The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday June 29th

UNC women's lacrosse defeats Pitt, 15-6, in quarterfinals of ACC Tournament

UNC senior attacker Scottie Rose Growney (15) runs with the ball at the second round of the NCAA tournament against James Madison on Sunday May 16, 2021 at the Dorrance Field in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels won 14-9.
Buy Photos UNC senior attacker Scottie Rose Growney (15) runs with the ball at the second round of the NCAA tournament against James Madison on Sunday May 16, 2021 at the Dorrance Field in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels won 14-9.

The North Carolina Tar Heels (16-0, 8-0 ACC) defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers (9-10, 1-7 ACC), 15-6, on Friday afternoon to advance to the ACC Tournament Semifinals. 

What happened?

The No. 1 ranked Tar Heels came out with fire-power from the opening draw. 

With three minutes left in the first quarter, fifth-year attacker Scottie Rose Growney picked up a second chance opportunity off of a shot and scored. Growney scooped up the ground-ball, face dodged to her left side, brought it back to her strong hand and finished high to low on the goalie. 

UNC understands the fundamentals, and the best time to shoot is when the ball is unsettled.  

By the end of the first quarter, UNC had a 5-1 lead and out-shot Pittsburgh, 13-4. 

The Panthers, who are in their first season as a program, rely heavily on one-on-one dodges on offense. Standing in the Panthers' way was UNC's elite defense. Fifth-year senior defender Emma Trenchard, an All-ACC first teamer, and graduate goalie Taylor Moreno lead the unit.

UNC turned defense into offense, and that offense turned into goals. UNC outscored Pittsburgh 3-2 in the second quarter. 

Growney scored back to back goals in the third quarter to put the Tar Heels up 11-4. UNC dominated the third quarter 4-1, and gave no hope for Pittsburgh to make a comeback. 

In the fourth quarter, UNC wrapped up a dominant performance, outscoring Pitt 3-2. As a team, UNC outshot the Panthers 42-20.

Who stood out? 

Growney played unbelievable in the opening round with 5 goals, tying her season high. She scored on the doorstep, through traffic, and in front of the eight-meter. She excels at catching passes and faking step-down shots to draw a shooting space violation. Then on the eight meter, she has time and space.  

UNC graduate attacker Sam Geiersbach finished the game with 4 goals and 1 assist to add to the team effort.

Pittsburgh graduate goalie Paulina DiFatta continued her excellent play this tournament, finishing with 18 saves. She recorded 19 saves in the first round against Louisville, and in the first half against UNC she recorded 14 saves. Her 33 saves by halftime of today's game tied the ACC tournament saves record that was previously held by Moreno.

When was it decided?

After the end of the first quarter, The Tar Heels went up 5-1. Back on February 24, UNC only gave up 5 total goals in a 15-5 win in Pittsburgh.  

Why does it matter?

Win and advance. Lose and go home.

The Tar Heels are on a mission to win their sixth straight ACC Championship. They haven’t won a NCAA National Championship since 2016. UNC's performance today proved why they are capable of making it to Championship Weekend in Baltimore.

One thing that the Tar Heels do well is moving without the ball. They are constantly cutting on offense which is a nightmare for the defense. The ball doesn’t stay in their sticks, and they understand the ball moves faster than their feet. The team finished with 8 assists on 15 goals.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will play in the ACC Semifinals against the winner of No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Notre Dame on Sunday at 1 p.m. 

@RileyKennedy25

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com



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