Even as her team held a commanding, eight-goal lead over Northwestern with about 10 minutes remaining, North Carolina midfielder Abbey Friend never felt a trip to the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse championship game was secure.
Given the Wildcats' resumé - seven national titles in eight years - the third-seeded Tar Heels didn't relent in an 11-4 victory on Friday night in a national semifinal at Villanova Stadium. With the win, North Carolina reached its second championship game in program history. The Tar Heels are seeking their first national title.
"[It was] definitely in the back of my mind, how many national championships they have and how successful they've been in the final stretch of their seasons," said Friend, who scored three times. "But I think today we really came out strong and held onto that."