Highlights from Virginia's 13-12 win over North Carolina 04.24.24

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a thrilling ACC quarterfinal matchup that featured a back-and-forth battle between storied programs, the No. 6 Virginia women’s lacrosse team (14-3, 6-3 ACC) defeated No. 14 North Carolina (10-6, 6-3 ACC) by a score of 13-12. A host of Cavaliers stepped up when Virginia needed them most to propel the team to its first win over the Tar Heels since 2014.

Three Cavaliers recorded hat tricks including Jenna Dinardo (3g, 2a), Kate Galica (3g), and Mackenzie Hoeg (3g). Kate Miller (2g, 2a) chipped in four points while Kiki Shaw (1g, 1a), Katia Carnevale (1g) and Morgan Schwab (1a) all made the score sheet.

Defensively, goalkeeper Mel Josephson delivered in the clutch for the Cavaliers racking up 11 total saves while posting a save percentage of .478. Galica played a crucial role for the Cavaliers between the restraining lines pulling down a total of seven draw controls guiding UVA to an overall advantage in the circle.

How it Happened
Virginia started quickly out of the gate. Miller got the Cavaliers on the board first with just over a minute played in the opening quarter. Miller was at the center of things once again on the next Cavalier possession finding a cutting Hoeg who scored to put UVA up two. The Tar Heels answered with a 2-0 run of their own to tie things up. Galica bookended a two-goal Carolina run scoring in the final minute of the opening period as the teams went into the first break tied at 4-4.

Carolina netted the opening goal of the second quarter, but Virginia answered with a three-goal run that was kickstarted by back-to-back goals from Dinardo and capped by a solo dodge and finish from Miller. UNC responded in the final seven minutes of the opening half with a 3-0 scoring run of its own as the Cavaliers went into the halftime break trailing by a score of 8-7.

After nearly six scoreless minutes to open the second half, Virginia tied the game as Galica recorded her third on the back of a dodge through the teeth of the Carolina defense igniting a 5-1 Cavalier run that spanned the entire third period. A pair of Hoeg goals followed by a solo effort from Shaw gave Virginia its largest lead of the game entering the fourth quarter with a 12-9 advantage.

Carolina would pull within a goal after a pair of scoring efforts to open the final period. Dinardo would score with an acrobatic finish to restore Virginia’s two-goal cushion, but Carolina goal with 48 seconds to play made for a nail-biting finish. Carolina controlled the final draw of the game and managed a quality scoring chance from the crease, but Josephson smothered the ball to preserve a 13-12 victory for Virginia.

From The Locker Room:
Head Coach Sonia LaMonica:
“Yeah, it was truly exciting game with two great teams. There were some exceptional moments. Kate Galica coming up huge on some plays and playing like a veteran. Mel Josephson with a point-blank save was just an epic momentum shifter. And yeah, I just we had so many tremendous moments. The team really pulled together, particularly down the stretch defensively I thought we locked in and offensively had some really strong plays down the stretch to hold on for great win. So, again, just the resiliency in the fight. And this group really had a breakthrough here today against what historically has been you know, a tough a tough opponent.”

“We talk about believing in ourselves, and we talk about betting on each other. We talk about going one moment at a time and trusting that you know, the outcome is going to be the one we want when it’s all said and done. So, it’s just really enjoying the process, continuing to learn and grow and staying focused.”

With The Win:

  • Virginia defeats North Carolina for the first time since 2014 snapping a 14-game losing streak to the Tar Heels
  • UVA improves to 5-2 against Carolina in the ACC Championship
  • The Cavaliers improve to 6-2 against ranked opposition in 2024
  • Virginia moves on to the ACC semifinal to face top-seeded No. 4 Syracuse

Additional Notes

  • With three goals on the day, Jenna Dinardo has scored multiple goals in four consecutive games the performance marked her sixth hat trick of the season
  • Mackenzie Hoeg recorded her seventh hat trick of the season she has scored multiple goals in all but two games this season
  • Hoeg scored three goals on just three shots for the game
  • Kate Galica recorded the fourth hat trick of her career
  • The Cavaliers outscored Carolina by a margin of 5-1 in the third quarter
  • Virginia won the battle at the draw control winning 15 to Carolina’s 14
  • Mel Josephson made 11 saves in goal compared to just four on the Tar Heels side
  • Virginia’s two matchups with North Carolina were decided by just one goal after the Cavaliers fell 10-8 in overtime when the teams squared off in the regular season (Feb. 23)
  • UVA’s last victory over the Tar Heels also came in postseason play when the Cavaliers knocked off Carolina in the NCAA quarterfinal round

Up Next:
The Cavaliers advance to the ACC Semifinal where they will take on top-seeded No. 4 Syracuse on Friday (April 26) at American Legion Memorial Stadium. First draw is set for 5 p.m. on ACC Network

Mackenzie Hoeg joins All-ACC following a 13-12 win over North Carolina in the ACC quarterfinal