The No. 5 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team fell to No. 4 Notre Dame 9-7 in a top-10 matchup on Sunday in South Bend.
The game was a tight one throughout. The Fighting Irish (10-2, 3-1) jumped out to an early lead, leading 2-1 at the mid-point of the first half.
Ida Farinholt capped a 2-0 run for No. 3 UNC (9-3, 2-2) with 8:21 left in the first, giving the Tar Heels their first lead of the game at 3-2. Notre Dame responded with two straight goals of their own, with Samantha Lynch and Andie Aldave putting them back on top 4-3 at the intermission.
North Carolina opened the second half with yet another 2-0 run, as goals from Katie Hoeg and Jamie Ortega vaulted them back into the lead.
But Lynch, who was a thorn in North Carolina’s side all game, tied the game back at five with just under 15 minutes left in the game.
After trading the next four goals, the Tar Heels and Irish remained tied, 7-7, with just under seven minutes to go. But in a game of two goal swings, one more remained to decide the game.
Savannah Buchanan broke the deadlock with 5:14 to play. Two minutes later, Aldave drove to the right of the goal and fired off a rocket that snuck by goalie Taylor Moreno, nestling into the top corner with 3:20 to play. Aldave’s second goal of the contest put Notre Dame up 9-7, a deficit that proved insurmountable as the Irish held on for their second top-5 victory of the season.
Who stood out?
Ortega and Hoeg led the way for UNC on offense, combining for three goals and five assists.
Moreno also had a strong showing in goal, recording 11 saves while allowing just nine goals.
Despite these strong showings, the Fighting Irish Samantha duo of Lynch and goalie Giacolone propelled them to victory. Lynch led the way with four goals, including three in a row in the second half to lead Notre Dame on offense. Giacolone did her part to keep the Tar Heels out, saving twice as many shots (14) as goals allowed (7).
When was it decided?
With 6:38 remaining, senior midfielder Gianna Bowe scored for UNC to tie the game at 7-7. The Irish answered with two goals in the next 2:14, getting out to a 9-7 lead they held for the rest of the game.
Why does it matter?
The upset loss on the road dropped North Carolina to .500 in ACC play. It also marked the first time UNC has lost to the Fighting Irish, moving them to 8-1 all time.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will continue a three-game road trip on Saturday as they take on the Louisville Cardinals.
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