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Archive for March 7, 2021

March 7, 2021 — More tape for the time capsule

Several years ago, I posited that a 30-minute segment of women’s lacrosse from the 2003 U-19 FIL Women’s World Cup belonged in the pantheon of play that belongs in a time capsule. That segment encapsulated the second half of the United States’ pool play match against Australia, and the first half of the final, where the States completely overwhelmed Australia, bossing the game from the draw circle to the creases and beyond.

Another segment I would have put in the “Best of Lacrosse” time capsule would be the second half of the 2000 NCAA Division I title match between Maryland and Princeton, when Jen Adams had six goals and four assists, all after the interval.

This past weekend, another segment of play occurred which could also serve as a model or example as to how good the game of lacrosse can be, and also belongs in some sort of time capsule at the Lacrosse Hall of Fame. That segment is the first 11 minutes of the second half of the ACC conference match between North Carolina and Boston College.

Let’s give you some context. The two sides, which have been ranked in the top four just about every year in the late 2010s, were trading goals in the first half, but UNC, leading 10-7 in the final two minutes of the second half, was issued a yellow card for a bad check. Boston College, which had scored a mere 13 seconds before the yellow card was issued, had a power play to end the first half, and could have changed the team talk if the Eagles converted the chance.

But the half ran out with no further goals scored, and, with the yellow-card suspension being split between halves, the center draw to start the second half would be critical to the end result.

As it happened, UNC won the opening draw of the second term, then ran out the penalty. Then, the Tar Heels ran out the game, scoring the next seven goals from all sorts of angles. Jamie Ortega, who may grade out as the greatest UNC player of all time, had a pair of goals in the onslaught. Tayler Warehime also had a pair of goals. Both had hat tricks in the game, which wound up being a 21-9 win.

Yeah, it can be said that lacrosse is a game of runs, and that a 7-0 run is your basic run-of-the-mill string of goals that doesn’t merit many plaudits. But given the leadup to this Top 10 matchup, and the fact that one or the other had made the national final for five years in a row, you would have expected a tight game.

But those 11 minutes of play for North Carolina not only set the tone for the game, but may have also done the same for the entire season.