Eight minutes to save the season.
Just 480 seconds to stay perfect and stave off elimination.
That was the situation the North Carolina women’s lacrosse team found themselves in Saturday during the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals against Stony Brook at Dorrance Field.
The Tar Heels trailed 11-9, and a back-and-forth game all afternoon made putting together a scoring run a difficult task.
Fortunately for the UNC team that features 9 seniors and 3 graduate players and is full of veteran leadership, it wasn’t their first battle with adversity. After going down by two, the Tar Heels took less than three minutes to charge back and tie the game at 11. Then in the final six minutes, they scored three more goals to complete the comeback and win the game 14-11.
With the win, the Tar Heels advanced to the Final Four where they’ll face ACC foe Boston College at Towson University on Friday.
“We were down by two and found a way to score the last five goals," head coach Jenny Levy said. "That is leadership, but that’s also trust. It’s also love. You gotta love each other and play hard for each other."
The cherry on top of the five-goal comeback sundae was a free position goal by redshirt senior attacker Katie Hoeg that gave UNC a three-goal advantage with just over a minute remaining to put the game out of reach.
After the ball found the back of the net, Hoeg raised both of her fists and was audibly and visibly excited that her career in Carolina blue wouldn’t be coming to an end.