A few weeks ago, it seemed unlikely that the Virginia women's lacrosse team would still be playing two weeks into May. But the Cavaliers are still standing in the NCAA Tournament, after Sunday's upset of the No. 6 seed, Georgetown.
"On paper I don't think we were meant to win. People would say we weren't meant to beat Georgetown," said senior attacker Caroline McTiernan. "Beating them and being prepared the way we were, I definitely think that preparing the same way for UNC is going to, we'll hopefully be able to pull of another upset."
The Cavaliers are getting ready to face the No. 3 seed, North Carolina, in the round of 8 Saturday in Chapel Hill. The two teams met on the same field in March, and the Tar Heels game away with the 8-7 victory. The 'Hoos say playing their opponent so close the first time gives them confidence heading into the rematch.
"That helps a lot, knowing that we didn't get blown out, that we can hang with them and that we're playing even better now," said sophomore attacker Liza Blue.
The team's confidence is also rising because of a few big wins in the last few weeks, that started with beating Duke in the ACC tournament.
"We hadn't beaten a top ten team in a long time, so it started there and carried on," Blue said.
"I think that's where we started to get some extra strength, and a little extra, a little bit more believing in ourselves and in each other," said head coach Julie Myers of the win over the Blue Devils. "I think Penn and Georgetown just kind of kicked it into a different gear."
The 'Hoos say they're a much different team than the one that faced UNC back in March, and one of the biggest differences is confidence.
"We had a game against the number six team, sixth seed, and upset them," McTiernan said of their most recent upset win. "I would definitely say our hard work paid off, and our confidence is definitely ready for the next game against UNC."
"Our girls are fresh, they're excited, they're looking forward to our next challenge," Myers said. "They know it's a big one going back down to Carolina and back into the ACC. But I think we couldn't have asked for a better path so far, so we're pretty excited about it."