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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's lacrosse handles No. 3 Syracuse, 11-5, in team effort on senior day

Women's lax UVA Katie Hoeg
Team captain and third-year attacker Katie Hoeg (8) plays during ACC kick-off game against UVA. UNC won 13-12 at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill on March 9, 2019.

The weather was suboptimal, but the UNC women’s lacrosse team’s on-field performance made up for it.

Back at home for the first time in three weeks following three road games, the sixth-ranked Tar Heels (11-3, 4-2 ACC) defeated No. 3 Syracuse (13-3, 5-2 ACC) 11-5 on senior day on a rainy Saturday afternoon at the UNC Lacrosse Stadium, staying sharp despite two weather delays.

The Tar Heels put in a team effort, as first-year Tayler Warehime matched her career high with four goals, Katie Hoeg provided a personal-best six assists and seniors Kara Klages and Gianna Bowe combined for five goals.

What happened?

UNC got off to a good start by scoring the game’s first three goals after a 32-minute delay pushed back the beginning of the contest. Bowe, one of seven players honored on senior day, opened the scoring with her 13th goal of the season just 59 seconds into the game off of a free-position opportunity.

The Tar Heels’ second goal came via Warehime, who made a run toward goal and put her shot away after receiving a feed from Hoeg, one of UNC’s best playmakers. Hoeg, who leads the Tar Heels in assists, recorded the 100th of her career when she set up Klages for UNC’s third goal of the day.

By that point, nearly everything was going the Tar Heels’ way, with most of the action occurring near the Syracuse goal; they also controlled the game’s first three draws.

But the Orange eventually settled in, winning the remaining six draws of the first half. Syracuse’s leading scorer on the season, Emily Hawryschuk, found her groove and scored two straight to make it a one-goal game before teammate Morgan Alexander tied things up with 12:43 left in the first half.

The Tar Heels responded well to the Orange’s surge, however. Klages’ second goal of the first half but UNC back in the lead. Left unmarked, Klages cut inside the Orange’s zone defense and had plenty of space to maneuver before firing her shot past Syracuse goalie Asa Goldstock.

Hoeg, after first recording three assists, got involved with a goal herself, as her 24th of the year gave UNC a two-goal advantage heading into the half.

The Tar Heels didn’t let up after the break, as they turned to Warehime for goal-scoring production. Just under four minutes into the second half, Warehime scored the first of three goals in a 2:22 stretch. With those three goals, UNC led 9-4, and the Hampstead, Md. native matched her career-high tally of four scores.

After Syracuse’s Hawryschuk notched her third score of the day, UNC responded through Bowe, who scored her second of the game.

From that point on, UNC tacked on two more scores to Syracuse's one, and remained in full control to secure the win.

Who stood out?

Hoeg did what she normally does well for the Tar Heels: set up her teammates. The junior’s six assists matched her career high, and two of her biggest beneficiaries were a first-year and a senior.

Warehime’s strong second-half performance put UNC in full control of the day, while Klages enjoyed her best offensive performance since last season, when she scored five against the Orange.

On a day where leading scorer Jamie Ortega was held to just one point, UNC showed that, when at its best, it has multiple players who can make opponents pay.

Defensively, the Tar Heels made Syracuse uncomfortable for much of the afternoon, and goalie Taylor Moreno impressed with 12 saves, with the Orange only scoring five times despite recording 17 shots on goal.

When was it decided?

Already in possession of a five-goal lead, UNC put the game away with Klages’ third goal of the day, which put her team ahead 10-4 with just over nine minutes remaining.

Why does it matter?

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For UNC, the win was their best of the season in terms of opponent ranking. UNC had already earned wins against the likes of No. 4 James Madison, No. 5 Northwestern and No. 6 Virginia, but Saturday’s win against the third-ranked Orange bolsters its resume.

The Tar Heels have now won three out of their last four and have some momentum going into a big rivalry game next week.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels close out the regular season with a short trip to Durham to face rival Duke Friday night. UNC won 20-10 in the lone meeting between the teams last season.

@Brennan_Doherty

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com