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Saturday October 16th

Chemistry grows in UNC women's lacrosse's six-game winning streak

Maggie Auslander (33) defends against Amanda Uliano (8) of Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels won 15-6 Wednesday evening.
Buy Photos Maggie Auslander (33) defends against Amanda Uliano (8) of Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels won 15-6 Wednesday evening.

While many coaches stay up at night trying to bring their teams together, the North Carolina women’s lacrosse coach knows how crucial team chemistry is to success.

“We work on chemistry all year round,” she said. “And I think it can be the margin during tough times and tough games.”

After a four-game road stretch, No. 3 UNC has had plenty of time to bond — from spending hours together on long road trips to waiting in an airport after a delayed flight.

Winning also helps.

On Wednesday evening, the Tar Heels (9-2, 3-0 ACC) returned to Chapel Hill and took another step forward in developing the team’s chemistry in a 15-6 win over Virginia Tech at Fetzer Field.

Part of a team’s chemistry is its ability to mix and match pieces without losing anything in the finished product.

The Tar Heels checked that box against the Hokies (5-9, 0-4 ACC).

After a two-goal performance off the bench in a win at Boston College, sophomore Ela Hazar stepped up again on Wednesday, scoring a career-high four goals for the Tar Heels.

“She came off the bench last game and played a really great game for us,” junior Molly Hendrick said.

“We’ve been clicking a lot on offense, getting the chemistry with everyone, so she’s really been working hard.”

North Carolina’s ability to flourish, even with new contributors, shows the strength of the Tar Heels’ chemistry.

On offense, Hazar is stepping up as a goal-scorer. On defense, Levy was especially proud of her backup “blue team” on Wednesday, which shut down Virginia Tech to close the game.

“We were really happy to see their efforts on the field tonight — successful and part of what we are doing,” Levy said.

North Carolina is in the midst of a six-game winning streak, and the team’s chemistry is peaking at the right time.

“It’s just getting so much better, which is so important at this time of the season ...” sophomore Marie McCool said.

“We all have each others’ backs and all trust each other, and that’s what’s really important.”

As a veteran on the team, Hendrick knows just how important that bond is.

“I think we can always get better at it,” she said. “But I think it is definitely growing week by week, which is awesome ...

“We don’t want to be the best we are now ­— we want to be the best we are at the end of the season. So we are just going to keep working.”

@bauman_john

sports@dailytarheel.com



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