Saturday, 23 September 2017

Navy women’s lacrosse shocks defending champ UNC –

Aly Messinger knows a little something about going to women’s lacrosse final fours.

The first-year Navy assistant coach went to two as a player at North Carolina, earning Most Outstanding Player honors last spring while leading the Tar Heels to a national championship. So when she gathered her current players at a team meeting Friday and told them what it takes to earn a trip of their own, the Midshipmen listened intently.

“She said you guys need to go out there and be relentless,” goalie Ingrid Boyum said.

Boyum and her teammates heeded Messinger’s advice, battling back from a three-goal second half deficit and an injury to their senior captain Saturday to upset defending national champion UNC, 16-14, in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals at Fetzer Field.

The victory sends Navy to the national semifinals for the first time in its 11-year women’s lacrosse history, where it will play Boston College next Friday in Foxborough, Mass.

It’s a matchup few outside of coach Cindy Timchal, her team and the large contingent of Navy fans in the stands on a sunny Saturday afternoon in North Carolina believed was possible against one of their sport’s traditional heavyweights.

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