After trailing 2-1 for the opening nine minutes in its game against High Point, the No. 1 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team closed the half on an 8-1 scoring run and defeated the Panthers by a final score of 16-6.
Junior midfielder Ela Hazar got on the scoreboard for the Tar Heels in the opening three minutes, but the Panthers (0-1) responded with a goal from Samantha Brown to even the score. Although North Carolina (3-0) was able to generate several good chances early, unforced turnovers in the attacking zone stopped the Tar Heels from taking an early commanding lead.
High Point’s ability to pick up ground balls gave it its second goal of the game, but UNC responded quickly with Sammy Jo Tracy winning the preceding draw and then scoring off an assist by Ela Hazar. Tracy’s goal started a four-goal run for the Tar Heels to put some distance between them and a pesky High Point team and sent North Carolina into halftime with a 9-3 lead.
Playing against a sagging defense, North Carolina had to play methodically rather than using its superior athleticism. While the defense did result in some sloppy play from the Tar Heels, they were ultimately able to overcome it and settle into their offense.
Who stood out?
Tracy was dominant as usual controlling draws for the Tar Heels; however, her scoring gave UNC a lift when it was going through a lull. The midfielder’s movement without the ball put her in perfect position to receive Hazar’s pass right in front of the goal and her hustle off a deflected shot allowed her to soar in the air for an acrobatic goal.