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Monday September 20th

North Carolina women's lacrosse falls in season opener at JMU in overtime, 15-14

North Carolina and Navy players fight for the ball during a NCAA quarterfinal match on May 20, 2017, at Fetzer Field.
Buy Photos North Carolina and Navy players fight for the ball during a NCAA quarterfinal match on May 20, 2017, at Fetzer Field.

The No. 17 James Madison Dukes upset the No. 3 North Carolina women's lacrosse team on Saturday evening in a 15-14 double overtime win.

What happened?

The Tar Heels struck first blood when senior attacker Ela Hazar scored with 26:15 remaining in the first half. 

The two sides would go back-and-forth until the Dukes rattled off three straight goals and took a 5-3 lead.

The Tar Heels would battle back, however, as they went on a 5-2 scoring run to close out the half. UNC finished the half with a narrow 8-7 advantage as the team looked to build on its momentum in the second period.

After trading goals early on in the second half, James Madison put up four straight goals to take a 12-9 lead. Although the Dukes had all of the momentum, their lead would not last long.

North Carolina went on a 5-0 run midway through the second half as the team took a 14-12 advantage. This stretch was capped by senior midfielder Marie McCool’s second goal of the half. 

The Tar Heels were up by two goals with less than five minutes remaining, so victory seemed achievable. The Dukes had different plans.

James Madison senior midfielder Elena Romesburg scored her fifth goal of the day with 4:41 remaining in the game to cut the Dukes' deficit to one.

A few minutes later James Madison would strike again. Senior attacker Kristen Gaudian evened  the score at 14 with only 1:26 remaining in the game. 

The game would head to overtime, but neither team could gain an advantage. No goals were scored throughout the entire period, despite both sides getting two shots on goal.

The Dukes were able to break through in the second overtime period. Gaudian scored her second straight goal to seal a 15-14 victory for James Madison.

Who stood out?

The star of the game was Kristen Gaudian. Not only did she score five goals, she also scored both the game-tying and the game-winning goals of the game. In addition to Gaudian, Elena Romesburg added five goals. 

Marie McCool led the way for the Tar Heels as she recorded four goals and one assist in the defeat. Sophomore attacker Katie Hoeg added three goals along with Ela Hazar’s one goal and three assists.

When was it decided?

The game went down to the wire. The biggest lead throughout the game was a James Madison three-goal lead. Much of the game involved back-and-forth scoring, and no lead was safe until Gaudian buried her overtime goal.   

Why does it matter?

UNC dropped its opening game of the 2018 season on Saturday despite entering the season ranked third in the nation.

This loss brings serious question marks to this year’s team. After losing 11 seniors from the 2017 season, North Carolina knew that this team would look to different players this year to contribute. 

Saturday’s loss was only one of many games, so it wasn’t too revealing of how the 2018 team will turnout. However, it leaves some questions unanswered.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels next take action against High Point University on Friday, February 16 in High Point, N.C. 

@ballermike28

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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