CHAPEL HILL—Second-seeded North Carolina got big games from Marie McCool and Carly Reed and defeated unseeded Virginia, 23-12, on Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Tournament second round at Fetzer Field. Reed scored a career-high six goals, and McCool had five goals and two assists.
UNC's 23 goals are the most it has scored in any of its 46 NCAA Tournament games, eclipsing the previous record of 22 set vs. UMBC in 2002. Carolina set a season high for goals, besting the 21 it scored against Virginia in the regular season in Chapel Hill.
In addition to McCool and Reed, the Tar Heels got three goals and an assist from both Sammy Jo Tracy and Molly Hendrick and two goals and two assists from Sydney Holman. Katie Hoeg scored twice, while Kara Klages and Charlotte Allard scored once each. Ela Hazar had an assist, breaking the UNC single-season assist mark with her 37th of the year.
The Tar Heels advance to host Navy, which defeated Massachusetts on Sunday, in next Saturday's NCAA quarterfinal game. Carolina improved to 21-2 all-time at home in NCAA Tournament games and has won 20 of its last 21 NCAA home games. UNC has won 15 consecutive NCAA second-round contests.
The Tar Heels won for the 13th time in the last 14 meetings with the Cavaliers and improved to 24-13 all-time against UVA. UNC has won 23 of its last 24 games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and 34 of its last 36 overall.
“Congratulations to Virginia on a great year,” head coach Jenny Levy said afterward. “But even more so, congratulations to my team. I thought it was a total team effort today. I think we did a great job on the loose balls, and Marie McCool and Carly Reed did a good job setting the tempo in the first half in transition and on the draw. I thought from front to back and back to front, the team played very well. We gave up some things we'll improve on, but overall what a great day.”
Caylee Waters played well in goal for Carolina, making 11 saves in 54:23 of action while allowing 10 goals. Rachel Vander Kolk had 11 saves for Virginia.
Carolina jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first 12:30 of action, forcing a Virginia timeout after two goals from Reed and a goal and an assist each from Tracy and McCool. The Tar Heels kept up the pressure on the Cavalier defense as McCool and Tracy both scored again in the subsequent moments to put UNC ahead 6-1 after less than 14 minutes of action. After Jackson scored for the Cavaliers, Reed and McCool scored back-to-back goals to make it 8-2 and force another UVA timeout with 13:18 until the break.
The scoring continued and Carolina led, 12-6, at halftime. UNC had 13 first-half draw controls to UVA's seven, and it outshot the Cavaliers, 23-18, in the opening 30 minutes.
In the second half, the Tar Heels built a 10-goal lead at 16-6 with 24:44 to play. Carolina maintained a double-digit lead for most of the rest of the game.
For the game, the Tar Heels out-shot Virginia, 45-29, and won 22 of 37 draw controls (incuding eight by Tracy).
Carolina will host Navy in the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday May 20 at 1 p.m.