The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 6th

UNC women's lacrosse on top, once again

UNC attackers Aly Messinger (27), Sydney Holman (10), Molly Hendrick (20), and Am McGee (7) celebrate after defeating Maryland 17-15.
Buy Photos UNC attackers Aly Messinger (27), Sydney Holman (10), Molly Hendrick (20), and Am McGee (7) celebrate after defeating Maryland 17-15.

But then came the tournament run. UNC knocked off an undefeated Maryland team last season to win its first title, and on Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field, No. 2 Maryland was once again unblemished. But as it turns out, the Terrapins now have a kryptonite.

It’s in a shade of Carolina blue.

The top-ranked Tar Heels, with goals from six different players, once again handed Maryland its first loss of the season, defeating the Terrapins 17-15.

For the Tar Heels, it was a game of two halves. After taking an early 2-1 lead with goals from freshmen Maggie Bill and Sydney Holman, the UNC offense began to lose the battle for possession.

In the first half, the Terrapins won 14 draw controls, while UNC won just six. Maryland’s ball control led to six unanswered goals, bolstering its lead to 7-2.

But UNC made adjustments. Sophomore Megan Ward replaced freshman Caylee Waters at goalie and Maryland’s lead was cut to 10-9 heading into the locker room.

“I thought we were just a little slow adjusting early,” coach Jenny Levy said. “We have a great group of defenders, and we felt like we need more experience on the field, so we shifted that ...”

Ward saved nine shots in the game — seven in the second half. At one point, Maryland was held scoreless for almost 16 minutes.

UNC turned the defensive aggression into offensive momentum by scoring five unanswered goals to begin the second half to take a 14-10 lead .

Levy said that the effort on both sides of the field led to the Tar Heels’ momentum swing.

“Defense gets stops and offense scores goals and then it starts to snowball into momentum,” Levy said. “We were capable of that run, that’s not a surprise.”

UNC’s 17 goals were the most Maryland has given up since 2007 . Senior Abbey Friend, who tied for the team lead with four goals , is now tied for second on UNC’s all-time points list with 228 and is second on the all-time goals list with 178.

Friend said that Ward’s performance reminded her of the title victory against the Terrapins.

“When I saw Ward come in and completely dominate, I had some flashbacks,” Friend said jokingly.

The game was the final regular season ACC meeting between The Tar Heels and Maryland, due to the Terrapins’ departure for the Big Ten .

But sophomore Aly Messinger hinted that the rivalry is not over yet.

“Every time we play this game we are pumped and ready to go,” Messinger said. “We played them three times last year and will probably play them three times again this year. So every time we play them, we want to play them hard, no matter the outcome.”

And luckily for the Tar Heels, this outcome was another North Carolina victory.

sports@dailytarheel.com



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