INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Eric Law scored with 13 seconds left to cap Denver’s big comeback in a 12-11 win over North Carolina in an NCAA lacrosse quarterfinal Sunday.
Denver trailed by as many as six goals and was down five at halftime.
“Every single head was up in the locker room,” Law said of Denver’s 9-4 halftime deficit. “We knew we were right there because of the chances we were getting and we knew our defense was going to get stops. We just kept believing in each other.”
The Pioneers (14-4) advance to play top-seeded Syracuse in next Saturday’s semifinals in Philadelphia. It will be Denver’s second trip to the Final Four in the last three years.
Fifth-seeded North Carolina jumped out to a 6-0 lead after less than 10 minutes, but the fourth-seeded Pioneers rallied. After tying the game with 1:31 to play, Denver regained possession and stalled late. Eric Adamson made a difficult shot attempt that was blocked, but Law was there for a rebound goal from the left side.
“It’s funny, they always say, ‘Right place, right time.’ I was literally in the right place at the right time,” Law said. “I saw the ball on the ground, picked it up and threw it as fast as I could. It fell right into my hands. I couldn’t see anything else.”
After the six quick North Carolina goals to begin the game, the Pioneers replaced goalkeeper Ryan LaPlante with Jamie Faus. That proved to be the right decision. Faus finished the game with 11 saves and allowed only two Tar Heels goals in the second half.
“It wasn’t about Ryan playing poorly,” said Denver coach Bill Tierney. “It was about, ‘They just scored six goals in succession. We’ve got to stop this thing.’ So what you do is throw in a change-up. Jamie came in, and he didn’t have time to be nervous. He didn’t know.”