Tar Heels Blow Past Loyola, 19-9
CHAPEL HILL - Third-seeded North Carolina got five goals and two assists from Kara Cannizzaro and four goals and two assists from Abbey Friend, defeating 11th-ranked and unseeded Loyola, 19-9, on Sunday at Fetzer Field in the NCAA Tournament second round. UNC out-scored the Greyhounds, 12-4, in the second half.
With the victory, Carolina (15-3) advances to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the ninth consecutive season. Loyola's season ends at 11-9.
"It was the type of game I expected against a good, feisty, young Loyola team," Tar Heel head coach Jenny Levy said afterward. "We had to adjust to their style after they fought back when we led 5-1 early in the game. They challenged us to do some different things, and I'm really happy we came out in the second half and broke it open a little."
Carolina improved to 11-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament first round games, winning its 11th first-round contest in a row. UNC also improved to 14-1 at home in NCAA Tournament play and has won 13 home NCAA games in a row.
Cannizzaro tied her career high with five goals and seven points. She also reached the 50-goal plateau for the first time in her career. She has career highs of 50 goals, 17 assists and 67 points in 2013.
Friend tied her career high with six points. Carolina got multiple goals from six different players overall. Taylor George (three goals), Aly Messinger (two goals, one assist), Morgan Rubin (a career-high two goals, one assist for a career-high three points) and Brittney Coppa (two goals) all had multiple goals in addition to the output of Cannizzaro and Friend. Jessica Griffin added a goal and Kelly Devlin had her first career assist.
Loyola got four goals and an assist from Annie Thomas and three goals and an assist from Marlee Paton in a losing effort. Taryn VanThof and Joanna Dalton each also scored once for the Greyhounds.
The first half was closely contested. The Tar Heels jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first 12:35 of action, only to see Loyola go on a 4-1 run to pull within a goal at 6-5 with 7:05 to go in the half. Coppa scored a free position goal with 45 seconds left before the break to put Carolina ahead 7-5 at the break.
The Tar Heels broke the game open in the second stanza with a 12-4 scoring edge after the half. Carolina opened the second half with a 3-0 run in the first 4:02 to take a 10-5 lead. Cannizzaro, Friend and George during UNC's run, but Loyola responded with back-to-back goals of its own to make it 10-7. Cannizzaro and Messinger replied with back-to-back goals of their own for a 12-7 UNC lead with under 20 minutes to play, forcing a Greyhound timeout.
Carolina scored seven of the next eight goals to put the game out of reach. UNC held just a 34-28 edge in shots, but the Tar Heel goalies played well and recorded 13 saves. Freshman Megan Ward (4-2) started and played the first 55:02, making a season-high 12 saves. Senior Lauren Maksym came in off the bench and made a save in her 4:58 of action. Molly Wolf (11-9) took the loss for Loyola, making four saves in 47:45 of action.
The Tar Heels will return to action on Saturday May 18 at 1 p.m., when they host an NCAA quarterfinal game against Virginia in Chapel Hill. The unseeded Cavaliers won 10-8 at Georgetown on Sunday. Carolina beat Virginia 8-7 on March 9 in Chapel Hill earlier this season.