After a 15-6 routing of Richmond, the No. 12 North Carolina men’s lacrosse team looked poised to continue its winning streak against No. 6 Maryland.
But on Saturday, UNC (5-4) fell short of expectations in an 11-8 loss to the Terrapins.
Sophomore Chris Cloutier scored the first goal of the game off an assist by senior Steve Pontrello. But Maryland (5-2) responded with a 3-0 run, and the Tar Heels were caught in a game of catch-up for the rest of the contest.
Despite being evenly matched statistically, the Terrapins were able to make plays when it mattered most to thwart each of the Tar Heels’ comeback attempts.
Maryland controlled the tempo of the game and outshone the Tar Heels on both sides of the ball. The offense had 18 shots on goal, while the defense forced 10 turnovers.
Down 6-4, the Tar Heels looked to rebound in the second half with a faceoff win by senior Evan Connell. A tripping penalty on Maryland gave the Tar Heels an extra-man opportunity and in the position to cut the lead to one. But a turnover by first-year Cole Haverty set up Maryland to score the first goal of the half.
The rest of the quarter was a back and forth affair, but another 3-0 run by the Terrapins created a five-point lead that was too much for UNC to overcome. Two Tar Heel goals, one by redshirt junior Michael Tagliaferri and one by senior Patrick Kelly, in the final minute of the fourth quarter were not enough to overcome the deficit.
“I thought it was an evenly matched battle, and they made a play or two in the second half that gave them a three or four-goal cushion. Our guys fought and continued to battle, and I’m proud of them for that.” –Coach Joe Breschi on his team’s performance against Maryland.
Junior defenseman Stephen Kelly was named ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Week on March 21. Kelly totaled five groundballs and forced one turnover for the Tar Heels in the loss to Maryland.
Three numbers that matter:
7: different players scored the Tar Heels’ eight goals.
7: The Tar Heels were 7-7 in clear attempts.
25: straight games in which junior attackman Luke Goldstock had scored a goal. That streak came to an end in UNC’s 11-8 loss to Maryland.
UNC will face Duke on Friday in Durham at 6 pm.
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