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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels ended the No. 14 Virginia women’s lacrosse team’s run for the 2011 NCAA title Saturday afternoon, handing the Cavaliers a 15-7 loss at Fetzer Field in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. With the loss, Virginia ends the season with a 9-9 record, while North Carolina (14-5) advances to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament to face sixth-seeded Loyola.

Today’s game opened identically to the Cavaliers’ regular season contest against the Tar Heels at Fetzer Field on March 12 (UVa lost, 8-7). But following one hour and 38 minutes of a weather delay, the Tar Heels scattered five goals throughout 10 minutes of play to take a commanding 13-4 advantage and never looked back.

North Carolina opened the scoring in the game, as Margaret Corzel fired a shot from Becky Lynch into the net, at 27:54. Freshman Katie Slater then responded for the Cavaliers, scoring less than 40 seconds later to knot the score at 1-1, but back-to-back goals from the Tar Heels gave UNC a 3-1 advantage with 22:59 on the clock.

Sophomore Annie Thomas weaved through defenders and found freshman Dana Boyle at 21:33 to bring Virginia within one, but North Carolina fired three goals into the net in a span of one minute and 11 seconds to increase its lead to 6-2.

Slater notched her second goal of the day at 14:44, before Zimmerman converted a free position shot at 6:37 to keep the first half scoring identical to the last match-up at Fetzer Field, giving UNC another 7-3 halftime advantage.

On March 12, Virginia scored the first four goals of the second half to knot the score at seven. But today, the Tar Heels found the back of the net first, at 26:50, to take an 8-3 lead into the weather delay.

Virginia scored the first goal out of the one hour and 38 minute delay, but North Carolina responded with a five-goal run that gave the Tar Heels a 13-4 advantage with 13:11 on the clock.

Junior Charlie Finnigan attempted to chip into Carolina’s lead, scoring a goal at 12:53 and then assisting Boyle at 12:20, but the Tar Heels scored their 14th goal of the day at 6:19, bringing the score to 14-6.

Junior Julie Gardner rounded out the scoring for Virginia at 5:45, before Kara Cannizzaro brought the final score to 15-7 just 12 seconds later.

The Cavaliers were led offensively by Boyle and Slater – both freshmen – who notched two scores each. Finnigan tacked on one goal and one assist, while redshirt junior Ainsley Baker and Gardner had one score each. Thomas rounded out the scoring with an assist.

For North Carolina, Cannizzaro led the way with four goals, while Zimmerman had three goals and one assist. Abbey Friend and Brittney Coppa tacked on two goals for the Tar Heels.

Defensively for Virginia, senior Molly McClintic led the way with two ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers, while Gardner had a game-high four caused turnovers and freshman Lauren Goerz won three draw controls.

Senior All-American Liz Downs finished the game with one draw control and one ground ball, while holding UNC’s All-American Corey Donohoe to just one goal on six shots.

In goal for Virginia, sophomore Kim Kolarik earned eight saves and scooped up two ground balls.

Today’s contest marked the final game for four of Virginia’s seniors – Liz Downs, Molly McClintic, Boyd Vicars and Marghi Walters. The quartet wraps up their careers with an overall record of 48-27, four NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2008 ACC title.

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