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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels Fend Off JMU Comeback

The North Carolina women's lacrosse team resembled Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Wednesday.

UNC defeated James Madison 14-9 at Fetzer Field, but not before the Dukes attempted a second-half comeback.

"It was like the team had split personalities out there," UNC coach Jenny Slingluff Levy said. The Tar Heels showed their good side and ran circles around JMU in the first half.

"The important thing is that we came out strong and used our momentum well when we had it," junior attacker Kellie Thompson said.

UNC sped around on offense and built up a five-point lead that would later save the win.

Junior midfielder Lindsay Stone's quickness particularly troubled the Dukes' defense. She set off a UNC scoring spree with 19:22 left in the half and scored three goals, two of which were unassisted.

Thompson and junior attacker Erin McInnes added a goal each to chalk up five unanswered goals in 8:20.

UNC's defense looked invigorated with the return of captain Porter Wilkinson. Wilkinson sat out Saturday's loss to Georgetown due to a kidney infection and the team struggled in her absence.

"Our communication improved today," Wilkinson said. "That was something we wanted to fix."

Freshman Katelyn Hoffman made the first start of her collegiate career and saved six goals in the first half and finished with 10 for the game.

"I just fed off how well our defense played," Hoffman said.

The Tar Heels continued to pummel JMU early into the second half. Thompson scored off a Beth Ames assist to keep the good times rolling. UNC added four more unanswered goals in 4:40. The Tar Heels led 13-4.

Then Mr. Hyde started to appear and UNC looked like a different team.

Sophomore midfielder Betsy Gaines' threw a shot at JMU's cage with 21:17 remaining. The shot bounced off the post and things went haywire for the Tar Heels.

UNC dropped balls, shots went wide, multiple Tar Heel fouls were called.

So JMU decided to score five unanswered goals of its own.

"In the second half we came out and tried to put the game away," Slingluff Levy said. "Then at about the 20-minute mark, we tried to give the game away."

Five different Dukes hopped on the scoring parade, starting with attacker Charlotte Graham. She swung the momentum in JMU's direction with 16:34 remaining and scored a goal when midfielder Michelle Zurfluh found her open in front of the net.

The Dukes' rally diminished UNC's nine-goal lead, but it came a little late and the Tar Heels' victory was never really threatened.

UNC perked up in time to end the game on a good note. Midfielder Betsy Gaines fed midfielder Nicole Foran a pass in front of JMU's cage, and she scored with 1:12 remaining to seal the deal.

"We always want to play stellar all the time, but sometimes things happen," Hoffman said. "We're happy we won, and hopefully our lapse won't happen again."

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