After scoring a goal to narrow North Carolina’s lead with 11 seconds left in the first half, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team casually assembled for the draw, thinking UNC would run out the clock and keep its 6-5 lead.
But the Tar Heels had another idea.
After getting a quick foul call, North Carolina quickly set up its transition offense and freshman Zoe Skinner found wide-open freshman Abbey Friend in front of the goal for the easy score with one tick left on the clock before halftime.
Transition offense was the name of the game for North Carolina in its 13-10 win against Georgetown on Saturday.
The Tar Heels’ win marked No. 200 for coach Jenny Levy. She’s the second-fastest coach in the ACC to reach 200 wins.
“It just means I’ve been coaching a long time,” the 16-year coach said.
Even with a two-goal lead at halftime, the Tar Heels continued to push the ball up the field, using their speed to get ahead of the Georgetown defense for easy goals.
“It was really good to get going a little ways into the first half and then never letting up,” senior attacker Corey Donohoe said.
“We never let them come back in the game, we just kept pushing it and playing how we want to play.”
But the offense didn’t run so smoothly for the entire game — UNC didn’t score its second goal until the 22nd minute.
The Tar Heels were unable to penetrate Georgetown’s defense inside the crease, leading to few open shooting lanes and several turnovers in front of the goal.
“For our offense to do well we have to keep the ball moving and people moving,” Levy said.
“We were doing some standing around early and we got some shots, but not the shots that we wanted.”
After a Georgetown goal with just more than 10 minutes left in the first half put North Carolina down 3-1, the Tar Heels kicked their offense into a new gear.
North Carolina went on a five-goal tear in less than four minutes. North Carolina was able to force turnovers and get free in transition for quick scoring opportunities.
Though the offense put the ball in the net, Donohoe attributes the swing in momentum to the defense and midfield.
“When the ball goes from the defense to the midfield and the midfield to the offense — when everyone is contributing and you score off that, everyone gets pumped up instead of just a person going one-on-one to the goal,” Donohoe said.
“So when you have that momentum and everyone’s contributing, it really sets the pace and it allows you to keep that going.”
Much of the Tar Heels’ success on offense started on the defensive end of the field.
North Carolina dominated draw controls 16-8, and had a 25-21 advantage in groundballs against Georgetown.
Possession control allowed the Tar Heels to continue their fast-paced offense into the second half and prevent Georgetown from coming back.
North Carolina also had a three-goal run in a five-minute span at the beginning of the second half, which put the Tar Heels up by four goals and allowed them to hold onto the ball for the win.
“We really focused on getting possession of the ball,” Donohoe said.
“Draw control is key because if you have the ball you can score, you can run the time down, you can do a lot of things.”
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