CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The North Carolina women's lacrosse team won its ninth game in a row and improved to 9-1 on the season with a 19-11 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over visiting Boston College Saturday night at Fetzer Field. Junior Brittney Coppa scored a career-high five goals to help the third-ranked Tar Heels reach 2-0 in ACC play heading into a stretch of three conference road games. Boston College fell to 4-5 (1-2 ACC) with the loss.
"I thought we did a great job," UNC coach Jenny Levy said. "I thought our ball movement was really effective, we held space well on the backside and we were aggressive appropriately. We capitalized on our shooting - they were double-teaming and face-guarding certain kids on our team and the other guys on the team stepped up and made shots, namely Brittney Coppa, who had a great night. I was really happy with what she did tonight."
Coppa kicked off the scoring 3:30 into the game on a free position shot and UNC jumped out to a 7-0 lead before a goal by sophomore Mikaela Rix at the 12:43 mark got the Eagles on the board. The Tar Heels led 12-3 at the half, with four goals by senior Kara Cannizzaro, three by Coppa and one each by seniors Emily Garrity and Jessica Griffin, sophomores Kelly Devlin and Morgan Rubin, and freshman Sammy Jo Tracy.
UNC scored the first four goals of the second half to go up 16-3 with 23:26 remaining in the game. The rest of the half saw more BC action, however, with the Eagles putting in eight second-half goals, including the final five of the game in the last 8:44 of play.
The Tar Heels got off 33 shots while limiting BC to 16, just six of which came in the first half. UNC led 13-4 in ground balls. Late in the game UNC was able to give experience to its bench, with a total of 15 reserves seeing playing time.
"I thought our defense was excellent," Levy said. "Against our starters they really couldn't get much going offensively and we were really happy with our effort. We loved getting some opportunities to play new kids late in the game and I credit my starters with getting a huge lead against a good BC team so that we were able to do that."
Next up for Carolina is a road game Thursday at Duke. The Tar Heels then travel to Virginia Tech for a Saturday contest with the Hokies. UNC's next home game, and the final one of the regular season, is April 12 against Jacksonville.
"We're focused on getting better and playing more consistently and I thought we did a good job of that tonight for 50 minutes," Levy said. "We did a really nice job of playing a consistent game from front to back. In the ACC season that consistency is really important. Everybody on the field needs to do their job and do their job well. If you don't do your job, those holes will get exposed because the ACC is such a tough conference. "