The year is 2016, the pandemic is no where to be seen, men’s basketball is coming off a tough loss but about to set their sights on a national championship in a year, and Mitch Trubisky was selected first in the NFL Draft.
That same year, the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams both made the Final Four and ultimately took down the national championship. While both programs have continued to stay strong, neither has won a title since, though this weekend they’ll hope 2016 repeats itself.
Both Final Fours are going to have a very ACC feel to them. On the women’s side, North Carolina joins Boston College and Syracuse, with Northwestern rounding out the foursome. Meanwhile on the men’s side, Virginia and Duke join the Tar Heels, and former ACC member Maryland will complete the field. Both fields are set with the top four seeds making it, and the Tar Heels are the top seed in both.
The Women’s team got the party started by posting an amazing win against Stony Brook. At first, it looked like Stony Brook was going to be able to pull off the upset, as they stormed out to a 3-0 lead. Then they were able to turn around and outscore Stony Brook 6-1 to lead 6-4 at the end of the first half. Stony Brook again was able to get their legs and eventually pull back ahead 10-8, but in a game of runs, the Tar Heels were able to draw even at 11-11. Then Jamie Ortega scored on a great shot to put the Tar Heels ahead for good, 12-11. The Heels would score twice more and win 14-11
What a comeback!— UNC Women's Lacrosse (@uncwlax) May 22, 2021
Highlights from an instant classic pic.twitter.com/IbO3VPgCXy
Next up were the men’s team, who had some drama of their own. Four quarters weren’t enough for the Tar Heels as they faced Rutgers for the right to move on to the Final Four. After every quarter, the score was tied, and no team ever had a lead more than two, when Rutgers had a 10-8 in the fourth. The Tar Heels quickly tied it, only to see Rutgers get a lead again for 11-10, and then just five seconds later the Tar Heels tied it on a goal by Zac Tucci. It stayed knotted at 11 until overtime, when Connor McCarthy scored the game winning goal to take down the Scarlet Knights 12-11.
FINAL FOUR BOUND.— UNC Men's Lacrosse (@UNCMensLacrosse) May 22, 2021
Highlights from a hard-fought quarterfinal victory ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/QNdv9u3RTx
The women’s team will lead off the action in Townson, Maryland, as they match up against conference foe Boston College on Friday at noon. That game will be on ESPNU. The winner of that game will get the winner of Northwestern and Syracuse to play for the title on Sunday at Noon. For the men, they’ll travel to East Hartford, Connecticut for their match against Virginia at noon on Saturday. Their match will be on ESPN2. That winner faces off against the Duke/Maryland winner at 1 PM on Memorial Day.
Here’s hoping both teams will party like it’s 2016 and take down both Lacrosse titles!