Northwestern (15-6, 5-1 Big Ten) fought admirably Saturday in Chapel Hill, but ultimately ran into a hot North Carolina team (17-3, 6-1) with a trip to championship weekend on the line.
The second-ranked Tar Heels, which defeated Northwestern 18-13 in Evanston earlier this season, prevailed 19-14, in large part thanks to goalie Taylor Moreno. Moreno tied a career-high with 17 saves, helping UNC to its third final four in four years. Northwestern bested UNC in shots on goal by a margin of 31-24, but Moreno’s excellence proved decisive.
Selena Lasota scored five goals for Northwestern, tying the NCAA record for most goals in the Tournament with 22. She finished the season with 75 goals, the fourth-most in Northwestern history in a single season. She will enter next season 52 goals shy of the program record.
The Wildcats made the game close at several points — notably at 6-6 in the first half and 13-11 in the second — but the Tar Heels had an answer for ever NU spurt. With the score at 13-11, UNC ripped off a crucial 3-0 run to seal the victory.
For Northwestern, this season was a highly successful one. Kelly Amonte Hiller still hasn’t solved Maryland in the Big Ten, and UNC has been difficult for NU, but the Wildcats got back to the Tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.