Leopards (0-5, 0-2).
David Symmes and Ted Glesener scored twice for Army. Goalie AJ Barretto (St. Paul’s) got the win with seven saves and only four goals allowed.
Lafayette was led by Scott McCoy, who had a pair of goals.
Stony Brook is 4-0, the best start in program history, as Jim Nagle earned the 200th win of his coaching career.
Stony Brook, which trailed 4-2 to start the second half, scored five straight goals in the third quarter.
No. 8 Notre Dame 9, No. 20 Louisville 7: The host Fighting Irish (7-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) used a strong second-half performance to beat the Cardinals (6-2, 0-1).
Notre Dame has won seven straight games and two consecutive games against ranked opponents.
Molly Cobb scored twice and Cortney Fortunato had a goal and three assists for the Fighting Irish. Hannah Koloski and Meghan Siverson each scored twice for Louisville.
No. 19 Virginia Tech 11, No. 10 Duke 6: Marissa Davey (Marriotts Ridge) had four goals and an assist as the Hokies (7-2, 2-0 ACC) upset the host Blue Devils (4-2, 0-2).
Virginia Tech led 5-1 lead at the half.
Senior Olivia Hompe had a team-high three assists. She has a point in each of the past 40 games.
No. 16 Cornell 10, No. 13 Penn 4: Catherine Ellis and Sarah Phillips each had two goals and an assist to lead the Big Red (2-1, 1-0 Ivy League) past the host Quakers (3-1, 0-1).
Cornell went on a 4-0 run in the second half.