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UNC women's lacrosse defeats Notre Dame, 14-13, in semifinals of ACC Tournament

Junior midfielder Nicole Humphrey (9) runs the ball down the field during the UNC v. Notre Dame women's lacrosse game at Dorrance Field on Saturday, Apr. 2, 2022.

The North Carolina Tar Heels (17-0, 8-0 ACC) defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-9, 3-5 ACC) 14-13 in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.

What happened?

UNC came into Sunday's game looking to advance for the chance to win its sixth straight ACC tournament championship, but no one could have predicted the start to the game. 

Notre Dame scored on five of its first six shots and continued its dominance from Friday. The Fighting Irish quickly led 5-0 in front of an ecstatic home crowd. 

Then came the Tar Heels. Graduate midfielder Ally Mastroianni won the draw and fifth-year Scottie Rose Growney scored UNC's first goal of the game. 

Was one of the best offensive teams in the country done at that point? 


UNC mounted a comeback. Led by Growney, the Tar Heels put together a 7-0 run to go up 7-5. Four different Tar Heels scored, and Growney had a hat trick in that span. From being down 5-0, UNC outscored Notre Dame 10-1 to go into halftime. 

Right out of halftime, Mastroianni got her second goal of the day. 

Then sophomore attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger went to work, beat her defender and found graduate attacker Andie Aldave cutting down north to south towards the goal. She dropped the pass, scooped up the ground ball and pinned the ball in the top left corner on the doorstep for her third goal of the game. Aldave's hat trick put UNC up 12-6.

Notre Dame continued to fight, ending the third quarter on a 4-1 run and picked up where they left off in the fourth. Junior midfielder Madison Mote attacked from the middle of the field, beat her defender and finished on top of four UNC defenders to cut the lead to 13-11. 

With 1:38 left in the game, sophomore attacker Jackie Wolak notched her fourth goal to make it 14-13 in UNC's favor. 

Who stood out? 

UNC graduate goalie Taylor Moreno helped mount the comeback for the Tar Heels after being down 5-0. After allowing five of Notre Dame's first six shots to get past her, she saved five of the next six shots. Her ability to clear the ball and hit her teammates perfectly in stride was key to the Tar Heel's win. Moreno finished the day with 12 saves. 

On the offensive end, Growney took over the game when it mattered most, and recording four goals on four shots and adding one assist. 

For Notre Dame, Wolak also stepped up in crunch time to keep the Fighting Irish in the game. She finished with four goals and two assists after going down earlier in the game with an injury. 

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels initially dug themselves into a hole after going down 5-0 in the first quarter. However, their eventual 12-1 run to go up 12-6 was the key to Sunday's win.

Why does it matter?

Notre Dame came into Sunday's game off of a four-game winning streak. The Tar Heels' ability to step up after going down 5-0 will be critical in the ACC Championship, which the Tar Heels will now host thanks to Sunday's win.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will play in the ACC Championship against the winner of No. 2 Boston College and No. 6 Virginia on Saturday at 6 p.m. 


@dthsports |