CHAPEL HILL - Senior All-America Kara Cannizzaro tallied four goals and an assist and freshman Aly Messinger scored twice as the third-ranked University of North Carolina women's lacrosse team beat eighth-ranked Virginia, 8-7, on Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field. The win, Carolina's fifth in a row, improved the Tar Heels to 5-1 overall in 2013, 1-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. UVa drops its fourth decision in a row and falls to 2-4, 0-2 ACC.
In addition to the output of Cannizzaro and Messinger, the Tar Heels got goals from Emily Garrity and Taylor George and an assist from Abbey Friend. For Virginia, Casey Bocklet had three goals and an assist, Dana Boyle scored twice and Morgan Stephens and Courtney Swan each scored once. Ashlee Warner had an assist for the Cavaliers.
Carolina won despite losing 12 of 17 draws in the game, and Virginia gathered 13 ground balls to UNC's 11.
The two teams traded goals throughout the opening half. Carolina scored first on a goal by Cannizzaro, then Virginia's Bocklet scored to tie it at 1-all. Messinger made a nifty move from behind the cage to score unassisted and make it 2-1 Carolina, only to see the Cavaliers tie it again shortly thereafter on a goal by Boyle.
Messinger scored her second pretty, unassisted goal at the 13:53 mark to make it 3-2 Carolina, again wrapping around the goal to score. Virginia's Swan tied it again shortly thereafter with a goal at 9:57 by driving down the middle of the cone and scoring from close range. Cannizzaro's second goal made it 4-3 on a spin move, then her assist to Garrity gave Carolina a 5-3 lead.
The Cavaliers replied quickly when Boyle scored her se
cond goal of the day off a pass from Warner, making it 5-4 UNC with 3:38 left in the half. Virginia won the draw after a foul on the Tar Heels, and Bocklet's second goal of the game came just 19 seconds later to tie the score at 5-5, a score that would hold until halftime.
After freshman Megan Ward came in to relieve Carolina's Lauren Maksym at the break, the Cavaliers scored first on a goal by Stephens off a pass from Bocklet in an extra man opportunity. Cannizzaro's third goal came with 23:21 left in the second half and tied the score at 6-6. Bocklet's third goal came just over a minute later on a free position attempt putting the Cavaliers back ahead 7-6.
George took a pass from Friend from behind the cage and scored to tie it at 7-7 with 9:22 to play. Cannizzaro scored her fourth goal of the game at 6:49, driving down from the top of the eight-meter arc and giving Carolina the 8-7 lead, forcing a Cav timeout. Ward stopped a UVa free position attempt in the closing minutes and Sloane Serpe caused a big turnover in the final minute.
Ward (1-0) made two second-half saves and picked up her first win in relief of Maksym, who made six first-half saves. Kim Kolarik went the distance in the cage for Virginia and made four saves.
Carolina will return to action on Tuesday night at High Point.