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Hazar becomes first Tar Heel to reach 100 assists as UNC tops Virginia Tech, 13-12

Ela Hazar VT

Senior attacker Ela Hazar (7) takes a shot against Virginia Tech on March 28 at Kenan Stadium.

After falling to No. 2 Boston College on Saturday, the North Carolina women's lacrosse team knew it needed to bounce back. With No. 17 Virginia Tech coming into town, it was a chance for the No. 5 Tar Heels to take down a quality opponent. 

On Wednesday afternoon, UNC did just that, defeating the then-second place Hokies, 13-12, to move into a tie for third place in the ACC standings.

The game did not disappoint, as the contest was decided by a goal with 1:26 to play. The final goal, scored by sophomore Olivia Ferrucci, ultimately gave North Carolina (7-3, 2-1 ACC) the victory. 

In the first half, the Tar Heels went up, 6-1, in the first period. However, this was met with a comeback effort by the Hokies (9-4, 2-1 ACC) in the second half. Virginia Tech came back and took its first lead with 4:09 left in the second half, edging ahead, 12-11.

While the game was a huge story in itself, a Tar Heel player etched her place in the North Carolina women’s lacrosse record books.

Attacker Ella Hazar recorded her 100th career assist on a pass to attacker Jamie Ortega with 18:57 to play in the first half. She became the first Tar Heel in program history to reach the century mark. The next closest Tar Heel was Becky Lynch who had 92 in her career spanning 2009-12. Hazar's accomplishment came just 11 days after surpassing Lynch and becoming the all-time UNC leader in assists.

“The 100th assist thing is because of everybody that I’ve worked with at Carolina," Hazar said. "You know, you can’t get assists without people finishing”.

Hazar has many weapons surrounding her on the offensive side of the field, such as midfielder Marie McCool, attacker Katie Hoeg, and Ortega, all of whom scored at least two goals and tallied an assist in the win. But the success and poise has been instilled by the coaches and upperclassmen who have confidence in every member of the team.

“As a senior, I think we (all) need to inspire confidence in them," Hazar explained. "So they know that if I’m feeding them I trust them enough that I hope that they can finish. Trying to find that chemistry with different players is honestly what I try to do every single day”.

Head coach Jenny Levy was complimentary when mentioning Hazar, noting her high IQ, and how Levy herself loves having a player who wants to distribute the ball the way that Hazar does. But it’s not only her IQ that makes her a special player.

“She’s constantly talking to our younger players and helping them out knowing where they need to be and helping them navigate the game," Levy said about the senior. “Not only is she distributing the ball, she’s helping coach and teach”.

While Hazar produced a strong stat line that included two goals and an assist, she knows there could be improvement from the team as a whole. On a few occasions, she fed the crease on a perfect pass and the recipient would miss just wide or high of the cage. 

“Today wasn’t a great representation of that (finishing), but we’re going to get better every day”, said Hazar.

With Hazar leading the way, those issues will likely be sewn up quickly.

@andrewmontross

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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