The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 3rd

Wildcats deal UNC women's lacrosse first loss

Seventh-ranked Northwestern was not impressed .

The Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of Monday’s matchup against UNC, and the Tar Heels could not recover. Northwestern defeated UNC 7-5 and handed the Tar Heels their first loss since April 28 of last year . The loss ended the best start in the program’s history .

During the game, the Wildcats put UNC in an unfamiliar position — struggling to create offense.

The Tar Heels managed to only score five goals — their fewest this season. The team averaged 18.45 goals per game going into the match against Northwestern .

Senior Abbey Friend said that it wasn’t the Wildcat defense that was causing problems for UNC. Instead, it was Northwestern’s time of possession on offense.

“It was more of what they were doing offensively,” Friend said. “Our offense felt the pressure of (needing to) score right away and make up for the time they had taken advantage of.”

Last season, a top-ranked Northwestern team came to Chapel Hill, only to be defeated 11-8 and handed its first loss of the season . UNC also defeated Northwestern in the tournament en route to its national title .

But this time around, the Wildcats had the last laugh. After getting down 2-0, the Tar Heels were never able to decrease the margin. After halftime, Northwestern’s lead never dipped below a two-goal margin .

Before the game, UNC had not scored fewer than 10 goals this season. In the second half, the Wildcats held the Tar Heels scoreless for 18 minutes.

Friend said that Northwestern was the more prepared team on Monday afternoon.

“It was a tough one,” Friend said. “They took us out of our comfort zone, and we weren’t able to execute the game plan that we had.”

UNC’s five goals were scored by Friend, seniors Sloane Serpe and Taylor George and, freshmen Maggie Bill and Carly Reed .

Coach Jenny Levy said the team was not able to get into any offensive rhythm and that the team needs to refocus.

“We can’t show up and just go through the motions and think the games are going to be easy,” Levy said.

For freshman Sydney Holman , it was her first loss in a Tar Heel uniform. She said the loss served as a reality check for the team and will only help the team’s motivation going forward.

“I think it’s a nice wake-up call for us,” Holman said. “We all learned what we need to work, and hopefully can implement it in practice this week.

“We’re going to take this experience and move on.”


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