Jenny Levy and the UNC Women’s Lacrosse team is headed back to the Final Four after putting down Stony Brook 8-5 in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Thursday night.
The result was a little closer than their opening round 24-2 win over conference foe Virginia in the Round of 16. Stony Brook came in as the eight seeded team in the tournament, and kept the game tight in all four quarters, even taking leads of 4-3 and 5-4. However, as the third quarter wound down the Tar Heels took control, tying it on a goal by Andie Aldave with about a minute left. Then, right before the buzzer, Caitlyn Wurzburger slipped a shot in to give the Tar Heels a 6-5 lead, and they wouldn’t trail again.
Aldave would go on to record two more goals in the fourth quarter to notch a hat trick for the Tar Heels, who advance to their thirteenth Final Four in team history.
The Final Four this year is in Baltimore, at the home field of Johns Hopkins. Games will be next Friday, May 27th at Noon and 2;30 on ESPNU, with the NCAA Championship set to be played at Noon Sunday, May 29th on ESPN.
The Tar Heels were in a similar position last year, advancing to the Final Four before falling to eventual National Champion Boston College, 11-10. It was their lone loss of the season, and this year the Tar Heels are hoping to finish the job. Their opponent this time will be the four seed Northwestern, whom they’ve already faced back on March 6th in Chapel Hill. Carolina won that game 20-9, and that was after trailing in the first quarter 3-2. Levy’s squad then dominated the second 6-1, played relatively even in the third, 3-2, then just trounced the Wildcats in the final quarter, 9-3.
The winner of this game will face off against the winner two seed Maryland and three seed Boston College for the Championship. Overall, every team in this Final Four has won a national title, and the two most recent-BC and Maryland-face off in the other game. In fact, with the exception of James Madison in 2018, these four squads have all been passing the national championship trophy around since 2004, when Virginia took it. Of the four, Northwestern has gone the longest without taking the title, their last coming in 2012, and then the Tar Heels are next as their last title was in 2016.
Here’s hoping the Tar Heels have a great Memorial Day weekend!