For the eighth time in 11 years, UNC women’s lacrosse is going to the Final Four. The #3 seeded Tar Heels knocked off #6 Virginia 14-7 to advance to the national semifinals next weekend in Baltimore.
After the Cavaliers scored the game’s first two goals, UNC took control midway through the first half, scoring the frame’s final five goals to take a 6-3 lead into halftime. They followed that up with the second half’s first six goals, pretty much putting the game to bed with just under 15 minutes left to go. Within seven was as close as UVA could get for the rest of the game, and the Heels booked their place in the sport's Final Four.
The Tar Heels were led by Jamie Ortega, who finished with three goals and two assists. Scottie Rose Growney and Gianna Bowe also scored three goals apiece, while Katie Hoeg and Olivia Ferrucci each picked up four assists. Meanwhile, UNC’s defense, led by ACC Defender of the Year Emma Trenchard, held Virginia to just seven goals after they had scored more than double that in three of their previous five games.
The Tar Heels’ opponent in the national semifinal next weekend will be another ACC foe: Boston College. The Eagles made it to the national championship game last year, and come into this year’s tournament as the #2 overall seed. They’ll go into next Friday’s game with just one loss on the season. Who did that come to, you may ask? Take a guess.
BC’s lone loss on the season came back on April 28th when the Tar Heels beat them in the ACC Tournament championship game. After going down 5-0, Carolina rallied to win 15-13, allowing just four goals in the second half. On the other hand, when the teams met in the regular season, the Eagles came out on top, winning 14-8 in Chapel Hill. As it turns out, the rubber match will come on the biggest stage possible. UNC will need their defense to come up big again, as Boston College scored a combined 38 goals in their first two NCAA Tournament games.
While the time has not yet been announced, the semifinal will be played on Friday, and will air on ESPN3 on your streaming devices. If the Tar Heels win that, the national championship game will be next Sunday at noon on ESPNU. Good luck to coach Jenny Levy and the Tar Heels, as they try to win the third women’s lacrosse championship in school history!