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Tar Heels cap undefeated season with NCAA title

The top-ranked Tar Heels finished the season 22-0, setting a school record for wins and becoming the first undefeated national champion since 2017.

Lacrosse players celebrating
(Photo by Jeffrey Camarati)

North Carolina completed a perfect season with a 12-11 win over Boston College on Sunday afternoon to claim the 2022 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship, the third national title in program history.

The top-ranked Tar Heels finished the season 22-0, setting a school record for wins and becoming the first undefeated national champion since 2017 (and the 11th in NCAA history).

In front of a capacity crowd of 8,500 at Homewood Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins University, the Tar Heels were anchored by graduate student goalkeeper Taylor Moreno, who made 11 saves on the day. Sam Geiersbach, the hero of Carolina’s come-from-behind semifinal win over Northwestern on Friday, led Carolina in scoring with a hat trick and earned NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors with a combined eight goals in the two games on Championship Weekend.

The Tar Heels got two goals each from Ally Mastroianni and Jamie Ortega (two goals on just two shots, due to the face-guarding BC defense), and single scores from Scottie Rose Growney, Andie Aldave, Caitlyn Wurzburger, Olivia Dirks and Nicole Humphrey.

In all, Carolina got goals from eight different players, including five off the bench from Geiersbach, Dirks and Humphrey.

“It was a total team effort,” head coach Jenny Levy told ESPN after winning her third national title in the last nine years.

Charlotte North led BC with four goals, but she needed 10 shots to get them, largely because of the stingy, matchup defense of Carolina’s Emma Trenchard.

Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead and was up, 7-5, at halftime. The Tar Heels’ biggest lead of the game was three on three separate occasions before halftime. In the second half, neither team led by more than a goal until Growney scored with 2:23 to play to put the Tar Heels up, 12-10.

The Carolina defense held BC without a goal for 8:35 of the fourth quarter until the Eagles came up with a late goal to pull within one with 15 seconds remaining. Carolina won the ensuing draw and claimed the victory, beating BC for the third time this season.

“First of all, congrats to BC for a great season and a great game today,” Levy said in the postgame press conference. “We knew it was going to be tough and go down to the wire. It doesn’t surprise me that that was a one-goal game. We’ve lost a lot of one-goal games, this crew, over the past couple years in the Final Four game, so it was nice to be on the other side of it. And I always think if you can lose a one-goal game, you can win a one-goal game. That’s what was going through my mind.

“This was a total team effort this year from our stars on stage all the way through our roster. So [I’m] just incredibly proud and grateful at the moment.”

Boston College coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein praised Moreno after the game: “She’s an amazing goalie, and I think unfortunately they have a lot of X-factors, but Taylor was one of them today and she played great. She’s a tough goalie to go against, but she’s a great player and great person, and congratulations to her.”

The Tar Heels’ three national championships are tied for third-most in NCAA history.

Read more stories on Carolina Athletics at GoHeels.com