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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's lacrosse cruises past Liberty at home, 18-6

UNC attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger (15) scores during the second quarter of the women's lacrosse match against Liberty. UNC led 11-4 at half at Dorrance Field. Photographed on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.

The No. 1 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team (2-0) steamrolled Liberty University (0-1), 18-6, on Wednesday evening at Dorrance Field.

What happened?

Liberty started with a goal three minutes into the game following a turnover and fast break by the Flames. UNC pushed back on offense but failed to score off a shot attempt by third-year Reilly Casey, and Liberty put away another well fought offensive play, pulling ahead for a 2-0 lead just five minutes into the first quarter. 

The Tar Heels scored their first goal with six minutes left in the first half, with an assist from junior Caitlyn Wurzburger allowing first-year Kiley Mottice to fire a shot into the bottom of the net. Following another goal by Liberty, first-year Marissa White answered by scoring off an assist by Alyssa Long. White’s promising performance against James Madison, scoring five goals in the season opener, was an impressive collegiate start for the first year attacker. 

Wurzburger scored with just under 30 seconds left in the first quarter, allowing the Tar Heels to edge themselves back into a 3-3 tie. 

With eight minutes left in the first half, Wurzburger scored her third goal of the game, giving UNC a 7-4 lead over Liberty. After securing a strong lead going into the second half, UNC offense was able to thrive and build on their lead as pressure let up on the defense. 

In the third quarter, UNC continued to stretch their lead to 14-5, and going into the fourth half was completely confident in their control of the game.

Who stood out?

Attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger scored twice in less than 30 seconds, the second goal hitting the back of the net just as the game clock hit zero at the end of the first quarter, allowing the Tar Heels to take the lead for the first time the entire game. She would go on to score two more goals in the second half.

With two assists and three goals in the first half, Reilly Casey also helped push UNC offense into a comfortable lead, allowing the Tar Heels to take a riskier and more aggressive offensive approach in the second and third quarters. Casey started the final quarter with two back-to-back goals, her footwork a notable standout as she maneuvered through Liberty defenders.

When was it decided?

Following a tight first few minutes, the Tar Heels ended the second half with a seven-point lead at 11-4. After an explosive push from Carolina offense, headed by Wurzburger and third year Reilly Casey, UNC was set up well going into the second half. 

Why does it matter?

As they look to capture back to back national championships, a strong start to the season is crucial for UNC. Following an undefeated season in 2022, no game is unimportant as every team that UNC faces will bring their best against the Tar Heels

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will play next against the No. 7 Florida Gators on Saturday, February 18, at home. 

@dthsports |

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