May 10, 2009

CHAPEL HILL - Third-seeded North Carolina scored nine consecutive goals and held Towson scoreless for over 31 minutes to blow open the game and defeat the unseeded Tigers, 15-4, on Sunday afternoon in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill. UNC held Towson scoreless for a span of 31:34, including the final 10:24 of the first half and the first 21:10 of the second half.

The Tar Heels advance to the quarterfinal round and will host the winner of the game between No. 6 seed Notre Dame and unseeded Vanderbilt. That game was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday in Notre Dame, Ind. Next Saturday's quarterfinal game will be played at 1 p.m. on Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill.

"We were really excited to play today's game," UNC head coach Jenny Levy said. "We've been off for two weeks. We've really worked the team hard and they responded well. Towson is a formidable foe. They have a seven game winning streak, they won their conference, they've got some great athletes -- I think they came in with a lot of confidence.

"They're hosting the NCAA Final Four this year -- they thought this was doable for them," Levy continued. "So I was really happy. I thought we played a really solid game from start to finish. Fundamentally and discipline-wise, we did a great job. That's some of the stuff we've been really talking about -- don't get away from what we do well, don't get away from fundamentals and don't lose discipline, so I thought we did those things very well today."

In Sunday's game, Carolina got three goals apiece from Kristen Taylor, Corey Donohoe and Chelsea Parks, with Taylor and Donohoe each adding an assist. Becky Lynch had a goal and two assists and Megan Bosica had two goals. UNC got single goals from Laura Zimmerman, Kaitlyn Messinger and Caitlin Young and an assist from Katie Brooks.

Towson got two goals from Nikki Marcinik and single goals from Britt Woodfield and Jacie Kendall. Meggie McNamara had an assist for the Tigers.

The Tar Heels took a 1-0 lead early on a Taylor goal off a pass from Lynch 4:07 into the game. The Tigers quickly tied it up 40 seconds later when Marchinik scored an unassisted goal to make the score 1-1.

Carolina responded with three consecutive goals to take a 4-1 lead. Bosica took a Donohoe pass and scored to make it 2-1 at the 20:26 mark. Half a minute later, Parks scored unassisted to make it 3-1 with 19:50 left in the period. Lynch scored on a free position attempt to close out the 3-0 run and make the score 4-1 and force a Tiger timeout.

Towson responded with a goal to cut the lead to 4-2 when Woodfield took a pass from McNamara and scored from the right front of the goal.

After the Tiger goal, Carolina scored nine consecutive goals to seize control of the contest. Taylor's free position goal made it 5-2 with 4:22 to go before halftime. Two goals in an 11-second span gave all the momentum to UNC at halftime. A diving Zimmerman took a pass from Lynch and scored while parallel to the ground to put the Tar Heels ahead 6-2 with 1:03 left. Just 11 seconds later, Parks scored an unassisted goal to make the score 7-2 at the break.

UNC also scored the first six goals of the second half, taking a commanding, 13-2 lead. Donohoe scored all three of her goals in the first 10 minutes of the half, with Parks, Taylor and Bosica adding scores to close out the 9-0 run.

Towson broke its scoring drought with 8:50 left in the game and the outcome all but determined when Kendall scored an unassisted goal to make the score 13-3 Tar Heels. UNC reserves Young and Messinger added late scores sandwiched around Marcinik's second goal for Towson.