No. 4 UNC rolls by No. 10 Virginia
Lynch's career-high eight points leads Tar Heels to victory
CARY, NC -- Led by Becky Lynch and Corey Donohoe, No. 4 North Carolina defeated No. 10 Virginia 16-5 in the first round of the ACC Women's Lacrosse Tournament Thursday night at WakeMed Soccer Park. Lynch scored a game-high eight points and Donohoe led all players with four goals as the Tar Heels advanced to face No. 2 Duke on Friday night.
The Tar Heels' leading scorer, Donohoe scored all of her goals in the first half, including one as time expired to give UNC a 9-3 lead at intermission. The Tar Heels closed the period on a 6-1 run, which they extended in the second half.
Abbey Friend finished with two goals and three assists for the Tar Heels, Laura Zimmerman and Emily Garrity each had two goals and an assist and Kara Cannizzaro scored twice.
"I'm really happy with the way we played tonight," UNC coach Jenny Levy said. "We had the jitters early, but we worked through it. Our defense did a great job holding Virginia to only five goals. The last six to seven minutes of the first half were key. We had missed some shots, hit the pipe a couple of times. Our kids did a great job of sticking to the game plan."
Lynch tallied career highs with five assists and eight points. Abbey Friend added two goals and three assists for the Tar Heels, who improved to 5-0 in ACC Tournament opening-round games. Lynch's five assists give her 26 this season, tying the UNC single-season record set by Megan Bosica in 2008.
"Becky had a great game," said Levy. "She was very patient with the ball and she didn't force anything."
"We really tried to focus on the team game," Lynch said. "The last seven minutes of the first half really got our momentum going. We took care of the ball and made some really good passes."
Carolina's 11-goal margin of victory was its biggest ever against Virginia, eclipsing a 10-goal win over the Cavaliers in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels have won five of their last six games against UVa.
UNC and Virginia played evenly in the game's early minutes, with the Tar Heels holding a slim 3-2 advantage with 13:42 to play in the first period before pulling away. Julie Gardner and Josie Owens led UVa with two goals apiece.
"I think we started the game with three major mistakes on the offensive end when we had our opportunities," Virginia coach Julie Myers said. "I think it kind of bothered us, it rattled us a little bit more than it should have. Even with that happening in the game, I thought we were making enough plays on both ends to keep it close.
"Carolina did a nice job of hitting plays," Myers continued. "Their players made plays and our players didn't make nearly enough. A lot of credit goes to Carolina. They are a good team. They were hot tonight."