The No. 3 North Carolina women's lacrosse team (3-1) came up short against No. 2 Maryland (3-0) in double overtime, 13-12, despite a second half comeback.
The Tar Heels had a slow start to the day, falling into a 3-0 hole after the first six minutes of the game. The team was able to respond through goals scored by first-year Elizabeth Hillman, junior Katie Hoeg and sophomore Jamie Ortega to tie the match.
Maryland senior Jen Giles then netted in her second goal of the day, sparking a run that extended all the way until the end of the first half. The Terrapins scored a total of six goals in under 20 minutes, while holding the Tar Heels to only one. During this run, Giles had two goals and two assists. Maryland went into the locker room with a comfortable 9-4 halftime lead.
The Tar Heels did not back down – they began the second half strong, scoring the first three goals. After Maryland got their lead back up to four, UNC put together a five-goal run. Ortega and senior Gianna Bowe each had two goals to tie up the game at 11. Sophomore Ally Mastroianni then capitalized on a free position shot to give the Tar Heels their first lead of the game.
At the 6:13 mark, the Terrapins were able to tie the game up with a huge goal by junior Kali Hartshorn. Neither team was able to net a winning goal during regulation, forcing a sudden-death overtime.
During the first overtime, the Tar Heels went down three players after receiving two yellow cards and one green card. Maryland had a prime scoring opportunity on a free position shot towards the end of the first overtime, but UNC sophomore goalie Taylor Moreno came up with an incredible save to continue the game. The Tar Heels were able to survive into a second overtime period.
The second overtime, however, did not last long. Maryland senior Caroline Steele scored the game-winning goal off the draw to give the Terrapins a 13-12 victory.
Who stood out?
Taylor Moreno had a terrific performance coming up with several big saves to keep the game within reach. She posted 11 saves, including her largest one of the night during the first overtime period. She denied the Terrapins of a potential game-clinching game with a three-women advantage.
Maryland senior goalie Megan Taylor had a very strong performance of her own. She also notched double-digit saves en route to her third win in three games.
When was it decided?
In a double-overtime nailbiter, the Tar Heels had several late mistakes that eventually cost them the match. Two players picked up yellow cards, including one that set up a free position try. The Tar Heels also were assessed a green card for having too many players on the field.
These penalties put UNC at three players down. While they were able to impressively fight it off and survive into the second overtime, the Tar Heels were still down a player when the Terrapins delivered the winning goal.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels were coming off of three straight wins to begin their season, and were seeking their second straight victory and third in the past four meetings against the Terrapins. Still, Maryland has had the upper hand in the rivalry, leading the all-time series 25-14. This game was also a matchup between two undefeated top-5 teams.
The Tar Heels showed determination and grit throughout the game, overcoming several multiple-goal deficits and using a dominant second half to get the game into overtime. After taking last season's battle, 16-15, in overtime, UNC was unable to do the same this year.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heel host No. 5 Northwestern in another matchup against a highly-ranked team. The game will be in Kenan Stadium on Saturday at noon.
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