CHAPEL HILL – The second-ranked North Carolina women’s lacrosse team scored three times in the first four minutes of play and cruised to a 15-5 win over No. 14 Elon Tuesday evening at Fetzer Field. The Tar Heels improved to 7-1 with the win, while the visiting Phoenix fell to 6-2.
“We got off to a really nice start – I thought that was important,” UNC coach Jenny Levy said. “Elon does a great job of playing a different type of defense with a really active goalie. You don’t see that much and you have to adjust to that in how you play. Defensively in the first half we did a really nice job and had a lot of contributions from a lot of players.”
The Tar Heels led 4-0 before Elon got on the board with 17:11 remaining in the first half. The Phoenix scored a second goal at the 10:27 mark to make it 5-2, then UNC closed the half with a 5-0 run to head into halftime with more goals (10) than Elon had shots (eight).
Senior Molly Hendrick had three goals in the first half to lead a balanced attack, with seven Tar Heels tallying one goal each. Hendrick opened the second period with her fourth goal, making it 11-2 just 41 seconds into the action. After that, however, the pace slowed considerably, with UNC not scoring again for almost 22 minutes. During that span the Phoenix scored three in a row to narrow the margin to six, 11-5.
“The second half got sloppy,” Levy said. “We got a little bold and started taking a lot of risks defensively and that’s just not how we play. I thought we were undisciplined and can do a better job in the future.’’
Senior Sydney Holman started the Carolina scoring again at the 7:31 mark with her second goal of evening. The Tar Heels added three more down the stretch to make the final score 15-5. In addition to Hendrick and Holman, the Heels got two goals from Maggie Bill and one each from Ela Hazar, Carly Reed, Marie McCool, Caroline Wakefield, Sammy Jo Tracy, Marisa DeVietro and Charlotte Allard. Hazar led UNC with four assists and Holman added two.
UNC led 35-24 in shots and 17-5 in draw controls, with Tracy on the winning end of 12 of those. Caylee Waters started in goal and made nine saves in 54 minutes of play to improve to 7-1 this season and 39-7 in her career in the cage.
Elise Hennessey played the final six minutes with a save on the only shot she faced.
Next up for the Tar Heels, who are on spring break from classes this week, is another nonconference game, this one Sunday at noon against Northwestern. It’s the third home game in a row for the Tar Heels, who beat Virginia 21-11 last Saturday in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
“We’ve earned a day off tomorrow,” Levy said as her players headed for the locker room after a chilly evening on the field. “After playing on Saturday, we had a quick turnaround for today. Now we look toward a big, important nonconference game on Sunday against a really good opponent in Northwestern. We’ll recover tomorrow and then get back to work.”