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Photo by Jeffrey Camarati
unc womens lacrose national champs
The UNC women’s lacrosse team celebrates its first national title on Sunday.
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Photo by Sara Davis
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Coach Mike Fox gets a bath.
It was a thrilling weekend to be a Carolina fan, as two teams claimed championships in dramatic fashion. The women’s lacrosse team won its first national title Sunday on a sudden-death, triple overtime goal by freshman Sammy Jo Tracy. Top-ranked and previously unbeaten Maryland had five extra-man opportunities, including two in the overtimes, but freshman goalkeeper Megan Ward came up with timely saves to keep the Heels in the game.
Over in Durham, the UNC men’s baseball team played into the wee hours Friday and Saturday, needing 12 and 18 innings to top Clemson and State respectively. The team somehow had enough left in the tank Sunday to beat Virginia Tech to claim its first ACC title since 2007. All told, the Diamond Heels played 39 innings in 44 hours. They are now the No. 1 overall seed in the national tournament (a first) and will host a regional tournament starting Friday. [See sidebar below.] Let’s step back to appreciate just how successful UNC athletics has been historically and in recent years. Consider:
- Women’s lacrosse coach Jenny Levy has become the sixth active UNC coach to have at least one NCAA Division I title. The others are women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance; women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell; women’s field hockey coach Karen Shelton; men’s soccer coach Carlos Somoano; and men’s basketball coach Roy Williams.
- UNC teams have claimed two NCAA titles in 2012-13, with women’s soccer adding its 22nd championship. As sportswriter Adam Lucas Tweeted: “UNC has two NCAA titles in the last six months. N.C. State has two NCAA titles in the school’s history.” It’s worth noting that the women’s tennis team took home an indoor national title, though that’s not an NCAA event. UNC has a total of 43 national championships under its belt in team sports.
- UNC also has three ACC titles this year in field hockey, men’s lacrosse and baseball.
- Field hockey star Loren Shealy was named Sports Illustrated’s female College Athlete of the Year last week. TW
What's Next for the Diamond Heels
College baseball tournament play can be a little confusing for the uninitiated. So here’s a quick breakdown of where the Diamond Heels go from here. Starting Friday, they will host Florida Atlantic, Towson and Canisius in a double-elimination tournament. The Heels face Canisius 6pm Friday at Boshamer Stadium. If the Heels win this weekend, they will stay home to host the winner of the Columbia, S.C., regional in a best-of-three series. The winner there will advance to the eight-team slate in Omaha, where it’s double-elimination, then a best-of-three series for the two remaining teams. Carolina is making its 28th NCAA appearance and is a top-eight national seed for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. It has never won the College World Series despite repeated recent trips. The last ACC team to win in Omaha was Wake Forest in 1955. TW