No. 5 North Carolina Bolts to Early Lead, Cruises by Hokies

CHAPEL HILL Kara Cannizzaro scored four first-half goals as fifth-ranked North Carolina jumped out to a 12-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 15-4 victory over Virginia Tech in ACC action on Sunday at Fetzer Field. Carolina improves to 12-1 this season, 4-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the victory. Virginia Tech falls to 7-5 overall, 0-3 in ACC play.

With the victory, the Tar Heels have clinched a bye in next month's ACC Tournament in Durham, N.C. UNC will host Maryland next Saturday with the tournament's top seed and ACC regular season championship on the line.

Nine different Tar Heelsscored goals, led by Cannizzaro's four goals. Laura Zimmerman had two goals and one assist and Becky Lynch and Abbey Friend each scored twice. Taylor George had a goal and an assist and Sam McGee had two assists. Paige Hanson, Jessica Griffin, Morgan Rubin and Paula Schmidt all scored single goals for the Tar Heels, and Emily Garrity added an assist.

The Hokies didn't score their first goal of the game until almost 10 minutes into the second half, at which point they trailed 14-0. Jack Boissonneault scored twice for Virginia Tech and Cawley Bromley had a goal and an assist. Ryan Rotanz scored a goal and Libby Rosebro had an assist.

Cannizzaro started the scoring in the first half with a free position goal at the 26:20 mark, then scored her second goal in a row just over a minute later at 25:06 when she cut down the middle of the eight-meter arc and scored. Friend made it 3-0 at 22:55 when she cut in from the left side, and George scored from close range to make it 4-0 at 22:26, forcing a Hokie timeout.

Cannizzaro followed with her third goal at 20:14, and 20 seconds later Lynch scored, wrapping around thecage to make it 6-0 in the 11th minute. A Zimmerman free position tally upped the lead to 7-0 at 17:53. Five different Tar Heels scored the next five goals as UNC took a commanding 12-0 lead into halftime. Six Carolina players scored before the half.

It was more of the same in the second half, with the Tar Heels adding two more goals for a 14-0 lead with 22:37 to play. The Hokies scored four of the game's final five goals after the outcome was already decided.

All three UNC goalies saw time in the cage, including junior Lauren Maksym, who ran her record as a starter this season to 12-1 by not allowing a goal in 18:30 of action. Taylor Thomas played a strong 33:23, making seven saves and allowing four goals. Britt Giacco wrapped up the game with just over eight scoreless minutes in the cage.

Carolina will return to action next Saturday against Maryland at 4:00 p.m. at Fetzer Field in a game to be broadcast by ESPN3.

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Virginia Tech came alive in the second half but was unable to keep up with the No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels, as it fell 15-4 at Fetzer Field on the North Carolina campus Sunday afternoon.

Nearly all of Tech's production came from freshmen Jack Boissonneault and Cawley Bromley, who combined for three points in the game. Kara Cannizzaro led the Tar Heel offense with four goals in the game, all coming in the first half.

Freshman Meg Bartley earned the Hokies (7-5, 0-3 ACC) the opening possession, winning the first draw of the game, but North Carolina (12-1, 4-0 ACC) would be the first on the board with a free position goal from Cannizzaro.

Slow play and back-and-forth possession dominated the opening ten minutes but the Tar Heels kept a steady pace attacking and were able to finish on the majority of their opportunities.

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