Two days ago we wrote, “Jamie Ortega is given a hat trick, Katie Hoeg will have four or five assists and Ally Mastroianni, Scottie Rose Growney, Caitlyn Wurzburger and Tayler Warehime are going to combine for six to eight goals.”
Ortega scored a single goal and Mastroianni, Growney and Warehime combined for two goals. While we have often touted this UNC team as one of the most talented women’s collegiate lacrosse teams ever, that is simply not the case. When Jamie Ortega is taken out of the game, the 2021 UNC team is just above average. Although we didn’t want to believe it, we saw signs of this reality in the Duke game to finish out the regular season.
While Taylor Moreno did not have her best game of the year, the UNC defense did all they could to slow down the Eagles. If you would have said that UNC would have won the draw circle 16-7 and Charlotte North would have two goals, anyone that watches women’s lacrosse would say it would be a UNC blowout. Instead, we learned what we didn’t want to believe. This UNC team does not have an elite supporting cast in the attack zone.
Jamie Ortega and Katie Hoeg are elite. They will go down as the best scoring tandem in ACC women’s lacrosse. That said, when you take Ortega out of the game, UNC does not have another attacker to pick up the slack.
Caitlyn Wurzburger has improved into a fantastic player and will have an All-American career at UNC but she is the only attacker that can get the ball in the back of the net when Ortega is either being face guarded or out of the game. The stats for Ally Mastroianni, Scottie Rose Growney, Tayler Warehime and Kerrigan Miller have diminished throughout the season. We joked that the best half of women’s lacrosse we’ve ever seen was during the first half versus Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. After that half, UNC was never the same team and it is because the supporting case, well, wasn’t supporting of Ortega and Hoeg.
It is hard to believe that Katie Hoeg and Catie Woodruff will leave UNC having never won a game in the Final Four. When looking back on the 2016 and 2013 National Championship teams, the scoring was distributed amongst several players. In the final games of 2021, the goal scoring came from only Ortega, Hoeg and Wurzburger. Ally Mastroianni, Scottie Rose Growney, Tayler Warehime and Kerrigan Miller were basically non existent on the UNC attack. Versus Boston College these four attackers/midfielders were 3-20 shooting.
If Jenny Levy and UNC have the dreams of capturing another National Championship, their second tier attackers are going to need to score. While Charlotte North only had two goals, the supporting cast of Jenn Medjid, Belle Smith and Caitlynn Mossman were 6-12 shooting.
In the 2021 NCAA Tournament, the goals for the three games were as follows:
- Ally Mastroianni – 2 goals
- Scottie Rose Growney – 3 goals
- Tayler Warehime – 6 goals (0 in the Final Four)
- Kerrigan Miller – 2 goals