NCAA WLAX Second Round: Three ACC Teams Advance to Quarterfinals

North Carolina, Notre Dame and Syracuse won three very different second round games to advance to the NCAA WLAX Quarterfinals. The Irish rolled against Northwestern, the Heels pulled past ACC-foe Duke and the Orange gutted out a one-goal win with a late run. 

CHAPEL HILL—Third-seeded North Carolina went on a 5-1 run to start the second half and beat unseeded Duke, 15-10, on Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament second round at sunny Fetzer Field.

Seven UNC players scored goals and five had assists in a balanced attack. Carolina advances to the NCAA quarterfinals for the 12th consecutive year and improved to 19-2 at home in NCAA Tournament play. UNC is 14-1 all-time in the NCAA second round after Sunday’s win.   

UNC has won 14 games in a row and improved to 17-2 this season.  Duke fell to 11-9. Carolina has won seven of the last eight and 13 of the last 16 meetings with Duke.   

Carolina advances to face sixth seeded Notre Dame, which beat unseeded Northwestern, 15-3, next Saturday at 1 p.m. in the NCAA quarterfinals in Chapel Hill.

The Tar Heels were led on Sunday by Molly Hendrick’s four goals and Sammy Jo Tracy’s three goals and two assists. Ela Hazar had two goals and two assists, Aly Messinger had two goals and one assist and Carly Reed scored twice. Marie McCool had a goal and an assist, Charlotte Sofield scored once and Kelly Devlin had an assist.

Duke got four goals and an assist from Kelci Smesko and four goals from Grace Fallon. Kyra Harney had a goal and an assist and Emma Lazaroff had a goal. Maura Schwitter, Stuart Humphrey and Maddie Crutchfield had assists for the Blue Devils.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Sunday morning, thousands of Notre Dame students became Notre Dame alumni as they received their degrees. Hours later, 11 senior student-athletes and one graduate student on Notre Dame's women's lacrosse team ensured that their time at Notre Dame will continue as the Irish matriculated onto the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since 2009.

The sixth-seeded Irish (14-6) outshot Northwestern 21-5 in the first half and out scored the Wildcats 8-0 in the second half en rote to a 15-3 demolition of one of the sport's standard-bearers in an NCAA second round matchup at Arlotta Stadium.

Cortney Fortunato and Grace Muller both scored four goals to pace the Irish offense while the Notre Dame defense caused 16 turnovers (led by three apiece from Barbara Sullivan and Brie Custis) and held the Wildcats to a season-low 16 shots.

Notre Dame controlled the game on Sunday from start to finish, opening the game on a 4-0 run and closing it on a 9-0 run which was punctuated by seven second half saves from goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone.

Sullivan, now a Tewaaraton Award finalist for the second consecutive year, controlled five draws and collected three ground balls to accompany her three turnovers. She also stood front-and0center in an Irish defense that held an opponent to less than five goals for the school-record eighth time this year.

In addition to Fortunato and Muller, Kiera McMullan, Rachel Sexton and Casey Pearsall each scored two goals for the Irish, Pearsall coupling her scores with three assists for a five-point day.

NEWTON, Mass. – No. 4 seed Syracuse scored four straight goals to overcome a two-goal deficit and defeated Stony Brook, 7-6, in the second round of the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament in Newton, Mass. The Orange advance to the quarterfinals where they will host No. 5 seed USC on Saturday, May 21 at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.
Stony Brook, which is ranked No. 7 in this week's coaches poll, led, 4-3, at halftime and went up by two on Kasey Mitchell's goal at the 26:43 mark. Senior Kelly Cross answered a minute later when she found the back of the net off an assist from senior Halle Majorana.  

Majorana led a balanced offensive attack for the Orange as seven different players scored goals. She finished with three points on two goals and an assist. Mitchell scored a game-high three goals for Stony Brook. Syracuse's defense held Courtney Murphy, the nation's leading goal scorer, to just one goal.
The Orange outshot Stony Brook, 16-14, and picked up 11 ground balls to 10 for the Sea Wolves. Senior Kayla Treanor won eight draw controls, helping the Orange to an 11-4 advantage in the draw circle. Graduate student Allie Murray made three saves for Syracuse, while Anna Tesoriero had four saves for Stony Brook.
Syracuse advances to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive year where it will take on No. 5 seed and undefeated USC on Saturday, May 21 at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.