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Both UNC lacrosse teams hope to have success this weekend

The UNC men's lacrosse team huddles before the Duke game on Apr. 1.

The UNC men's lacrosse team huddles before the Duke game on Apr. 1.

She had a good reason, though. Tracy — a senior attacker/midfielder on the North Carolina women’s lacrosse team — had just finished dying the hair of a few guys on the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team dark blue.

The hair dying was a show of companionship between the UNC lacrosse teams, both of which will be making the trip up to Philadelphia this weekend for the Final Four.

The women’s team is returning for the sixth time in the last eight years. It defeated Notre Dame on Saturday by a final score of 10-6 and will face Penn State at 5 p.m. on Friday in the national semifinal.

After locking up their trip to Philadelphia, the players on the women’s team turned their attention to watching and rooting for the men’s team to do the same. The men played Sunday, also against Notre Dame.

“Some of us were watching the game together and we were just so pumped because they didn’t just beat them,” sophomore Marie McCool said. “They were not expected to make the Final Four, and some people didn’t even think they were going to make it into the tournament in general, so just to see the heart that they played with... it was awesome and we were really excited to hopefully make this a Carolina-dominated weekend.”

The men’s lacrosse team ended up defeating the Fighting Irish 13-9 and will play Loyola (Md.) at noon Saturday in its Final Four matchup. Women’s coach Jenny Levy pointed out that the success of both lacrosse programs at North Carolina is something that builds off of itself, because you see so many successful athletic programs on campus.

“I think success breeds success,” Levy said. “When you are at North Carolina, a lot of our programs are used to being contenders ...When you are around that mentality and atmosphere, I think it is very beneficial to your athletes for how to be a champion.”

Men’s coach Joe Breschi agreed, and said the North Carolina family helped him on the coaching side, too. He said a lot of coaches reached out to him this week to congratulate him and give him advice as he prepares his team for a Final Four matchup.

“You have so many coaches who are successful here, and you can pick their brain and kind of go through this process a little bit,” he said. “It’s exciting for the women and it’s exciting for us, but really the athletic department as a whole.”

Tracy says having the men in Philadelphia will only add another layer of fun to the Final Four weekend. And hopefully the new hair colors will serve as a good luck charm for the men’s team as they chase a national title, even if Tracy won’t be able to get that blue dye off her hands.

“I think it’s really fun, Tracy said. “It just puts more passion in when your friends are there. We always work so hard, with or without, but it just adds a lot more excitement and nothing but good vibes.”


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