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Monday October 25th

North Carolina women's lacrosse team caps off ACC tournament with second straight conference championship

<p>North Carolina women's lacrosse team attacker Molly Hendrick&nbsp;shoots against Duke on April 22. Hendrick finished with a career-high seven goals in both this game and UNC's ACC&nbsp;Tournament championship win against Syracuse.</p>
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North Carolina women's lacrosse team attacker Molly Hendrick shoots against Duke on April 22. Hendrick finished with a career-high seven goals in both this game and UNC's ACC Tournament championship win against Syracuse.

It’s a new year, but it’s the same result for the North Carolina women’s lacrosse team.

The top-seeded Tar Heels won a trio of games in Richmond, Va., to collect their second consecutive ACC Tournament title. Here’s a recap of the weekend that culminated with an 18-11 win over Syracuse.

Quarterfinal win against rival

UNC’s tournament run began early — 11 a.m., to be exact. The Tar Heels took on a familiar face in Duke, but they had no trouble in an 18-6 win. Sydney Holman accounted for six points, and 11 players notched at least one goal.

In under six minutes of action, North Carolina had already built up a 5-0 lead. By halftime, head coach Jenny Levy’s team had a comfortable 13-3 advantage. The offense slowed down a bit in the second half — with not much rest in between games, there was no reason to burn too much energy.

The Blue Devils only tallied three goals in the second half as well. UNC’s defense deserved plenty of credit for that stat and the win as a whole. Goalie Caylee Waters had eight saves, and the team forced 13 Duke turnovers.

Eagles test Tar Heels in semis

Molly Hendrick tallied five goals in the first half on Friday afternoon as North Carolina beat Boston College, 17-14, in the ACC semifinals.

Unlike the quarterfinal, this game wasn’t quite decided at halftime. After the Eagles scored the first goal of the game, UNC rattled off seven straight scores, four of them courtesy of Hendrick. At the break, Boston College had rallied to bring its deficit to 12-7.

Boston College outscored North Carolina, 7-5, in the second half. At one point, the Eagles were on fire with a 6-1 run, and they cut the lead to 16-14. But a final goal by Ela Hazar with1:59 left in the game proved to be the dagger.

Waters had seven saves but allowed almost twice as many goals as she did Thursday. North Carolina was a bit sloppy, turning the ball over 14 times to Boston College’s 17.

No. 1 and No. 2 collide

In a matchup of the top two seeds, North Carolina had 16 turnovers and an early 4-0 deficit to beat the Orange on Sunday. Hendrick was on fire again, tying a career high with seven goals on an efficient nine shots.

It was a game of runs. There wasn’t a single time in the game where a UNC score followed a Syracuse one, or vice versa. Down 4-0, North Carolina scored five straight. The Tar Heels led 7-6 at the half.

The Orange found life early in the second half with a five-goal flurry that gave them an 11-9 advantage. They wouldn’t see another ball go through UNC’s net that day. That, combined with a nine-goal spurt from the Tar Heels, ended the game.

UNC dominated Syracuse in two key statistical categories. It had 22 draw controls compared to the Orange’s nine. And it outshot Syracuse 38 to 26.

More draw controls mean more possessions. More possessions mean more shots. More shots mean more goals and, usually, more wins. That formula worked well for the Tar Heels on Sunday.

@chapelfowler

sports@dailytarheel.com

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