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Tayler Warehime Time: First-year nets a game-winner for No. 3 UNC women's lacrosse

Women's lax UVA Ortega Warehime
Sophomore attacker Jamie Ortega (3) and first-year attacker Tayler Warehime (22) play during UNC Women's lacrosse first ACC game. UNC defeated UVA 13-12 at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill on Saturday, March 9, 2019.

With just under six minutes left in North Carolina’s ACC opener, Tayler Warehime stood near Virginia’s goal and waited patiently.

She watched as Katie Hoeg, her teammate on the No. 3 UNC women’s lacrosse team, looped around the left side, looking for an opening. It was 12-12, and Warehime remembered, from a recent timeout, that the Tar Heels “weren't looking for any forces.”

So, she waited a bit longer. She saw Scottie Rose Growney make a cut toward the goal, and she saw No. 5 Virginia’s defense get distracted. That’s when the first-year made her move — a cut, into the exact space Growney had cleared for her. She took a pass from Hoeg in stride and let a shot fly.


“I felt really confident coming in,” said Warehime, whose goal with 5:35 remaining gave UNC a 13-12 win. “Just knowing my role, going in and burying it in the back of the net is what my mindset was.”

North Carolina (5-1, 1-0 ACC) got its second straight win against a top-10 opponent after beating Northwestern, 21-11, last week. The Tar Heels have now won six straight games against the Cavaliers, and 15 of the last 16. This one, though, didn’t come easy.

North Carolina kept Virginia (6-2, 0-2 ACC) at bay for most of the first half. After the first 30 minutes, UNC led 7-5. And two quick goals in the first five minutes of the second half gave the Tar Heels a 9-5 lead at the 25:10 mark — their largest of the game.

The Cavaliers came storming back, however, with two rapid goals of their own. Over 15 minutes, roughly, Virginia went on a 7-2 run. It culminated at the 10:14 mark, when Avery Shoemaker netted an unassisted goal and gave her team its first lead since the opening goal of the game.

“I definitely think we could have cleaned up and stuck to what we did in practice,” sophomore goalie Taylor Moreno said. “I think it kind of got away from us a little bit.”

Trailing by a goal and facing its first home loss of the season, head coach Jenny Levy’s team buckled down. After a lengthy offensive possession, sophomore Jamie Ortega drew a foul and earned a free-position chance. Ortega sank the shot, her 28th goal of the year, to tie it at 12-12.

A media timeout followed. That’s where Warehime, who had scored once in each half already, heard the words of her coaches, preaching patience. And when an opportunity came minutes later, she converted a game-winner.

“I know the whole team knew, once she had the ball in her stick, that she was going to finish it,” Levy said. “It wasn't a surprise to us. Tayler's very calm and poised and plays at a really high level. We needed her performance today, and she did a great job.”

With a one-score lead, North Carolina’s defense took center stage. Moreno finished with eight saves, none more impressive than her last. After UNC stalled on a number of possessions, Virginia found itself with the ball and 28.3 seconds to tie the game. The Cavaliers got a great look, but Moreno stopped it with a point-blank save.

“I wasn't really having a great day saving the ball, so I knew that if there was one shot I needed to save today, it should be that one,” Moreno said. “I really tried to just stay patient and keep my eye on the ball the whole time, and it paid off.”

After the win, Levy heaped praise on Warehime for her high IQ and her poise. Moreno called her “a stud.” Warehime, meanwhile, said that Growney should have been credited with the game-winning goal, since it was her cut that opened up space for Warehime initially.

The first-year came up big, though, and North Carolina knew it. When asked what her teammates told her after the win, Warehime smiled.

“To just keep doing what I was doing,” she said.


@DTHSports |

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