On Thursday night, #1 ranked North Carolina beat the life out of #5 Duke to close the regular season undefeated, winning their home game finale 18-4, and securing the top overall seed in the ACC Tournament.
The Blue Devils were in their best position of the night when tied 2-2 in the first half, before Carolina went on a 7-goal spree before halftime. The Tar Heels continued their onslaught with a 9-goal unanswered run that made the game academic before Duke put in two consolation goals to make the margin less humiliating.
UNC had brilliant performances from its stellar senior class, particularly talisman attacker Jamie Ortega, who had 4 goals / 3 assists. Fellow super senior Scottie Rose Growney added 5 goals / 2 assists, and grad student Ally Mastroianni had 4 goals. I don’t usually feel bad for Duke in anything, but they cycled through three goalies, all of them just about equally ineffective. It was a tough night to stand in front of an unstoppable UNC attack.
Carolina is on a redemption campaign after losing in the NCAA semi-finals to Boston College last season, 11-10. At times, the season has resembled a Sterling Archer rampage, as the Heels have beaten up on the best teams in women’s lacrosse.
In Chapel Hill, UNC defeated #22 Jacksonville, #2 Northwestern, and #5 Duke. The Heels have gone on the road and beaten #11 James Madison, #10 Florida, #3 Boston College, #4 Syracuse, and #16 Virginia. They have won those away games against ranked opponents by an average of 4.8 goals!
Carolina now heads to Notre Dame for the ACC Tournament, and will play the winner of the 8/9 seed game after a first round bye. The Tar Heels will be clear favorites in the ACC Tournament, but have their eyes set on a much bigger prize... and some unfinished business. But first, some fun: