North Carolina doubles up Navy
Lynch contributes four goals, two assists to 14-7 Tar Heel win
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Tewaaraton Award finalist Becky Lynch tallied four goals, two assists and six draw controls as the University of North Carolina beat Navy, 14-7, in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday at Fetzer Field. The Tar Heel defense held Navy scoreless for nearly 18 minutes and UNC went on a 5-0 run in the first half after the Midshipmen had grabbed a 3-2 lead.
Fifth-seeded Carolina (15-3) advances to next weekend's quarterfinal round to play the winner of Sunday afternoon's game between No. 4 seed Syracuse and unseeded Dartmouth. Navy's season ends at 18-3.
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The victory was the 10th in a row for Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels improve to 13-1 at home in NCAA tournament play and have won their past 12 tournament home games.
"It was a good first-round win for us," head coach Jenny Levy said. "I thought we did a good job of taking care of details, particularly Becky [Lynch] on the draw controls and doing some of the little things that help you win. We hadn't played a game in three weeks, so it was good to play against someone other than ourselves after not playing since the ACC championship game. We're excited to move on to next weekend."
In addition to Lynch's strong performance, Carolina got three goals and one assist from Laura Zimmerman and two goals and one assist each from Kara Cannizzaro, Abbey Friend and Taylor George. Jessica Griffin added a goal for the Tar Heels.
Navy got all of its scoring output from a pair of players, with Jasmin DePompeo finishing with four goals and one assist and Aimee Gennaro scoring three times.
The Tar Heels dominated the draw 17-6 after Navy entered the game as one of the top teams in the nation on the draw. The Tar Heels took 34 shots to Navy's 21 and converted 3 of 5 free-position opportunities.
Carolina's Lauren Maksym played well in goal, recording nine saves and limiting Navy to 1 for 6 on its free-position opportunities. Navy's Michelle Verbeeck made 12 saves in taking the loss and falling to 8-1 on the season.
Zimmerman and DePompeo dominated early, each scoring a goal. Zimmerman struck first off a pass from George at 29:32, then DePompeo tied it at one-all 90 seconds later. Zimmerman scored again at 27:45 for a 2-1 UNC lead, only to see DePompeo score the next two goals as Navy took a 3-2 lead with 23:54 to go in the first half.
Carolina then went on its 5-0 run to take control of the first-half action while holding Navy scoreless for 17:59. Lynch tied the score at 3-3 with a free-position goal at the 22:40 mark. Griffin scored from the left front of the cage just 27 seconds later, taking a pass from Cannizzaro and scoring. George scored on a free position try at the 19:04 mark to make it 5-3 Tar Heels.
The fourth goal in the run came as Lynch scored on a quick shot off a crossing pass from Zimmerman to make it 6-3. Lynch then scored again, her third goal of the half, on a fast break, taking a pass from Friend and scoring to make it 7-3 with 6:31 to go until the break.
Gennaro scored for Navy at 5:53, taking a pass from DePompeo and scoring to stop the 5-0 Tar Heel run and cut the lead to 7-4. A little more than a minute later, Cannizzaro's free-position goal made it 8-4 Carolina. Friend scored at 3:04 for a 9-4 Carolina lead that carried until halftime. Carolina out-shot Navy 22-9 in the first half and controlled 12 of 14 draws before the break.
Cannizzaro scored the first goal of the second half, taking it the length of the field by herself and scoring unassisted to make it 10-4 with 26:33 left. DePompeo scored her fourth goal of the game with 22:41 to go, spinning and scoring unassisted to cut the UNC lead to 10-5. Friend scored off a Lynch pass with 19:00 to go, putting the lead back at six at 11-5 and forcing a Navy timeout.
The Midshipmen responded with Gennaro's second goal shortly thereafter, making it 11-6. George scored her second goal with 12:48 left off a pass from Lynch that made it 12-6 Carolina. Lynch scored unassisted with 2:40 left for her fourth goal of the game and Gennaro scored her third goal with 2:12 to go. Zimmerman added an unassisted goal with under a minute left for the 14-7 final score.