The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's lacrosse routs Louisville, 19-7, for best start since 2012 season

UNC senior attacker Katie Hoeg (8) searches for a pass during the game against Maryland at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. No 1. UNC won against No 4. Maryland 19-6.

The No. 1 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team (6-0, 2-0 ACC) looked to continue their undefeated start to the season on Thursday night against Louisville (4-4, 0-2 ACC). A high-scoring first half allowed the Tar Heels to claim a 19-7 victory and improve to 6-0, their best start in eight years.

What happened?

An early foul in the crease from Louisville allowed junior midfielder Ally Mastroianni to convert her free position shot and grab the opening goal. Though Louisville was able to equalize less than a minute later, it only scored one more in the half. UNC would score 12 more.

After four back-and-forth minutes, junior attacker Jamie Ortega took advantage of a man-up situation and scored from a Mastroianni assist. The next goal came when a Louisville turnover gave senior attacker Katie Hoeg the opportunity to pass to junior midfielder Scottie Rose Growney, who converted for the goal. Ortega, Hoeg and Growney combined for 11 of the team’s first-half goals.

With 21 minutes left in the first half, Ortega took advantage of a foul and scored. About three minutes later, Hoeg connected with Ortega on a fast-break to give them their second assist and third goal of the match, respectively. 

With UNC’s hot attack and solid defense, Louisville could not mount much of a counter. With 15 minutes left, Hoeg scored off of an assist by Growney. 19 seconds later, first-year midfielder Emily Nalls won the subsequent draw and turn it into her first goal of the game.

The next few goals came from familiar faces: both scored by Ortega, both assisted by Hoeg. With seven minutes left in the half, Hoeg took advantage of a free position attempt and scored another goal of her own, this time with an assist from graduate midfielder Ida Farinholt. 

With three minutes left in the match, after Louisville’s Belle Dora scored a second goal for the Cardinals, Growney scored once — and Ortega twice — to combine for three goals in two minutes. The Tar Heels ended the first half with a 13-2 lead.

Despite Louisville coming out with a renewed energy in the second half, UNC was still able to score a goal in the first four minutes from senior midfielder Marisa DiVietro. However, the Cardinals' energy eventually helped them to score three unanswered goals in four minutes, leaving the Tar Heels reeling. 

UNC’s defense refocused, only conceding two more goals the rest of the game. Growney was able to score in an attempt to counter Louisville’s attack, but neither team could seem to go on another scoring run.

With the Tar Heels holding a 16-7 lead with two minutes left, three substitutes — first-year Melissa Sconone, first-year Bailey Horne and sophomore Amanda Fedor — scored three rapid goals, revitalizing North Carolina’s bench and ending the match as a blowout 19-7 victory.

Who stood out?

The attacking combination of Ortega, Hoeg and Growney dominated the match. They accounted for 21 of UNC’s 37 shots and 13 of the team’s goals. Ortega’s seven goals fell one short of the team record of 8, which she equalled in last year’s ACC Tournament bout against Virginia Tech. Hoeg was able to register six assists and eight points — both of which set new career highs.

When was it decided?

By the end of the first half, there was no feasible path to victory for the Cardinals. Despite a quick three goals towards the beginning of the second half, goals from DiVietro and Gowney kept Louisville far from the Tar Heels for the rest of the half.

Why does it matter?

This is North Carolina’s longest undefeated opening since 2012. If the Tar Heels hope to keep it going, proving their ability to both score and defend will be important. It will be especially important in their next match against Northwestern, whose victories have all come after scoring 24+ goals.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will take the weekend off before an away match against Northwestern on Monday.


@DTHSports |

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.