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Women’s Lacrosse Weekend Recap: UNC and Stanford win conference crowns

It was a wild weekend of NCAA women’s lacrosse

Jamie Ortega shown in an early season victory over Maryland. Ortega, a freshman, set an ACC Tournament record with 15 goals in three games as the Tar Heels prevailed as conference champions.
UNC Athletics

Two conference tournaments are in the books this weekend, with the brackets set on 12 more to take place next weekend. Be sure to check out the guide to the women’s lacrosse conference tournaments here on College Crosse.


UNC threepeats, Boston College loses first game of year

The ACC championship game was held at Duke University on Sunday, with North Carolina making a statement: the Tar Heels are still the team to beat in the conference.

Freshman Jamie Ortega set an ACC Tournament record with 15 goals over three games, including six in the Tar Heels’ win over the Eagles on Sunday.

Senior Marie McCool got the better of Sam Apuzzo on the draw, winning 16 of 27 faceoffs in a battle between two Tewaaraton nominees. Apuzzo had gotten the better of McCool in the teams’ first meeting this season, a Boston College win.

But the real star of the game was North Carolina goalkeeper Taylor Moreno, who was named ACC Tournament MVP. Moreno made 11 saves, including eight in the second half, when Boston College was trying to rally from a 9-6 halftime deficit.

North Carolina’s win makes next Sunday’s bracket selection very interesting. Stony Brook is the only undefeated team remaining. Boston College, Maryland and James Madison all only have one loss with North Carolina accounting for both the BC and Maryland defeats. North Carolina lost to James Madison on the road in double-OT way back in the season opener February 10. Stony Brook did not play any of the other four teams pitting for a top-4 NCAA Tournament seed.


Stanford prevails in inaugural Pac-12 Tournament

Stanford beat Colorado in convincing fashion to win the first-ever Pac-12 Tournament on Sunday afternoon, clinching the Cardinal’s spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford, playing on Colorado’s home field in Boulder, dominated the Buffaloes from very early on. At one point, the Tree led 15-3. Senior goalkeeper Allie DeCar saved 14 of 20 Colorado shots on goal, as she was named the tournament MVP. Fellow senior Kelsey Murray broke her own single-season record for points with 89.

For Colorado, the loss is disappointing, but the Buffaloes still have the resume of an NCAA Tournament at-large team and should hear their names called next week.


Stony Brook, James Madison among teams to clinch top seeds in conference tournaments

Many games on Saturday had direct implications toward conference championship seedings. Let’s go through some of them quickly:

  • Stony Brook 21, Albany 8: The Seawolves clinched America East hosting rights with a dominant performance on the road against Albany. Kylie Ohlmiller had a 10-point game for the Seawolves, as the senior now has 128 points on the season, putting her 31 away from 500 career points. Earlier this season, Ohlmiller had become the second player ever to reach 400 career points.
  • James Madison 17, Towson 16 (OT): The Dukes held off Towson in a gutty road win on Saturday to win the regular season CAA title. Senior Kristen Gaudian scored the game-winner with 1:18 remaining in overtime. Towson had forced OT with a 3-0 run over the final four minutes after JMU led 16-13. The two top-10 teams seem destined to meet again in the conference championship game next weekend.
  • Princeton 22, Columbia 16: Princeton had its finest offensive output of the season at Columbia on Saturday, earning the right to host the Ivy League Tournament. Kyla Sears, a freshman, now has 53 goals this year, which is the sixth-most in Princeton history.
  • Detroit Mercy 17, Central Michigan 9: The Titans earned the Southern Conference #1 seed over the Chippewas on Saturday. Detroit Mercy had 44 shot attempts in the game.
  • Marquette 15, UConn 14: With 17 and a half minutes to play on Saturday, the Marquette season seemed over. In a game they needed to win to make the Big East Tournament, the Eagles trailed 14-9. Then some Senior Day magic happened. Marquette rallied off six straight goals, the last of which came with 1:55 left in the game, to earn the right to play playoff lacrosse for the first time in school history.

Michigan stuns Penn State in the win of the weekend

The Wolverines trailed by one with 7 seconds left and won on the road in regulation against Penn State on Saturday. Sound like a miracle? Check it out.

Michigan did not make the Big Ten Tournament this year, but seems to be another program on the rise. What an incredible victory for head coach Hannah Nielsen and the Wolverines.