By halftime, UNC had built an insurmountable 13-1 lead and fended off the Cardinals' second-half push.
After the break, Louisville outshot the Tar Heels 17-9 and outscored them 5-4, but ultimately UNC's first-half explosion proved too much to overcome.
Who stood out?
Ortega led the charge for the Tar Heels in one of her best games of the season.
The sophomore attacker was one off of her career-high in goals and points, set this season against Northwestern. The New York native also tacked on three assists for good measure. After scoring three of the first six goals for the Tar Heels, she capped the first half by scoring three of the last four.
Sophomore midfielder Ally Mastroianni also had a career day with four goals, her highest college total, and forced three turnovers.
When was it decided?
UNC was the favorite heading in, and proved that it was for good reason. The Cardinals were on life support down 13-1 at halftime, and could never make the game interesting despite scoring five second-half goals.
The plug was effectively pulled when UNC’s Amanda Fedor scored the team’s 17th goal, putting the Tar Heels up 12 with just over five minutes left.
Why does it matter?
Tied for fourth in the conference, UNC needs to win out their remaining ACC schedule to have a shot at winning the regular season title.
With games against second-place Syracuse and fifth-placed Duke coming up, the Tar Heels couldn't have afforded to drop a game against the conference’s worst team in Louisville.
Doing well in the ACC Tournament later this month would be huge for the program, and this tune-up against the Cardinals puts them in a better position to do so.
When do they play next?
After a three-game road trip, the Tar Heels will now return to Chapel Hill for a big matchup against Syracuse.
With ACC implications at stake, UNC will look to come up with the upset over the Orange on Saturday at noon.
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