Charlotte, NC - Marcus Holman scored five goals and two assists and Jimmy Bitter added four goals and three assists to lead the eighth-ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina to a 12-9 victory over the Hofstra Pride in the ESPNU Warrior Classic at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte Saturday afternoon. UNC improves to 9-4 on the year while the Pride are now 6-6.

Hofstra was led by sophomore Lance Yapor with four goals while freshman Mike Malave added a career-high three goals and junior Adrian Sorichetti chipped in with two goals and two assists. Senior Mike DeNapoli and graduate-student Steve Serling each posted two assists. Senior goalie Andrew Gvozden recorded 14 saves in the contest including eight in the first half.


In addition to Holman and Bitter, UNC received a goal and an assists from Davey Emala and solo goals by Chad Tutton and Jimmy Dunster. Steven Rastivo made six saves in the Tar Heels' cage.


The Pride led in the contest, 9-7 early in the fourth quarter only to see the Tar Heels score five unanswered goals for the victory.


The Tar Heels jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as Bitter scored his 18th of the year on a nice cross-field pass from Holman just 4:08 into the contest, and Bitter repaid the favor with a pass to Holman for a sharp-angle shot and goal from the right of Gvozden. But the Pride answered with back-to-back goals as Sorichetti found Mike Malave in the box for his third goal of the year with 5:15 to play in the first and Sorichetti tied it 1:32 into the second quarter as Mike DeNapoli found Sorichetti, who unleashed a bullet from the right of Rastivo.


Bitter gave UNC a 3-2 lead with his second of the game, from in front, at the 9:26 mark but the Pride tied the game at 3-all with 5:29 to play in the half as Steve Serling sent a pass across the box to Lance Yapor, who buried his 20th goal of the year. But the Tar Heels came right back and took a 4-3 advantage with 1:39 to play in the half as Bitter completed his third hat-trick of the season, coming around the right side of the Pride cage and beating Gvozden.


But Hofstra scored twice in the last 56 seconds as Sorichetti notched his second of the game off a loose ball at the 56 second mark, and Malave gave the Pride a 5-4 lead at the break with an unassisted tally with four seconds remaining.


The third quarter was a flurry of scoring as the Pride boosted the lead to 6-4 on Yapor's man-up goal on Serling's pass to the crease just 2:59 into the period. Bitter then scored twice in a 12-second span, the latter at the 6:25 mark to tie the game at 6-6. But the Pride came right back and scored consecutive goals as Yapor notched his third off a pass to the crease by Sorichetti at the 5:43 mark, and then scored a man-up goal, off a pass from DeNapoli, with 2:14 to play in the third quarter for an 8-6 lead.


North Carolina cut the gap to one after three quarters as Davey Emala scored off a pass from Bitter from the right of Gvozden with 1:26 to play. After Hofstra boosted the lead to 9-7 just 1:05 into the fourth as Malave scored his third of the game, the Tar Heels responded with five unanswered goals by Holman 1:07 later, Jimmy Dunster 44 seconds after that to tie the game at 9-9 with 12:04 to play, Holman again for his fifth of the contest with 7:35 to play and Chad Tutton with 3:26 remaining to give the Heels a two goal cushion at 11-9. Bitter notched the fifth goal in the run on Hofstra's full-field ride with 1:36 to play to close out the scoring. North Carolina outshot the Pride, 41-28 and picked up 37 ground balls to the Pride's 22.


The Pride will return to action next Saturday, April 21 when they travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts to face the second-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen in a key CAA game in the New England Lacrosse Classic. Game time is 5 p.m.