For the second time in program history, the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team defeated a team ranked in the top three of the national polls as the seventh-ranked Fighting Irish took down No. 3 North Carolina, 9-7, on Sunday afternoon inside the Loftus Sports Center.
A Loftus Sports Center record crowd of 1,437 watched the top-10 showdown.
Senior attackman Ryan Hoff led the Irish offense as he produced his first hat trick of the season.
Notre Dame (4-0) trailed 4-3 at halftime, yet the Irish defense held North Carolina scoreless in the third quarter and took a 5-4 advantage into the final stanza.
The Tar Heels (6-1) cut the deficit back to two (7-5) as Sean Burke scored with 4:22 left in regulation. Overall, Notre Dame held North Carolina scoreless for 29:57 during the stretch from the second to fourth quarter.
The besting of the third-ranked Tar Heels matched the highest-ranked opponent a Notre Dame team had ever defeated. The Irish downed No. 3 Johns Hopkins during the quarterfinals of the 2001 NCAA Championship.
The Fighting Irish return to the field with a date against Bucknell on Thursday, March 12 at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md.