March 26, 2016
Senior Sammy Jo Tracy tallied a hat trick plus one assist and a team-best eight draw controls to lead North Carolina past Boston College. (Bill Danielewski)
Senior Sammy Jo Tracy tallied a hat trick plus one assist and a team-best eight draw controls to lead North Carolina past Boston College. (Bill Danielewski)

UNC Survives BC's Comeback, Nets Third One-Goal Win

by Sebastian Lena | | Twitter | Box Score

NEWTON, Mass – There's a reason lacrosse is a 60-minute game.

That's a fact that reared its head prominently Saturday afternoon during No. 3 North Carolina's 13-12 victory over No. 11 Boston College at Newton Campus Lacrosse Field.

It was a game in which the Tar Heels led 6-0 after the first 20 minutes.

"We did a good job coming out and had some very good combination of plays," said North Carolina coach Jenny Levy. "I think we got a little casual defensively and we needed to value the ball a little more. We finally got ourselves together [in the second half], but you've got to play 60 minutes, especially in the ACC where there's no easy game."

The Tar Heels (8-2, 2-0 ACC) certainly made it look easy early on.

Senior Sammy Jo Tracy (three goals, one assist) opened the scoring, capitalizing on a man-up opportunity just 4:48 into the game. Sophomore Ela Hazar (two goals, two assists), junior Molly Hendrick (three goals) and sophomore Marie McCool (two goals, one assist) soon followed up with goals of their own to stake the visitors out to a 6-0 lead with 9:43 remaining.

But the Eagles (6-4, 1-3 ACC) refused to go away.

Sophomore Kenzie Kent (two goals, two assists) — making her season debut after finishing her season for Boston College women's ice hockey, which fell to Minnesota by two in the NCAA championship on March 20 — sparked the Eagles with their first two goals of the game. Her second tally kickstarted a four-goal run spanning halftime to pull them within three. The Tar Heels led 8-4 at the break.

The Eagles continued their rebound efforts with a 3-1 edge in the first 7:32 of the second half. After back-and-forth scores, Boston College cut the deficit to one when junior Kate Weeks found the back of the net off Kent's assist to make it 11-10 with 16:49 remaining.

Despite the strength in Boston College's offense over the final 40 minutes, Tar Heels goalkeeper Caylee Waters' seven-save performance kept her team ahead.

After Tracy secured her hat trick at the 15:56 mark, the Eagles threatened to cut UNC's lead back to one with 13:46 on the clock. Kent found Weeks open in front of the net for what looked like a sure goal, but Waters was there to make a stellar save. Senior Kelly Devlin would score only seconds later as the eventual game-winner, handing North Carolina a 13-10 advantage.

"We've fed off of each other's energy all season long," said Tracy, who also recorded a game-high eight draw controls for North Carolina's 15-12 edge on the draw. "When we see the defense playing so well, we want to step up and do our part. I'm so thankful for our defense."

With another two-goal spurt for the Tar Heels, the next Kent-Weeks connection counted with 10:42 remaining, followed by an unassisted goal two minutes later by Carolina Margolis to put the game back within one, but Carolina held on for its third one-goal win in its fifth one-goal game of the season.

Photo Gallery: North Carolina Survives BC's Comeback

After opening the game with a 6-0 lead, North Carolina survived the Eagles' 6-1 run spanning halftime to earn its fifth straight win to advance to 8-2 on the season. Photos by Bill Danielewski.

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