The circumstances were unusual, but the end result was not.
The No. 2 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team was victorious once again Tuesday, defeating No. 12 Virginia Tech 14-6 on the road in a game played inside the Hokies’ indoor practice facility due to bad weather in the area.
With the victory, the Tar Heels (10-1, 3-0) remained undefeated against Virginia Tech (11-3, 2-1) all time and lengthened their winning streak against ACC opponents to 16 games.
One of eight different goal scorers for UNC, senior attacker Molly Hendrick finished with a team-high three goals.
Facing the Hokies, winners of five straight games prior to Tuesday, the Tar Heels knew it would be important to start off well and they did exactly that.
With the two teams tied 1-1, a goal by sophomore midfielder Kara Klages started a 4-0 run for UNC, which dominated the first half.
The Tar Heels outshot Virginia Tech 27-9 and scooped up five more ground balls than the Hokies did (12-7) over the first 30 minutes.
After a goal by Virginia Tech senior attacker Kristine Loscalzo cut UNC’s lead to three with just under seven minutes left before halftime, UNC answered with four scores of its own before the end of the first half.
The Tar Heels didn’t take their foot off the gas in the second half, and led by as many as 11 after a goal by junior midfielder Marie McCool before Virginia Tech scored the game’s final three goals.
Who stood out?
Hendrick had a multi-goal game for the ninth time this season and has now found the back of the net 35 times in 2017, more than any other Tar Heel.
But as usually is the case, UNC’s offensive attack was well-balanced. Junior midfielder Ela Hazar, senior attacker Carly Reed, McCool and Klages each scored two goals apiece.
Klages’ multi-point performance is her second in as many games after finishing with a pair of goals and an assist in the Tar Heels’ 15-13 victory against Boston College on March 25. Before then, she recorded only three points through her first six games of the season.
Senior midfielder Sammy Jo Tracy helped the Tar Heels win the possession battle with 12 draw controls, while senior goalie Caylee Waters made five saves before giving way to redshirt first-year Elise Hennessey, who allowed three goals.
When was it decided?
Already ahead by four, UNC distanced itself even more from the Hokies with three goals by senior attacker Sydney Holman, Hendrick and Hazar in the final 1:25 before halftime to take a 9-2 lead into the break. The Tar Heels had no problems protecting that advantage as the game went on.
Why does it matter?
The victory served as a good start to a three-game road trip for UNC, which suffered its only defeat – a 13-10 loss to Maryland – away from home in February.
UNC head coach Jenny Levy said after the Tar Heels’ win against Boston College that her team doesn’t mind playing on the road and instead tries to have fun with it.
“It’s good for our team,” Levy said then. “It kind of takes you out of the distractions that are here on campus. Obviously we love playing on Fetzer, but we like to travel as a team. We always try to take some adventures as we’re traveling and as the ACC has expanded, that’s kind of our reality now.”
Where do they play next?
The Tar Heels will be in South Bend, Ind., Sunday to face No. 13 Notre Dame at noon. UNC went 2-0 against the Fighting Irish last season, with one of the victories coming in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
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