The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

The Memorial Day weekend matchup in Villanova, Penn., last year ended with the Tar Heels lifting a national championship trophy after triple overtime for the first time in program history.

The game against the No. 2 Terrapins (13-0, 4-0 ACC) in Chapel Hill on Saturday may not be for a national title, but the whole team is eager for the rematch.

“We’re really excited,” senior Abbey Friend said. “We’re taking it game by game just like we’ve always been doing. But for the returners from last year, it’s definitely a little bit more exciting than a normal game.”

For the freshmen, the game is a chance to make a lasting memory out of what could be their only meeting with Maryland.

Saturday’s game will be the final regular season ACC meeting for the two teams before the Terrapins move to the Big Ten Conference next season.

“I have been waiting for this moment all season,” freshman attacker Sydney Holman said. “It’s probably our biggest competition yet.”

The rivalry between the two elite programs is no secret.

In addition to last year’s national title game, the two have faced off in the last four ACC Tournament championship games.

“They’re always a top ACC team to play, and we have a history with them,” sophomore goalkeeper Megan Ward said. “They’re always a good competition, and it’s a fun rivalry.”

The top-ranked Tar Heels (11-1, 4-0 ACC) have won 15 of their last 16 games, but have only bested Maryland twice in their last eight meetings.

“They always have threats,” Friend said about the Terrapins. “You think their top threat has graduated, and you look back and they have someone else coming in.”

The Tar Heels are looking to bounce back after scoring just five goals and falling to Northwestern on Monday — their first loss of the season .

Friend said the loss was a learning experience for everyone and an opportunity for the whole team to grow.

“Our captains and coaches have been working really hard to get us back at it again and pumped up for this weekend,” Holman added.

Holman was more than optimistic, saying that the team has been showing some extra effort in practice this week.

“I think our whole entire team has just been giving it their all after the loss at Northwestern,” she said. “We don’t want to experience that again.

“I think our hard work is going to pay off and I couldn’t be more excited about it.”

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