On a team with stars like junior Jamie Ortega and senior Katie Hoeg, Scottie Rose Growney was the name of the game on Saturday.
The junior scored a career-high six goals and led No. 1 North Carolina women’s lacrosse to a dominant 19-6 win over No. 3 Maryland.
After their most recent meeting resulted in a heartbreaking 13-12 overtime loss last season, the Tar Heels brought the heat to the first game between the two teams in the new UNC Lacrosse Stadium.
“It’s one of our biggest games of the season, especially being a Tar Heel, and Maryland is our biggest rivalry,” Ortega said. “I think everybody was excited to play and anxious and just had all those butterflies. But once we stepped on the field, it was just game time.”
For the Tar Heels, the game started slowly despite the final score. When Ortega finally scored the first goal for the Tar Heels about four minutes in, Growney sprung into action, swooping inside for UNC's second goal less than a minute later.
At halftime, UNC led 7-4, with Growney having scored three for herself. Adrenaline was high.
“It’s just one of those things, you just gotta keep going, keep putting the pedal down, and don’t let up," Growney said. "That was the mentality I think we all had going into this. We really just did not want to let up anything, give them any spark of hope that we were stopping or slowing down.”
Driven by the momentum of the first half, the Tar Heels continued to push themselves into the second. And during the second half, North Carolina posted 12 more goals with Growney scoring three.
“I think (Growney) just got aggressive from the attacks. She scored a lot coming around the crease in the second half, which we were on them to go a little harder,” head coach Jenny Levy said. “Scottie’s really talented, and she’s dialed in and working hard and getting better every day. It’s what we expect out of her, quite honestly.”