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The Daily Tar Heel

Women's Lacrosse Romps in Season Opener

Assistant Sports Editor

North Carolina women's lacrosse team wanted to make a statement in its season opener.

With a tough regular-season schedule awaiting it, UNC set out to flex its offensive muscle against Davidson.

In a 17-3 thrashing of the Wildcats, the Tar Heels' biceps were certainly bulging. The 14-goal win marked the largest margin of victory since March 5, 1999, when UNC defeated Ohio State

19-5.

"Everyone was really pumped up for our first game," junior attacker Kellie Thompson said. "We've been working really hard in practice."

The Tar Heels' hard work was evident against the overmatched Wildcats.

Just 2:09 into the game, Thompson opened the offensive flood gates with an unassisted score, and the Tar Heels deluge of goals never stopped.

Thompson led UNC with five goals and three assists. Senior attacker Amy Havrilla and junior midfielder Lindsay Stone both added four goals.

"The offense played really well today," Havrilla said. "We kept the field spread, and everyone was in the right place at the right time. This is how we'd like to play each game: get a lot of goals in."

UNC dominated the field and outshot Davidson 22-5 in the first half. The Wildcats didn't even have many possessions, much less chances to shoot or score. The Tar Heels caused 10 Davidson turnovers and picked up 17 ground balls before the halftime buzzer - the Wildcats claimed none.

But even as UNC ran circles around Davidson's shallow team (the Wildcats had only one substitute), the team faced another foe -- the pouring rain.

The drops started coming down hard with 14:30 to go in the first half. The Tar Heels lost their offensive control for the next three minutes, and Davidson took advantage. Attacker Sarah Otto netted the Wildcats' first goal with 13:58 left.

Stone answered a little more than a minute later, and Davidson didn't see another goal until 6:37 into the second half.

The Tar Heels threw in six more goals in the next 9:46. Thompson scored twice on free possession shots. With 1:30 remaining in the half, Stone added two goals in 35 seconds to extend the Tar Heels' lead to 10-1.

"We had a lot of people moving in our offense, which made it hard for them to defend us because everyone was a threat," Thompson said.

The second half proved to be much like the first, with UNC rattling off two goals in the first 3:10. Thompson used the Tar Heels' large lead to fire up her creativity on the field. In her fourth goal of the game, Thompson received an assist from midfielder Betsy Gaines and whirled a wrap-around shot into the Wildcat's cage.

"It was an opportunity to do things we maybe wouldn't be willing to do in a bigger game," Havrilla said.

Davidson managed to put away two more goals in the second stanza. Wildcat midfielder Lauren Kenchington threw one ball at the ground with 9:06 left, and it bounced lightly into the back of UNC's net.

Coach Jenny Slingluff Levy said she was pleased with UNC's teamwork.

"If a person makes a mistake, she doesn't feel so bad because next thing she knows, she looks up and the ball is going back down the field in our direction," she said. "That's the type of thing that gives the team confidence because they know someone else is there for them."

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The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.