CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia Tech lacrosse team fell to No. 1 North Carolina, 21-9 Wednesday night at Fetzer Field on the North Carolina campus. The Hokies were led by Jessi Thon and Megan Will who each scored three times, while Aly Messinger and Abbey Friend tallied five goals apiece
The Hokies (5-5, 0-3 ACC) won the opening draw and were on the attack first. Thon nearly got Tech on the board first, but she was denied by North Carolina (11-0, 4-0 ACC) goalie Megan Ward. Sloane Serpe got things going for the Tar Heels as she put away a free position attempt on the next possession, and the Heels tacked on four more before Tech could stop the run.
Meg Bartley made it ten-straight games with a goal as she brought the relay off the draw straight to cage for the Hokies’ first point of the day. Bartley came close to striking again near the midway point in the half, but Ward kicked the shot away. Julia Heaps recovered the rebound and eventually got it to Thon who spun through the defense and scored.
North Carolina’s Aly Messinger responded to the Tech goal less than a minute later, as she put away her third of the game with 13:18 left in the first half.
Thon and Megan Will gave the Hokies some momentum scoring back-to-back goals as Heaps found Thon from behind the cage, and Will worked her way through the defense to bury a shot in the upper left corner to make it 8-4 with nine minutes until the half.
North Carolina added three more goals, including a fourth from Messinger, but Will broke up the run with a strong shot from the left side. Thon finished the opening period with a hat trick after Tech goalie Meagh Graham intercepted a Tar Heel pass and sent it up field. The pass went to Will who was swarmed at the restraining line, but was able to drop it off to Thon who booked it straight to the goal for the score.
Tech trailed the Heels 12-6 at the half and was outshot 20-10, but both teams struggled holding onto the ball as North Carolina tallied 11 turnovers and the Hokies committed 12.
The Tar Heels opened the second half with four straight goals in the first five minutes to reach the ten-goal difference and force a running clock early on.
Will disrupted the North Carolina run with her third goal of the day as she put away a free-position shot from the top of the eight-meter, but the score did not slow the Tar Heels’ production.
North Carolina dominated possession in the second half, but the Hokies were able to add a pair of late goals as Cawley Bromley put away a free position shot and Heaps added an unassisted goal with under five minutes to play.
The Tar Heels outshot Tech 40-14 in the game, as well as the draw, 22-10.
Graham played the full 60 minutes for the Hokies in goal and finished with nine saves. Ward got the start for the Tar Heels and made three saves while allowing six goals in the first 30 minutes. She was relieved in the second half by Caylee Waters, who allowed three goals and made one save.
Tech remains on the road this weekend as it travels to Old Dominion for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, March 29.
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