NCAA WOMEN'S LACROSSE
Tar Heels Road to the Final Four
University of North Carolina (“UNC”) is a powerhouse for women’s lacrosse with two NCAA titles (2013, 2016), two NCAA runner-up (2009, 2015) and nine NCAA Final Four appearances. Jenny Levy enters her 20th season as the UNC Head Coach with over 300 career wins and was recently named as the Head Coach of the US National Team. Phil Barnes has served as the Assistant Coach for the last ten years and is a powerful partner for Levy.
The Tar Heels competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (“ACC”) which is one of the most competitive conferences in women’s lacrosse. UNC thrives on competition having captured the last three ACC Conference titles (2016, 2017, 2018). Levy does an outstanding job recruiting and developing top talent at North Carolina with a strong bench to maintain their competitive edge throughout an entire season.
Marie McCool is the top midfielder in women’s lacrosse having earned the ACC Midfielder of the Year in 2017 and 2018. McCool was a Tewaaraton Award finalist in 2017 and is currently on the short list for 2018 heading into the NCAA Tournament. UNC also has two of the top Freshmen in women’s lacrosse: Jamie Ortega (Attack) and Taylor Moreno (Goalie). Both have made an immediate impact on the team and could prove to be the edge UNC needs to recapture another NCAA title.
UNC earned the #2 seed behind Maryland for the 2018 NCAA Tournament. While UNC is the only team to defeat Maryland, UNC lost to JMU, Florida and Boston College during the regular season. But the Tar Heels ACC Championship win against Boston College propelled them to a higher seed heading into the NCAA Tournament and Road to the Final Four.
The UNC attack is led by Maggie Bill, Ella Hazar, Katie Hoeg and Freshman Jamie Ortega. Maggie Bill suffered a lower leg injury in 2018 but returned as a 5th year senior to help the team go after another NCAA title. Ella Hazard is the first Tar Heel to record 100 career assists and has a tremendous ability to feed. Jamie Ortega was the top incoming attack player from high school and has started every game as a Tar Heel making an immediate impact on the attack with over 40 goals and 60 points this season. Ortega was recently named the ACC Freshman of the Year.
UNC is supported by an outstanding midfield which provides a multi-dimensional attack from all parts of the field. The Tar Heels are a threat from behind the cage where they can roll the crease of feed or from the top where top midfielders like Marie McCool and Kara Klages can come through to score, set picks and assist their team to find an avenue to the goal.