By R.L. Bynum
Three No. 1-seeded North Carolina teams rolled last weekend as they continued their pursuit of NCAA titles.
Although the Tar Heels’ men’s and women’s soccer teams came up short in the College Cup and the men’s tennis team lost in the round of 16, the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams as well as the women’s tennis teams — all No. 1 seeds — still have a chance to add national titles to the one the field hockey team earned. In addition, the No. 8-ranked men’s golf team qualified Wednesday for the NCAA championship May 28–June 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz., by finishing second in the Noblesville Regional.
In national semifinals, Carolina’s women’s soccer team (18–2) lost 3–1 to Santa Clara on Thursday and the men’s soccer team (9–5–4) lost 1–0 to Marshall on Friday despite outshooting the Herd 11–1. On Monday, Georgia eliminated UNC’s men’s tennis team (21–4) in the round of 16 in Orlando, Fla., 4–3.
The next Tar Heels team to play is the women’s tennis team (29–0), and it has a familiar opponent.
After the Tar Heels beat California on Sunday in their third consecutive 4–0 victory, they face Duke (18–6) in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Orlando, Fla., on the Tennis Channel.
It is the 10th quarterfinals appearance in program history for UNC, which easily topped the Blue Devils 6–1 in Chapel Hill on March 19. It’s the sixth time the rivals have met in NCAA play, with Carolina holding a 4–1 edge. UNC won the only previous quarterfinal matchup 4–3 in 2010.
Duke easily beat Alabama 4–0 in the first round but its victories over No. 8 Baylor and No. 9 Central Florida both came by 4–3 scores.
A victory Wednesday would advance UNC into a national semifinals matchup against either No. 4-seed UCLA or No. 5-seed Pepperdine.
The 19–0 Tar Heels, who earned a first-round bye, got a bit more of a challenge from James Madison than many expected in their second-round matchup Sunday. Carolina pulled out a 14–9 victory with four goals in three minutes in what was a two-goal game with 11 minutes left for its 26th consecutive victory.
The Tar Heels haven’t lost since a 15–14 double-overtime setback against Boston College in a 2019 national semifinal.
Jamie Ortega scored four goals and Katie Hoeg added two to advance Carolina to a quarterfinal matchup with Stony Brook at noon Saturday at Dorrance Field on ESPN3. The Tar Heels opened the season on Feb. 14 with a 14–7 victory over the Seawolves in the only time the programs have met.
Stony Brook (16–2) advanced with a pair of home wins last weekend: 14–8 over Towson and 20–8 over Rutgers.
Should UNC advance, it would face either No. 5-seed Notre Dame or No. 4-seed Boston College in a national semifinal game on May 28 in Towson, Md.
Carolina moved to 12–2 by dominating Monmouth 16–4 in the first round Saturday, led by four goals and two assists from senior Chris Gray. It was a huge weekend for 25-year-old Justin Anderson, who scored the game-winning goal in the first 25 seconds after his wife Priscilla gave birth to a daughter Friday afternoon.
The Tar Heels shift to Hempstead, N.Y., for a 2:30 p.m. Saturday quarterfinal matchup with Rutgers (9–3), which beat Lehigh 12–5 on Saturday. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
Should UNC advance, they’d play in a May 29 national semifinal in East Hartford, Conn., against the winner of Saturday’s noon game between No. 5-seed Georgetown and No. 4-seed Virginia.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 2-seed Duke faces unseeded Loyola of Maryland at noon Sunday.
The Tar Heels, as the No. 2 seed, finished second Wednesday in the third and final round of the Noblesville Regional in Indiana to advance to the NCAA championships. UNC finished at 15-under 849 to end up five shots behind No. 5 Texas. The championship event will be at the Grayhawk Golf Club.
UNC’s NCAA tournament schedule
Women’s tennis (29–0) vs. Duke (18–6) in the quarterfinals in Orlando, Fla., 7:30 p.m., Tennis Channel
Women’s lacrosse (19–0) vs. Stony Brook (16–2) in the quarterfinals at Dorrance Field in Chapel Hill, noon, ESPN3
Men’s lacrosse (12–2) vs. Rutgers (9–3) in quarterfinals at Hempstead, N.Y., 2:30 p.m., ESPNU
May 28–June 3
Men’s golf in the NCAA championship in Scottsdale, Ariz.