While it’s only February, the North Carolina women's lacrosse match against Maryland might have previewed what could happen in the NCAA title game on Memorial Day weekend. Considering both teams have split the last two national championships and are currently No. 1 and No. 2 in the latest rankings, it would come as no surprise if the two teams meet again in the postseason.
Although No. 1 UNC (3-1) came into College Park with a 20-game winning streak, the reigning champions were thoroughly outplayed as the No. 2 Terrapins (3-0) cruised to a 13-10 victory.
Neither team will be the same when it begins its NCAA Tournament run in May, but the February matchup was still a way for the Tar Heels to see how they stacked up against the nation’s elite.
“I always get excited to play them,” junior midfielder Marie McCool said. “UNC and Maryland has developed into a good rivalry because both teams have been there at the end of the season. But I like playing them early in the season because it’s a good test to see where we need to get better.”
North Carolina was on the defensive right from the opening draw, as Maryland got on the scoreboard after just 31 seconds of play. The Tar Heels struggled to find an early rhythm and were down, 5-1, after the first nine minutes — forcing head coach Jenny Levy to take a timeout and regroup.