April 21, 2011

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North Carolina Creams Virginia, Earns Rematch with Duke in ACC Semifinals

from press release

CARY, N.C. -- The third-seeded and fourth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels earned its most lopsided victory in series history over the sixth-seeded and 10th-ranked Virginia women's lacrosse team Thursday night, 16-5, in the first round of the 2011 ACC Tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park.

"We started the game with three major mistakes on the offensive end, when we had our opportunities," head coach Julie Myers said. "I think it kind of bothered us; it rattled us a little bit more than it should have.

"Carolina did a nice job of hitting plays. Their players made plays and our players didn't make nearly enough. A lot of credit goes to Carolina, they are a good team and they were hot tonight."

Virginia (9-6) was led by juniors Julie Gardner and Josie Owen, who each contributed two goals, while redshirt junior Ainsley Baker rounded out the scoring with one goal.

Becky Lynch led eight Tar Heels in scoring tonight, notching a game-high eight points. Corey Donohoe contributed a team-high four goals for North Carolina (11-4), while Abbey Friend, Laura Zimmerman, Emily Garrity and Kara Cannizzaro each had two. Kaitlyn Messinger rounded out the scoring, while Sarah Kuonen added an assist.

The opening 10 minutes of the game were scoreless, before Lynch finally broke through for the Tar Heels at the 19:50 mark. Baker responded for the Cavaliers at 18:17, before North Carolina scored back-to-back goals to earn a 3-1 advantage at the 15:29 mark.

Owen converted a free position shot at 13:52 to bring Virginia within one, 3-2, but Laura Zimmerman sandwiched two goals around one from Gardner to give the Tar Heels a 5-3 advantage. Zimmerman's second score sparked a five-goal run for the Tar Heels that was capped off by a score from Donohoe as time expired, giving North Carolina a 9-3 halftime advantage.

The Tar Heels opened the second half with three-straight scores, before Gardner halted the streak at 12-4. Another three-goal streak by Carolina gave the Tar Heels a 15-4 lead with 9:34 to play.

Owen recorded Virginia's final goal at the 7:59 mark, before Messinger capped off the scoring in the game with a goal at 5:28, bringing the final tally to 16-5.

Freshman Lauren Goerz finished the game with four ground balls and two draw controls, while Owen and senior All-American Liz Downs each won two draw controls.

Virginia will return to action on Wednesday as it heads to Harrisonburg, Va., for a 7 p.m. contest against No. 12 James Madison. The game was originally scheduled for March 23, but was rescheduled due to inclement weather in the area.


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