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Freshman Sydney Holman excels in women's lacrosse exhibition

Freshman attacker Sydney Holman has yet to play a regular season game for the North Carolina women’s lacrosse team, but she has already secured a reputation as a formidable scorer and a valuable addition to the defending national champion Tar Heels.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment — to be able to play for the Tar Heels,” Holman said after helping her team to back-to-back victories against Delaware and James Madison in Durham on Sunday.

The games may have just been standard exhibitions, but Holman’s seven goals across the two games — including three in a row in the second half against JMU — reinforced what head coach Jenny Levy says about her.

She’s more than just your average player.

“I think what separates her is her IQ on the field,” Levy said. “I think when you get to this level, all of the kids have lots of potential and they’re very gifted athletically. Some of them have played this sport for a long time and some not so long. But they have hands and they can do things.

“(Holman) matches that and combines it with her IQ on the field – reading the play, reading the defense and being fearless and courageous.”

Not only is Holman one of those who has been playing for a long time, she has also grown up surrounded by lacrosse as the younger sister of UNC men’s lacrosse all-time leading scorer Marcus Holman.

She has also already developed an impressive resume of her own, even before her collegiate career.

The four-time East Chapel Hill High School team MVP led the Wildcats to a state championship in 2013, while also breaking the state record for career goals.

“All high school, I was looking forward to getting out here and playing with this great group of girls,” she said. “They’ve all really helped the freshman class, and I fit in so well. And I’m just lucky to be a part of such a great team with a great coaching staff.”

Ever since she first donned the No. 10 jersey in Carolina blue, it has consistently been more of the same.

In her first appearance with the team, Holman netted three goals against the United States National Team in an exhibition at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

“Honestly, that was probably one of the best moments that I’ve had so far,” she said. “It was so cool being able to play against the best in the world.”

Levy said she thinks Holman is fitting in well and that her high level of play will only continue to develop.

“As she gets into the season, I see her becoming more confident,” Levy said. “It’s hard to be a leader as a freshman out there, but I think she’s done a pretty good job so far.”

Holman said the entire team is hungry for the opportunity to claim a second consecutive national championship for the program, but the freshman class especially is fueled to experience the feeling of being national champions.

For now, she’s enjoying the thrill of becoming a part of the team one game at a time.

“Being out here with our season opener in one week, it’s just a great time to get to know each other and work together,” Holman said.

“And I think we really proved ourselves today, especially in the second half against (James Madison).”

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