May 22, 2010

CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina women's lacrosse team held Virginia scoreless for nearly 22 minutes in the first half and cruised to a 17-7 victory over the Cavaliers in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field. Six Tar Heels scored multiple goals in the game, led by Laura Zimmerman's four scores. Corey Donohoe and Kristen Taylor tallied three goals and one assist apiece for UNC.

Third-seeded Carolina advances to next weekend's NCAA semifinals in Towson, Md., and will face second-seeded Northwestern, which beat seventh-seeded Duke by an 18-8 score on Saturday in Evanston, Ill. Earlier this season, the Tar Heels handed the Wildcats their only loss of the 2010 season, 18-16, in Evanston.

Top-seeded Maryland will play unseeded Syracuse in the other national semifinal in Towson next Friday. The Terrapins beat eighth-seeded Penn, 15-10, and the Orange beat fifth-seeded James Madison, 7-3, on Saturday.

UNC advances to the NCAA semifinals for the second consecutive year and the fifth time overall. The Tar Heels reached the national title game in 2009 before losing to Northwestern. UNC also reached the national semifinals in 1997, 1998 and 2002 prior to doing so in each of the last two campaigns.

Carolina improves to 17-2 with the victory, tying the school record for wins in a season set in 2002 (17-3). Virginia falls to 14-6 with the loss.

UNC's 17 goals are the most allowed by Virginia all season. The previous high had been 15 by Loyola (Md.) on Feb. 20 in UVa's season opener. The 17 Tar Heel goals were the most allowed by the Cavaliers since they also gave up 17 to Maryland on March 6, 2009. Carolina scored its 17 goals on just 24 shots.

After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of play and leading 2-1 at the 23:06 mark of the first half, the Tar Heels held UVa scoreless for the next 21:55 until Kaitlin Duff broke the scoreless run with a Cavalier goal with 1:11 left in the period. UNC then scored two goals in the final 0:08 of the half, including one by Taylor with one second left, to lead 11-2 at the break. UNC's 11 goals were the most allowed by UVa in any half this season. The previous high deficit for the Cavaliers at the half had been two goals.

In addition to the offensive output of Zimmerman, Donohoe and Taylor, Becky Lynch and Emily Garrity had two goals and one assist each, Jenn Russell scored twice, Kara Cannizzaro had a goal and an assist and Megan Bosica had an assist. Virginia got three goals from Duff, two from Brittany Kalkstein and Charlie Finnigan and two assists from Caity Whiteley.

Carolina jumped out to its 2-0 lead on unassisted goals by Zimmerman and Taylor in a 27-second span. Virginia scored its first goal at 23:05 when Whiteley passed from behind the goal to Finnigan for a 2-1 score. Taylor scored her second goal a minute and a half later, taking a pass from Garrity off a free position attempt to make the score 3-1 UNC. Garrity scored off a loose ball in front of the cage to make the score 4-1 with 17:19 left in the half.

Cannizzaro dished to Lynch for a goal to make the score 5-1 with 12:41 left before halftime, forcing a Virginia timeout. Just over two minutes later, Zimmerman scored unassisted for her second goal of the day on a fast break for a 6-1 lead with 10:24 left. Donohoe's first goal came with 9:04 to go and made the score 7-1 with 9:04 to go before the break. Russell's first goal came with 7:55 left in the half as she cut from left to right across the front of the cage for an 8-1 Tar Heel advantage. Cannizzaro made it 9-1 with a man-up goal off a pass from Donohoe at 1:43.

Duff scored with 1:11 left in the half to break a scoreless period of almost 22 minutes for the Cavaliers, making the score 9-2 UNC. Donohoe scored with eight seconds to go and Taylor then scored with one second left to make it 11-2 at the break.

Kalkstein started the second half with a UVa goal at the 27:57 mark that made the score 11-3 Tar Heels. Zimmerman responded 19 seconds later with her third goal that upped the lead back to nine at 12-3. Zimmerman scored her fourth goal, this time off a pass from Lynch, for a 13-3 lead with 26:23 to play. Lynch scored her second goal less than a minute later, off a pass from Taylor, for a 14-3 UNC lead with 25:08 to go. Garrity scored her second goal at 23:35 for a 15-3 lead, forcing a UVa goalkeeper change.

Duff scored her second goal for UVa at 22:02 on a free position attempt to make the score 15-4. Russell's second goal came at 17:41, making it 16-4 and bringing UVa starting goalie Lauren Benner back in the game. Kalkstein scored her second goal at 13:07 to cut the UNC lead to 16-5. Donohoe's third goal came with 4:25 left and made the score 17-5. Duff scored with under two minutes to play and Finnegan scored on a free position try with 34 seconds left for the final goals of the game.