Cavaliers Repeat as ACC Women's Lacrosse Champion
April 29, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Led by goalkeeper Kendall McBrearty and sophomore midfielder Ashley McCulloch, who set a pair of ACC and school records before the game was over, Virginia successfully defended its ACC Women's Lacrosse Championship crown. The fourth-seeded Cavaliers secured a 12-6 victory over No. 3 seed North Carolina at Fetzer Field on Sunday afternoon, giving UVa its fourth overall championship title.
"It was a great team effort everywhere," Virginia head coach Julie Myers said. "The defense held (North Carolina) tight and Kendall (McBrearty) was there to make the save. We won five of our first six draws and that set the tone early. It was a great effort by the entire Virginia team against a great UNC team."
UVa's Brittany Kalkstein paced the team and all players with three goals, and was among five Cavaliers to score at least two. North Carolina had two goals each from Christina Juras and Kristen Taylor.
Virginia quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Megan Havrilla took a pass from McCulloch and found the back at the net with less than a minute into the game. The Cavaliers held the ball on North Carolina's side of the field for the next five minutes when McCulloch fed a pass to Megan O'Malley from behind the net and put the Cavaliers up, 2-0.
The Tar Heels got the chance to even things up in the first half, as Chrissy Rude knocked in a groundball for UNC's first goal in the game. Kristen Taylor tied the game minutes later on an assist from Amber Falcone.
Then, the Virginia offense turned up the heat, tallying the next three goals for a 5-2 advantage. Katie Breslin got things started with her goal at 12:03 on the clock, and Kalkstein scored back-to-back goals within one minute of each other. McCulloch provided the assist on Kalkstein's first goal, giving her three while still in the first half to tie two ACC records which she would later break.
North Carolina kept the game close, netting three more goals before the break. Kelly Taylor and Juras each had a goal (unassisted) and freshman Kristen scored for the second time in the game with 2:59 left.
Jess Wasilewski and McCulloch helped extend the Cavs' lead to 7-5 before the break. Wasilewski scored on a free position play at the 4:21 mark, and McCulloch scored with less than 20 seconds on the clock.
McCulloch continued her stellar performance after the break, as she nailed a shot less than two minutes in the second half past All-American goalkeeper Kristen Hordy and gave UVa an 8-5 advantage.
Juras gave the Tar Heels a lift when the senior co-caption scored at 24:06, but it would be the last goal for UNC.
The Cavs came back with a goal of their own as O'Malley took a pass from McCulloch for the second time and fired the ball down the left side of the net to extend UVa's lead to 9-6. McCulloch's assist on the play was her fourth in the game, setting a new ACC record for assists in a championship game. It was also her seventh assist in the tournament for a total of 11, a new ACC Tournament record.
UVa then went on to score three unassisted goals with less than seven minutes on the clock en route to a 12-6 victory. Havrilla and Breslin both collected their second goal of the day, while Kalkstein added a third.
But the key to the second half was Virginia's defense, led by the tournament's most valuable player, goalkeeper McBrearty. North Carolina scored just one goal on 20 second-half shots, thanks in part to nine saves in the half by the Alexandria, Va., native. She ended the game with 12 saves in 60 minutes of action.
In addition to McBrearty, 11 players were voted to the 2007 ACC All-Tournament Team which included Virginia's Breslin, Havrilla, Kalkstein, McCulloch, and Blair Weymouth, North Carolina's Jenn Cook, Falcone, Juras, and Kelly and Kristen Taylor, and Duke's Kristen Waagbo.
"Congratulations, first and foremost, to Virginia," North Carolina head coach Jenny Levy said. "I thought they did a great job today. Virginia played a flawless game in a lot of ways. They were sharp in several areas that affected us. Obviously, we are disappointed. It was quite a turnaround from the regular season against Virginia. We kind of ran into a perfect storm today. I credit Virginia for that."
Up next for ACC women's lacrosse is the 2007 NCAA Tournament. First round begins May 13, with quarterfinals taking place May 19. The semifinal and final rounds will be hosted by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on May 25 and 27.
NCAA selection of the 16-team field will be announced Monday, May 7, at 8 p.m. on ncaasports.com.