UNC women's lacrosse remains unbeaten in win against Vanderbilt

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Entering the 2014 season as the defending national champions and sporting the top-ranked freshman recruiting class to boot, it’s no wonder the No. 1 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team has been making quick work of its early season opponents.

Saturday morning at Fetzer Field, the Tar Heels did that yet again, taking down the Commodores of Vanderbilt with relative ease, 22-8.

“Our challenge today was to play better than we had in the past three games,” said UNC head coach Jenny Levy.

Considering those games came by an average margin of victory of more than 13 points, that was no easy task, but Levy and her team managed to pull out yet another convincing win, this time with a 14-goal differential.

With four straight wins under their belts to open up the championship-defending season, UNC has won by a combined score of 84-30.

“We’re not looking at results, but we’re looking at how we play the game,” Levy said. “We use the game as a measure of how good we can be, and our opponents are a part of that so the expectation is how great can we be today.”

Senior preseason All-ACC attacker Abbey Friend continued her dominating season by contributing a career-high six goals to the Tar Heels’ efforts to bring her season total to a team-high 19 goals.

“I honestly didn’t even know it was a career high until after the game,” Friend said. “Our D did a really good job being aggressive and got it up the field, and it’s my job for the team to finish, so that’s what I did.”

Freshman Sydney Holman led the crisp passing attack for the Tar Heels with six assists – tying a school record – and scored a goal of her own.

“Scoring is fun, but I love assisting as well, giving my players a chance to score,” Holman said.

Her teammates appreciated those chances.

“She just does a really good job, she sees the field really well. She’s able to sting passes in for assists that I’ve never seen before,” Friend said.

The Commodores made it interesting midway through the first half, countering the early UNC dominance with four straight goals in just more than five minutes to make it 5-4.

“We kind of had to regroup a little bit,” Levy said.

The Commodores’ sudden offensive outburst was short lived, as UNC responded by scoring five straight in the final three minutes to close out the half and slam the door early on their visitors from Nashville.

“This is the first time that we’ve ever really started out this strong,” Friend said. “I think normally we kind of have a slow start, but we always have a target on our back.

“Every time someone comes into Chapel Hill they know what they’re coming for and they know who they’re gonna play.”

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