The North Carolina women’s lacrosse team held on for a close-call 12-9 victory against East Carolina on April 11 in Greenville.
The Tar Heels got off to a rocky start after trailing in the first quarter, with three Pirates goals going unanswered and a missed free position attempt almost leaving the Tar Heels scoreless in the first quarter. In response, senior midfielder Nicole Humphrey made a quick goal with an assist from Reilly Casey driving the ball to the back of the cage with 10 seconds left in the period, kicking off a four-goal run that stretched into the second quarter. The Tar Heels took the lead going into the half after first-year midfielder Kaleigh Harden buried a quick shot in the final seconds of the second quarter, making the score to 5-4.
The Tar Heels' offense slowed down in the second half, and ECU took a 8-6 lead towards the beginning of the third quarter. The lack of offensive prominence, however, took a turnaround in the final minutes of play as four unanswered goals secured the Tar Heels a 12-9 win.
Who stood out?
Humphrey’s prominence on the field in the early moments of gameplay proved salient in securing UNC’s victory. Keeping tight to the cage, Humphrey scored back-to-back goals to establish an early lead for the Tar Heels to give them room as later stages continued to get close. Humphrey made four goals over the course of the matchup, a career-high mark.
Similarly, junior attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger also marked two goals in the second quarter, securing UNC’s lead heading into the half. Wurzburger also assisted Humphrey's goal in the second quarter, securing UNC’s lead.
Senior defender Emily Nalls scooped three ground balls over the course of gameplay, forcing multiple clears which resulted in Wurzburger and sophomore Alyssa Long’s goals in the first minute of the second quarter.