CHAPEL HILL N.C. – Sarah Kuonen scored the tie-breaking goal with 7:29 to play and North Carolina held on to defeat Virginia, 8-7, in Atlantic Coast Conference women’s lacrosse action at Fetzer Field on Saturday afternoon.
Carolina attempted to control possession for several minutes late and prevent Virginia from tying the score, only to turn the ball over and give UVa one last shot. UNC goalkeeper Lauren Maksym saved Ainsley Baker’s shot with just over a minute left, however, icing the victory.
Carolina, ranked No. 5 by the IWLCA and No. 7 by the Inside Lacrosse media poll, improves to 5-2 this season and 1-0 in ACC play. Virginia, ranked No. 7 by the IWLCA and No. 11 by Inside Lacrosse, falls to 3-3, 0-2.
Freshman Abbey Friend led the Tar Heels with three goals. Laura Zimmerman had two goals and an assist and Corey Donohoe had a goal and an assist. Kuonen and Kara Cannizzaro each scored once for UNC, and Becky Lynch dished out an assist.
Charlie Finnigan led Virginia with three goals and one assist. Josie Owen had a goal and two assists, Julie Gardner had a goal and one assist and Baker and Maddy Keeshan each scored once for the Cavaliers.
UNC led early and controlled momentum for much of the first half. Cannizzaro started the game off with an unassisted goal at the 27:15 mark, wrapping around the cage from the rear to score for a 1-0 UNC lead. Baker scored off a pass from Gardner to tie the score at one apiece with 24:48 to go in the first half, then Zimmerman and Friend scored for a 3-1 UNC advantage. The teams traded goals and it was 4-2 with 19:35 left in the opening period.
Friend then scored on a one-timer shot off a perfect pass from Donohoe at the 13:42 mark to give UNC a 5-2 lead. Shortly thereafter, Zimmerman just missed scoring her third goal of the half when her shot hit the crosspipe. Minutes later, Donohoe scored on a free position try to make the score 6-2 at the 12:16 mark, forcing a Cavalier timeout.
Owen broke the UNC run with a free position goal at the 10:18 mark that made the score 6-3 Tar Heels. Friend responded with her third goal of the opening 30 minutes, taking a pass from Zimmerman and making it 7-3 with a quick goal at 6:53.
The first half ended at 7-3 Carolina. In the second half, Virginia went on a 4-0 run to tie the game at 7-7. Gardner started the scoring with a free position goal at the 22:41 mark to make the score 7-4 UNC. Gardner scored off a nifty pass in traffic from Baker, making the score 7-6 and forcing a Carolina timeout with 21:25 to play. Just 18 seconds later, Finnigan scored a fast break goal off a pass from Baker to make it 7-6 UNC. Finnigan scored on a free position try with 10:59 to go, tying the score at 7-all.
Kuonen’s unassisted goal with 7:29 left broke the tie and gave UNC the 8-7 lead. The Tar Heels held possession for several minutes and tried to hold for the last shot but Emily Garrity turned it over with 1:37 left, giving the Cavaliers the ball. Virginia was able to get a decent shot by Baker, by Maksym’s big save ensured the victory.