ACC WOMEN'S LACROSSE: UNC advances, Duke falls

Apr. 24, 2014 @ 10:39 PM

While technically the “home” team, third-seeded North Carolina earned what amounted to a road victory in turning back Boston College on its home field in the quarterfinals of the ACC Women’s Lacrosse Tournament here Thursday night.

Abbey Friend led the Tar Heels’ scoring with five goals — four in the first half — and Sydney Holman added a hat trick as UNC (14-3) survived a stern test from the Eagles for the second time this season.

The Tar Heels will meet Syracuse at 3 p.m. (FSC) in today’s semifinals.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Duke generated 25 shots and held fifth-seeded Virginia scoreless for nearly 23 minutes in the first half but struggled at the draw in a 7-5 setback to the No. 14-ranked Cavaliers in the ACC quarterfinals Thursday at Boston College’s Alumni Stadium.

No. 7-ranked Duke fell to 9-7 for the season with the loss.

“Obviously we are happy for the win and have a lot of respect for Boston College,” UNC coach Jenny Levy said. “They have had a great season this year and we knew it would be a tough game, especially playing on their home field. Overall I felt we played a really complete game, which was our goal.”

The defending NCAA champion Tar Heels, who are seeking their second ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship title and their first since 2002, improved to 6-0 all time in tournament quarterfinal games. UNC won on the Eagles’ home turf for the second time in just over a month after edging BC by a 14-13 score in the regular-season meeting between the teams at Newton, Mass., on March 22.

“We wanted to get better from the first time we played up here earlier in the season, and I thought our defense did a great job,” Levy said. “We did well on the draw and we won the little battles. I thought on the offensive end we controlled the tempo and we played well as a team defensively.”

Friend’s four goals in the opening 30 minutes keyed the Tar Heels to a 9-6 halftime lead. UNC then outscored the Eagles 4-1 to open the second half – with Sydney Holman scoring twice and Molly Hendrick and Devin Markison scoring once each – to establish some breathing room en route to the semifinals.

Syracuse and UNC squared off on April 12 during the regular season, with the homestanding Orange claiming a 12-9 win.

Duke was disappointed after its upset loss.

“For us, what’s disappointing is that the two things that stand out have really been strengths for most of the season — the draw and our shooting percentage,” Duke coach Kerstin Kimel said. “We outshot Virginia, which is a great stat, but we didn’t finish on enough shots.”

The Cavaliers took the early advantage as Casey Bocklet tallied an unassisted marker two minutes into the contest. The Blue Devils had several looks at the net, and despite a strong first-half performance by Virginia goalkeeper Liz Colgan, were able to work their way inside for three goals. Sophomore Maddy Acton scored first for Duke with 13:51 to go in the period and juniors Taylor Trimble and Kerrin Maurer connected twice, with each posting one goal and one assist.

The Blue Devil defense was able to keep Virginia off the board for over 22 minutes during that span, with senior defender Taylor Virden earning two caused turnovers and freshman Maura Schwitter and senior Sydney Peterson adding one each.

Bocklet netted back-to-back goals for the Cavaliers inside the final six minutes to bring the score to a 3-3 tie at the break. The Blue Devils led 16-9 in shots during the first half and went 6 of 6 on clearing attempts, but Virginia’s Colgan recorded eight saves.

Duke continued to fire at the net in the second half, but it was Virginia that capitalized. Liza Blue bounced in a goal at the 18:40 mark to put the Cavaliers back on top by one. Maddy Keeshan and Kelly Boyd also added markers to extend the Virginia lead to 6-3 with 10:41 remaining.

Virginia won all seven draws in the second half and held an 11-3 edge for the game.