The North Carolina women's lacrosse team (17-4) fell in the NCAA semifinal to Boston College (22-1), 15-14, in double overtime on Friday in a heartbreaking end to the Tar Heels' season.
With a spot in the national championship on the line, UNC jumped out to a commanding 6-0 lead, holding the Eagles scoreless until the 15:29 mark of the first half. Ally Mastroianni Olivia Ferrucci, Scottie Rose Growney, and Gianna Bowe all scored early for the Tar Heels, while sophomore Jamie Ortega found the back of the net twice in the first half.
Boston College soon found its groove, however, scoring six goals before halftime to slice the UNC lead. Another pair of goals from Growney and senior Kara Klages gave the Tar Heels an 8-6 advantage at the break despite trailing 16-14 in shots up to that point.
The second half was a reversal of the first, as the Eagles scored eight goals to UNC's six to send the game into overtime. After an Ortega score to take a three goal lead, Boston College ripped off four goals of its own to take its first lead of the game, 10-9.
From there, the game became a back and forth affair, as the lead would switch hands twice more before Ortega's goal with 1:04 left in regulation evened the score and sent it to overtime.
The first overtime was a tense but scoreless affair, as both teams took two shots in the six minute period but were unable to find the back of the net.
It didn't take long in the second overtime, however, for Boston College's Sam Apuzzo to score her 91st goal of the season with 4:48 remaining in the period. The shot was the first taken by either team in the second overtime; with it, North Carolina's season was over.
Who stood out?
Ortega shone in the loss, scoring a team-leading five goals and contributing a pair of assists as well. Her clutch score with a minute and change remaining drew the Tar Heels even with the Eagles once again, although BC would go on to prevail in the second overtime.
Klages did her part in the final game of her UNC career, adding three goals, while Growney also scored three times. That trio of Ortega, Klages and Growney helped carry the offensive load, as they were the only Tar Heels to record multiple goals.
When was it decided?
This instant classic wasn't decided until the second overtime, when Apuzzo's goal sent Boston College to the national championship.
In what was a game of runs early, the teams settled into a closely contested dogfight in the final moments. In the last 15 minutes of the second half and the overtime periods, the game saw four ties and four lead changes.
Why does it matter?
For the third straight year, Boston College advanced to the NCAA championship game, and ended the Tar Heels' season in the national semifinals for the second year in a row.
Friday's was the first NCAA semifinal game to go to overtime since 2012, and just the second semifinal ever to go to double overtime.
It was also the first time all season that North Carolina lost when leading at the half. The Tar Heels were previously 14-0.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.