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.
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.