A couple impressive performances made all the difference.
The second seeded North Carolina women’s lacrosse faced a tough squad in Northwestern on Saturday. Led by Selena Lasota, who'd scored 17 goals in the previous two games, the team's offense could get going in a hurry. But even Lasota netting five more goals, tying an NCAA tournament record 22 goals, was not enough.
In a back and forth battle, the Tar Heels advanced with a 19-14 win to their third final four in four years and seventh in the last 10 years. With redshirt first-year Taylor Moreno in goal and a balanced offensive attack, the Wildcats couldn't keep up.
Eight Tar Heels scored goals, including six multiple scoring performances. Five players also recorded assists, four of which had multiple assists on the day.
“It’s a true team,” head coach Jenny Levy said, “and so many different kids are contributing (on offense).”
One of the most significant goals of the game came from Katie Hoeg less than three minutes into the game. Putting the team up 2-1 early, Hoeg made program history, breaking the single-season point record previously held by Kara Cannizaro (2013) and Molly Hendrick (2017) at 83. Her only goal of the day, Hoeg later poured on three assists.
“(Hoeg) was someone who came off the bench last year, didn’t get a ton of time . . .” senior Marie McCool said. “She learns so quickly and she’s always listening to the seniors and other leaders on the team, and she’s selfless.”
Hoeg has become known to her teammates as a playmaker who knows when to make the right pass, and arrives early every practice ready to go. But against the Wildcats, her goal didn't decide the game. In fact, from then on, the two teams were hardly separated by more than a few goals until North Carolina pulled away with two three-goal streaks in the second half.