The scoreline of the No. 1 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team’s Saturday win over No. 10 Boston College was 21-9.
Sure, that suggests that the Tar Heels are a truly dominant team, but that’s no secret to head coach Jenny Levy. What intrigued her instead was that, despite her team's quality, they went 3-1 down early in the first half. She saw it as an opportunity.
“I love that we got into a tough situation in the first half,” Levy said. “I was curious to see how we would respond. That gives me a lot of information about our team.”
And respond they did. After allowing three goals in the first four minutes, the Tar Heels’ defense calmed down and stayed compact, not to be breached for another 13 minutes, while the offense scored three goals in the same amount of time, putting the team up 4-3. Never again would UNC trail in the game.
“We were like, 'OK, let’s play our game,'" senior midfielder Ally Mastroianni said. “'Don’t worry about the goals that went in, and let’s prevent the rest.' Everyone snapped it back to it, and we just played our game.”
With a 10-7 lead established at the end of the first half, UNC dominated the second half, holding the Eagles to just two goals and scoring 11 of its own.
This was a game the Tar Heels had circled in bold red on the calendar. UNC's upperclassmen will remember the overtime loss to the Eagles in the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. For the Tar Heels, 21-9 isn’t just a routine blowout — it’s a statement.
“There’s been a long wait for this game, and a lot of us kept that anger and excitement to play them again,” senior attacker Jamie Ortega said. “I couldn’t ask for more. I think everyone was focused and dialed in.”
Levy echoed the importance of the Tar Heels playing their game and not getting sucked into the challenges Boston College posed. Ortega showed that mental fortitude in the game, scoring a team-leading six goals, with nobody else coming close.