Cannizzaro, Garrity lead UNC women's lacrosse to 2 weekend wins

Kara Cannizzaro and Emily Garrity combined for nine goals and four assists for the North Carolina women’s lacrosse team this weekend, though they could probably take partial credit for even more.

Their numbers are impressive, but the improvement of No. 5 UNC’s young offense is proof that they’re shaping the young team’s future, as well as its present.

After stagnating against Florida and Towson, the Tar Heels put together a complete, well-rounded 14-7 win against Richmond on Sunday.

“They are responsible for not only their own play at a very high level,” coach Jenny Levy said, “but also for helping the young guys understand what’s going on and help them transition into this next level.”

Cannizzaro scored four goals in both Friday’s 9-6 win against No. 17 Towson and Sunday’s victory against Richmond.

Garrity recorded four assists on Sunday, and she’s provided five of UNC’s eight assists thus far this season. Cannizzaro had one herself, against Florida, and Levy said her quickness makes her an invaluable defensive asset as well.

In Sunday’s game against Richmond, though, the speedy and agile Cannizzaro was responsible for instant offense for the Tar Heels, giving UNC a 10-1 lead before halftime.

She had recorded a hat trick with seven minutes remaining in the first half and picked up right where she left off two minutes into the second.

“She’s our go-to person, and we love that about her,” Garrity said. “She is someone I am totally confident with. I’ll give her the ball and I know she’s going to make something happen.”

Cannizzaro and Garrity have been playing together for four years and are good friends. Yet Cannizzaro refused to trust her co-captain’s assessment of her role.

“I think Emily (Garrity) is making me sound better than I am, to be honest,” she said. “I play really quick, but that’s something that my team has allowed me to do by clearing my dodging spaces and feeding me the ball. I couldn’t dodge if they don’t clear out the space or if I don’t have the ball.”

Junior Taylor George, who was on the receiving end of two of Garrity’s assists on Sunday, agreed that the senior midfielder is prone to charity.

“Emily is the epitome of an unselfish player,” George said. She’s always looking to make her teammates look good, and looking to do what’s best for the team. She’s always been a huge role-model to me.”

With a 10-goal cushion in the second half of Sunday’s game, Levy swapped out her starters for some of Garrity and Cannizzaro’s understudies.

Richmond took advantage of their inexperience with six second-half goals, but freshman Sammy Jo Tracy and sophomore Morgan Rubin each scored a goal in the second half.

Levy said it’s a work in progress.

“There’s not a lot of seniors on this team,” Levy said. “But those two have the ability on the field, the skills and the experience to absolutely be great leaders for us this season.”

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