No. 6 Virginia's NCAA Run Ends With a 17-7 Loss At No. 3 North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The No. 4 Virginia women’s lacrosse team saw its NCAA Tournament run come to an end Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field, as No. 3 North Carolina handed the Cavaliers their most lopsided loss of the season, 17-7. With the win, the Tar Heels improve to 17-2 this year and advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals, while the Cavaliers wrap up their season with a 14-6 record.
“The end of any season is a really hard, sudden ending,” head coach Julie Myers said. “I think that the end to this season, given all that we’ve been through, makes it especially hard. I am completely impressed and pleased with my team. I’m so proud of their families and I’m so grateful for who comes to Virginia to play for us and for all that they do to help us win.”
The Cavaliers were led by senior All-American Kaitlin Duff’s three goals. Senior All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy Finalist Brittany Kalkstein and sophomore Charlie Finnigan each tacked on two goals, while senior Caity Whiteley rounded out the scoring with two assists.
For North Carolina, Laura Zimmerman led seven Tar Heel scorers with a game-high four goals. Kristen Taylor and Corey Donohoe each added three goals and one helper, while Emily Garrity, Becky Lunch and Jenn Russell each had two scores. Kara Cannizzaro had the other goal.
For the fifth time this season, the Cavaliers gave up the first goal of the game – but it marked the first time Virginia was unable to overcome the deficit. Carolina’s Zimmerman raced up-field on a fast break opportunity less than five minutes into play and fired a shot into the back of the net to set the tone for the day. Taylor then made it 2-0 in favor of UNC, before Virginia was able to get on the board – with a goal from Finnigan and assisted by Whiteley – at 23:05.
The goal wasn’t enough to silence the Tar Heels, though, as Carolina went on to rattle off seven-straight scores to take a commanding 9-1 advantage with 1:43 left in the opening half.
Duff halted the streak with a goal at 1:11, but a UNC score with eight seconds remaining and a last-second goal by the Heels left the Cavaliers facing their largest halftime deficit of the season at 11-2.
Kalkstein attempted to get things going for Virginia at the beginning of the second half, firing a goal into the net for the 14th-straight game and recording a point for the 21st-straight contest, but the Tar Heels notched another four unanswered scores to extend their lead to 15-3 by the 23:35 mark.
Duff converted a free position shot with 22:02 remaining and Kalkstein – assisted by Whiteley – picked up her second goal at 13:07, following a 16th from the Tar Heels.
Carolina’s final score came on an open net from Donohoe, before Duff closed out her career with her 117th goal at the 1:31 mark.
Finnigan brought the final score to 17-7, as she scored an 8-meter goal with 34 seconds remaining.
Defensively, Duff caused two turnovers to improve her four-year total to 127 and tie former Cavalier Tiffany Schummer (2000-03) atop Virginia’s career record board. She also won three draw controls to finish ninth on the program’s all-time career chart with 110.
Kalkstein once again paced the Cavaliers with a game-high five draw controls to improve her ACC and UVa career record to 287 and finish ranked fourth on the NCAA’s all-time career record list. Her single season total of 97 marks a school record and is the sixth-best single-season total in NCAA history.
The midfielder also finished her career ranked eighth on UVa’s career goal rankings with 135 and tied with former Cavalier Jamie Haas (1997, 99-01) for 10th in career points, finishing with 184.