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No. 7 UNC Bests Liberty on Sunday

February 18, 2018  Chapel Hill, N.C.   RSS
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Britton led Liberty with 2 points (1 g, 1 a) on Sunday at No. 7 UNC.

Britton led Liberty with 2 points (1 g, 1 a) on Sunday at No. 7 UNC.

No. 7 North Carolina bested visiting Liberty, 23-4, on Sunday afternoon at Kenan Stadium.

The Tar Heels (2-1) have now won two straight following a weekend sweep of Big South opponents High Point (Friday) and Liberty (Sunday). Liberty is now 1-1 after the setback.

UNC senior Marie McCool led the way for the hosts, tying a career high with seven goals. Jamie Ortega added five goals, while Ally Mastroianni tallied a hat trick in the winning effort. For Liberty, Carly White, Grace Fletcher, Abby Britton and Jenna Joyal each scored goals.

The host Tar Heels held distinct advantages over the Lady Flames in shots (38-8), draw controls (20-8) and ground balls (16-7). North Carolina's Elise Hennessey (2-0) played the first half in goal, making two saves while yielding one goal before giving way to Taylor Moreno (3 GA, 2 SV).

Liberty's goalkeepers Aubrie Tarris (15 GA, 7 SV) and Katherine Widrick (8 GA, 6 SV) combined to make 13 saves on the afternoon. Tarris received the decision in cage, moving to 0-1 on the year.

The Tar Heels scored four free-position goals in the game's first 4:34, including two from Ortega, to take a 4-0 lead and cause Liberty to take a timeout.

The Lady Flames' White tallied her first goal of the year at the 23:18 mark of the opening half, slicing the deficit to 4-1. The Marietta, Ga., native possessed the ball, maneuvered inside the eight-meter arc and ripped a shot into the top right corner of the net.

UNC ended the first half on an 11-0 run, aided by five McCool goals during that stretch. The Tar Heels converted 6-of-7 free-position shots in the opening stanza, and their defense did not allow a single Liberty eight-meter shot in the first 30 minutes.

North Carolina began the second half on a 6-0 run, until Liberty's Fletcher scored with 7:45 remaining in the contest. Fletcher one-timed a perfect feed from Britton into the back of the cage for her first goal of the season.

At the 6:01 mark, Britton entered the scoring column with her second marker of the year, assisted by Michaela Rich. The Lady Flames' Joyal notched the third goal of her sophomore season with 3:20 to play in the match.

UNC's McCool and Gianna Bowe shared game-high honors with four draw controls. Junior Kayla Foster paced Liberty in the draw circle with three draw controls. The Sewickley, Pa., native has 11 draw controls in two games, this year.

The Tar Heels' Erin Kelly and Marisa DiVietro both scooped up a game-high three ground balls. Tarris and Widrick paced the visitors with two apiece. North Carolina went a perfect 10-of-10 on clear attempts, and Liberty was 4-of-11. The Lady Flames finished 0-of-1 on free-positon shots, while UNC converted 8-of-12 free-position shots.

Liberty will play next on Wednesday at East Carolina (1-2) at 4 p.m. The game will begin at 4 p.m. at Johnson Stadium in Greenville, N.C.