Wolfeboro natives battle in Division I men’s lacrosse quarterfinal

  • Wolfeboro native Tate Jozokos, a midfielder on the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team, evades a University of Maryland defender in Annapolis, Md., in May 2015. Jozokos and the Tar Heels edged out another Wolfeboro native, Ryder Garnsey of Notre Dame, in the quarterfinals of the Division I men’s lacrosse tournament Sunday in Ohio. Brian Schneider / UNC Athletic Department

  • Wolfeboro’s Ryder Garnsey of Notre Dame was named the ACC Rookie of the Year, playing in all 12 regular-season games for the Fighting Irish. He led all ACC freshmen with 27 points on 19 goals. Notre Dame Athletic Department / Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 5/22/2016 11:58:13 PM

A long way from the Granite State’s Lakes Region, a pair of Wolfeboro natives met in the Division I men’s lacrosse quarterfinals Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. Competing alongside one another at one point, Ryder Garnsey of Notre Dame and North Carolina’s Tate Jozokos were on opposing teams Sunday with a spot in next weekend’s Final Four on the line.

North Carolina and Jozokos, a junior midfielder who attended the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Mass., prevailed with a 13-9 win, advancing to the program’s first Final Four since 1993. The Tar Heels (10-6) rattled off eight goals in a row over the second and third quarters and held on, despite being ranked last in the ACC’s preseason poll.

Carolina’s sophomore goalie Brian Balkam matched a career high with 14 saves, including eight in the fourth quarter when Notre Dame outshot the Tar Heels 19-3. In total, the Irish outshot the Heels 43-34.

Steve Pontrello finished with four goals and two assists for North Carolina, while Chris Cloutier added a first-half hat trick and tallied three assists. Luke Goldstock and Michael Tagliaferri each had two goals and Timmy Kelly added a goal and an assist.

Matt Kavanagh scored twice for the Irish (11-4), while Mikey Wynne, Drew Schantz and Brendan Collins added one goal each.

The Irish were making their 11th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship – tied with top-seeded Maryland for the longest active streak. Notre Dame’s appearance in the quarterfinal round marked its seventh straight at that level – the best current streak in the country.

Carolina will be joined by Loyola, Maryland and Brown in Philadelphia on Saturday for the national semifinals. UNC and Loyola will play at noon with Maryland and Brown to follow at 2:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field.

Jozokos was named a preseason All American by Face-Off Yearbook before the 2016 season after a successful sophomore campaign as a defensive midfielder. At the Governor’s Academy, he was much more offensive minded, finishing his career with 133 goals, 112 assists and 347 ground balls. He collected one ground ball in Sunday’s win.

Garnsey entered Notre Dame as a highly regarded recruit. He was ranked No. 1 on the list of top 40 attackmen by Inside Lacrosse and earned the No. 2 billing on the Power 100 Freshmen list last year. Garnsey lived up to the hype, winning ACC Rookie of the Year honors this season after playing in all 12 regular-season games. He led all ACC freshmen with 27 points on 19 goals and had a career-high five goals against Syracuse on April 2.

Garnsey, who played at Brewster Academy before doing a post-grad year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., scored a goal and tallied an assist in Sunday’s loss. At Brewster, Garnsey played for his father, Plymouth State Hall of Famer Fred Garnsey, and is still the school’s all-time leading scorer. He tallied 47 goals and 46 assists at Phillips Academy and earned Under Armour All-America honors his senior year on top of being named New England Player of the Year.

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