No. 3 UNC moves on in NCAA lax tourney
The offense of Abbey Friend and the defense of Sloane Serpe led defending champion and third-seeded North Carolina to a 10-8 win over Georgetown in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Fetzer Field on Sunday.
Friend scored four goals to become the school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 195, surpassing the mark of 192 set by Corey Donohue from 2008-11. She also tied the single-season record of 62 goals set by Kellie Thompson in 2002.
With Donohue in attendance, Friend scored on all four of her shots.
“Corey was such a big mentor to me, so to have her in the stands is pretty exciting,” Friend said.
Meanwhile, Serpe shut down Georgetown leading scorer Kelyn Freedman, who came in with 37 goals but didn’t record a point Sunday, and she also came up with a game-high seven ground balls.
Seniors Friend and Sloane led a UNC team that featured seven freshmen playing in their first NCAA Tournament game. The Tar Heels had a bye in the first round.
“We don’t have the all-Americans around them that we normally have, and Abbie was four (goals) and one (assist) today; Sloane shut down Freedman, picked up ground balls, transitioned the ball for us,” Levy said. “Sloane’s a total warrior. She’s the best defender in the country and Abbie’s one of the best attackers in the country, and that’s why we won today, because of those two kids.”
The Tar Heels (15-4) won their 15th straight NCAA Tournament home game, but it was much closer than UNC’s 18-11 win over Georgetown (11-9) at Fetzer on March 15.
The Hoyas took a 7-6 lead with 12 minutes left, but the Tar Heels went ahead to stay with a pair of goals 13 seconds apart.
Carly Reed tied the game on a pass from fellow freshmen Carly Davis with 8:31 remaining. Taylor George won the ensuing draw and passed to Molly Hendrick, who put UNC in front with 8:18 to play.
Friend added her fourth goal on a free-position shot with 5:25 left, and Reed scored into an open net to put UNC up 10-7 with 1:05 remaining.
Georgetown outshot the Tar Heels 22-17 and won 12 of 20 draws, but UNC goalie Megan Ward played the second half and made eight saves on 12 shots.
“This team has been so tough all year,” Levy said. “We’re never going to be pretty this year, but we’ve been resilient, we’ve been tough. We dig our cleats in when we need to.”
Next up for UNC will be a quarterfinal against No. 6 Virginia on Saturday at Fetzer Field. The time will be announced today. The Tar Heels won at Virginia 14-10 on March 8.
Follow UNC beat writer Harold Gutmann on Twitter at @haroldgut.
No. 3 NORTH CAROLINA 10, GEORGETOWN 8
UNC — Goals: Abbey Friend 4, Maggie Bill 2, Molly Hendrick 2, Carly Reed 2. Assists: Friend 1, Hendrick 1, Bill 1, Carly Davis 1, Taylor George 1.
Georgetown — Goals: Reilly Woodman 2, Hannah Franklin 2, Coleen Lovett 1, Courtney Caputo 1, Kristen Bandos 1, Meghan Farrell 1. Assists – Caroline Tarzian 3, Jody Cumberpatch 1.
Shots: UNC 17, GU 22, Ground balls: UNC 20, GU 20. Draw controls: UNC 8, GU 12. Turnovers: UNC 12, GU 14
Goalkeepers: UNC — Caylee Waters (30:00 minutes, 4 goals allowed, 2 saves), Megan Ward (Win, 11-2, 30:00, 4 goals allowed, 8 saves). Georgetown — Maddy Fisher (Loss, 6-6, 60:00 minutes, 10 goals allowed, 4 saves).