By Pat James
For much of last season, the first injury-free campaign of her North Carolina women’s lacrosse career, Olivia Ferrucci
was just trying to readjust.
A freshman when UNC won the 2016 NCAA championship, she appeared in only nine games before sustaining a season-ending injury. She then sat out the entire 2017 campaign due to a left knee injury and subsequent surgery. So, in her return to the field last season, she had to reacclimate herself to playing lacrosse.
Just as, if not more, important, though, was developing chemistry with her teammates, many of whom she hadn’t played with before.
“The connections you make on the field are just completely different than off the field,” Ferrucci said. “So I was fixing that up last year. Now this year, I’m feeling healthy, happy, friendly with my teammates and ready to rock and roll.”
That’s been evident throughout this season, during which she’s started all but two games and set career highs in almost every statistical category. And it was certainly the case Sunday.
In leading third-seeded Carolina to a 15-11 win over unseeded Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Ferrucci scored a team-high five goals. That total matched the career high she set against Duke on April 20. The multi-goal game also marked her seventh of the season.
With the victory, UNC advances to the NCAA quarterfinals, where they’ll face sixth-seeded Virginia on Saturday in Chapel Hill. Ferrucci enters the contest with a six-game goal scoring streak, tied for the longest of her career. She’s tallied 16 goals and six assists in that span.
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