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UNC women's lacrosse empties bench in 22-4 domination of High Point at home

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UNC sophomore midfielder Liv Pikiell (24) runs with the ball during the women's lacrosse game against Liberty on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, at Dorrance Field. UNC beat Liberty 18-6.

The No. 3 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team (8-1, 4-0 ACC) defeated High Point (1-6, 0-0 Big South), 22-4, at Dorrance Field on Thursday evening.

What happened?

The Tar Heels ripped off four straight goals in the first six minutes with junior attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger along with first-year attackers Marissa White, Kiley Mottice and Caroline Godine. Redshirt sophomore attacker Reilly Casey assisted on three of those goals.

Midway through the first frame, the Panthers got on the board when attacker Mena Loescher found attacker Jordan Miles. However, the Tar Heels responded with six unanswered goals, with Casey notching two more assists and a goal along with Mottice and Godine finding the back of the net once again. The Tar Heels closed out the first quarter with a 10-1 lead.

North Carolina continued its scoring barrage with sophomore midfielder Liv Pikiell finding White for a score, followed by Godine assisting Wurzburger to complete the junior’s hat trick to begin a running clock at Dorrance Field. 

Panther attacker Emma Nowakowski briefly halted UNC’s momentum by assisting to Miles for another score, but the Tar Heels closed out the first half on a three goal run backed by graduate attacker Lauren Figura, redshirt first-year attacker Mackenzie Rich and first-year midfielder Kaleigh Harden. High Point trailed 15-2 at halftime.

Early in the second half, senior attacker Melissa Sconone tallied three quick assists to Rich, Figura and redshirt sophomore midfielder Brooke Baker to put the Tar Heels up 18-2. Rich scored another goal off an assist from Harden with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. Harden drilled the ball into the cage off an assist from redshirt junior attacker Brianna Lantuh.

First-year midfielder Darcy Felter scored in the waning seconds of the third quarter for a buzzer beater off a dime from Sconone to give UNC a 21-2 lead heading into the final frame. After a scoreless five minutes, Baker connected on an unassisted score to extend the lead to 20 goals. Loescher scored two goals late in the fourth quarter, one being unassisted and the other a free-position shot.

Who stood out?

Wurzburger and Rich led the Tar Heels in scoring, with each notching three goals. Additionally, Sconone and Casey distributed the ball effectively, combining for 10 assists. 

When was it decided?

After UNC jumped out to a 4-0 start within the first six minutes, the Panthers could not muster a comeback throughout the rest of the game. Statistically, North Carolina outplayed High Point in most important categories, including draw controls, fouls, turnovers and shots on goal.

Why does it matter?

After snapping its 29-game win streak at Northwestern last week, a dominant victory — regardless of its opponent’s caliber — is a step in the right direction for North Carolina. 

Head coach Jenny Levy also took the opportunity to empty her bench in the later quarters, with younger players like Lantuh and Harden getting on the board.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will face the No. 22 Clemson Tigers this Sunday at Dorrance Field, with the match beginning at 2 p.m.

@danielhwei

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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Daniel Wei

Daniel Wei is a 2023-24 assistant sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. He has previously served as a senior writer. Daniel is a junior pursuing a double major in business administration and economics.