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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 5 UNC women's lacrosse loses first ACC contest of season to No. 2 Boston College

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Midfielder Maggie Bill (22) plays defense against Florida during the women's lacrosse game on Saturday in Kenan Stadium.

Heading into its matchup against No. 2 Boston College, the No. 5 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team had enjoyed quite the dominant run through conference play, as UNC had been victorious in 24 of the last 25 ACC games. 

The undefeated Eagles, however, broke away from the Tar Heels in the closing minutes of Saturday afternoon's contest, ultimately winning 17-11 in the program’s first win over UNC since 2015. 

Boston College (12-0, 3-0 ACC) was the team that struck first by gaining an early 2-0 advantage in the opening minutes of the game, firmly establishing early momentum. UNC (6-3, 1-1 ACC) would promptly respond, though, tying the game with approximately 22 minutes remaining in the first half. 

In a constant back-and-forth affair, the Tar Heels would eventually build their largest lead with around eight minutes left, securing a 5-3 edge off of an assisted goal by first-year attacker Jamie Ortega. In those final eight minutes though, the Eagles would score three unanswered goals to recapture a one goal cushion prior to halftime.

This up-and-down pace would continue after halftime in Boston College’s favor, as the Eagles would score four of the first six goals to start the second half. Despite this frenetic  opening, UNC would answer back with another run of its own. North Carolina cut the lead down to 11-10 with 13:46 remaining. 

Boston College would conclude this game of runs with the biggest one of the game — by completing six straight unanswered goals, to finally keep the game out of reach for good.

Boston College junior attacker Sam Apuzzo was the standout, making big play after big play in the offensive front. Apuzzo winded up with four goals and five assists, including the two of the final three goals in the first half that would give Boston College the lead for the rest of the game. 

Junior midfielder Dempsey Arsenault was also a force to be reckoned with for the Eagles, concretely making her presence felt from both sides of the field. She would end with a pair of goals and three assists.

“Credit BC and specifically the play of Apuzzo and Arsenault, who really impacted the game all over the field,” head coach Jenny Levy said. 

UNC senior midfielder Maggie Bill provided a memorable effort, ultimately totaling with three goals and three assists. Although Bill’s performance was able to keep the Tar Heels within striking distance for the majority of the game, UNC simply made too many mistakes in the final minutes to gain what would have been its 13th win in the last 14 meetings with the Eagles. 

“Unfortunately we got ourselves into a tough situation, with 13:46 left in the 2nd half, a one goal game, we got called for a series of fouls,” Levy said. “Man-down goals and a lack of possession on the draw really hurt us.” 

Throughout the course of the game, Boston College outshot (35-24 in shots, 28-19 in shots on goal) and outdrew (17-10 in draw controls) UNC, as well as acquired more ground balls (17-9). 

Following the result of this game, one thing is extremely evident: The Tar Heels still have a lot of work to do to be able to stay in the ACC regular season race with Boston College, a team that is enjoying its best start in school history. 

Nonetheless, Levy sees this as a golden opportunity for a teaching moment, as the final stages of the regular season approach.

“(It's) a tough loss," Levy said, "but we will use it to get better and grow as a team.”

@keberly1996

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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