Women’s lacrosse: No. 6 Virginia falls 13-9 to No. 5 North Carolina

uva lacrosseThe No. 6 Virginia women’s lacrosse team (5-1, 1-1 ACC) suffered its first loss of the season, falling 13-9 to No. 5 North Carolina (4-2, 1-0 ACC) on Saturday (March 10) at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.

Virginia, fueled by a first-half hat trick from sophomore midfielder Sammy Mueller (Pelham, N.Y.), held a 6-4 lead at the break. North Carolina dominated the second half, outscoring the Cavaliers 9-3 after winning 10 of 13 draws in the period.

“Carolina played a great second half,” said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. “We were a little bit flat. Time and again, Carolina beat us to the draw. They had so many more opportunities and possessions. In our first five games, we were winning the majority of the draws, and especially the important draws. Today was the opposite. Carolina needed it and they found a way to win them.

“We had told the team at halftime to keep [the Tar Heels] off the eight-meter, to make sure we were playing the ball and playing it clean, but we gave up five eight-meters. I think we lost our focus. We got a little tired and we didn’t dig as deep as we needed to in order to beat a good Carolina team.”

Mueller led the Cavaliers with three goals, taking a team-high 11 shots. Senior midfielder Kasey Behr (Northport, N.Y.) scored a pair of goals while also causing two turnovers and grabbing two ground balls. Senior attacker Ana Hagerup (Washington, D.C.) scored a goal with two assists. Junior midfielder Maggie Jackson (Alexandria, Va.) won seven draw controls.

Marie McCool scored a hat trick for the Tar Heels, won six draw controls and picked up five ground balls. Katie Hoeg scored two goals and assisted on two others.

The Tar Heels struck first, scoring on their first possession. Mueller answered with three-straight goals, staking Virginia to a 3-1 lead with 22:27 remaining in the first half. North Carolina tied the game with just under 20 minutes left in the period, but back-to-back scores from senior Daniela Kelly (Rumson, N.J.) and junior Angie Loynaz (Cos Cob, Conn.) gave the Cavaliers a 5-3 edge. Hagerup scored her second goal on a feed from Jackson with four minutes left in the half to give UVA a 6-4 advantage.

North Carolina tallied the first goal of the second half, but Behr answered to restore UVA’s two-goal advantage. The Tar Heels rattled off four unanswered goals in a span of six minutes to take a 9-7 lead. Behr ended the run by scoring on a free position shot to put the Cavaliers within one with 14 minutes to play, 9-8, but McCool scored two goals in a two-minute span to give UNC an 11-8 advantage. The Tar Heels tacked on two more goals to make it an 8-1 scoring run and a 13-8 lead. Freshman attacker Taylor Regan (Richmond, Va.) scored on a free position shot with 1:30 left to make it a 13-9 game.

Virginia held a 37-33 overall advantage in shots. North Carolina’s goalkeeper Taylor Moreno made 17 saves while Cavalier senior Rachel Vander Kolk (Severna Park, Md.) had 10. North Carolina had a 15-9 edge in draw controls.

Virginia will be back on the road this week, traveling to Baltimore, Md. to take on Loyola at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, before heading to Notre Dame for a conference game on Saturday, March 17. The Cavaliers will be back at Klöckner Stadium hosting James Madison on Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

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