March 21, 2009

COLLEGE PARK, MD. -- No. 10 Maryland scored a fluke goal that bounced into the goal off a Tar Heel defenseman's stick with 7:47 to play in the game and that proved to be the difference in the contest as the Terrapins beat No. 11 North Carolina 8-7 in men's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Ludwig Field.

Maryland led for most of the afternoon before a surge late in the third quarter gave the Tar Heels a brief lead, their only advantage of the game. But the Terrapins (6-2, ACC 2-0) were able to grab the lead back with a run of their own early in the fourth quarter.

The deciding goal came with the game tied at 7-7 with less than eight minutes left when Dan Groot's shot went wide of the goal but bounced off the stick of UNC defenseman Ryan Flanagan into the cage past Tar Heel goalkeeper Grant Zimmerman.

North Carolina (7-3, ACC 0-2) will look to bounce back next Saturday when it hosts No. 7 Johns Hopkins (3-2) at Fetzer Field. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU at will have a start time of 2 p.m.

"That was the most complete ball game we played all year, the game in which we competed for the full 60 minutes," said UNC head coach Joe Breschi. "We hustled the whole time, we won 17 more ground balls, we took 15 more shots, we won 15 more face-offs and we never quit."

"We had some great looks at the end but their goalie came up big a couple of times. He made a couple of big saves at the end. I'm disappointed in the outcome but I am not disappointed in our effort. I think we are getting better every week. Despite the final score, our kids have nothing to be ashamed of and if we compete that hard every week good things will happen for us," said Breschi. "It's obviously very tough to lose a game on a goal that deflected in."

Sean Delaney led the Tar Heels with three goals while Bart Wagner added two and Ben Hunt and Billy Bitter had one each. Hunt had three assists in the game while Sean Burke also had an assist.

Dan Groot led Maryland with three goals while Grant Catalino had two and Jeff Reynolds, Will Yeatman and Jake Bernhardt had one each. Groot had an assist for a four-goal game and Jeremy Sieverts added an assist on an extra-man goal.

UNC outshot the Terps 36-21 and won 47 ground balls to 30 for the Terps. Shane Walterhoefer was brilliant at the face-off X as he won 17 of 19 face-offs. Walterhoefer has now won at least 15 face-offs in a game for the 16th time in his career. He has won at least 14 in a game eight times this season.

Walterhoefer is now ninth in NCAA history in face-offs won with 599. With 10 ground balls Saturday, he is now second in UNC history in ground balls with 324.

The Terrapins tallied the only goal of the first quarter at the 7:17 mark as Grant Catalino took a pass from Dan Groot and scored from a sharp angle on the left side.

Maryland extended its lead to 2-0 on an unassisted goal by Jake Barnhardt as he drove the right alley to score with 9:11 to play in the second quarter. UNC was finally able to get on the scoreboard with 7:19 left in the second quarter as Ben Hunt scored on a shot that found the lower right of the net just inside the goal post. It took the Terps only 46 seconds to increase it lead to two again as Dan Groot scored an unassisted goal after driving to the center of the box and shooting low and hard for the tally.

Carolina was able to get the last two goals of the half. Billy Bitter snared a ground ball off an errant shot behind the cage, circled the crease and dove into a crowd of defenders while slotting the ball into the goal. UNC then tied the game with six seconds left in the half as Ben Hunt sent a pass over the top of the defense from the right side and Sean Delaney scored from about 12 yards out on the left.

The Terps scored two of the first three goals of the second half before Sean Delaney and Bart Wagner scored nine seconds apart for the Tar Heels to take their first lead at 6-5 with 3:59 left in the fourth quarter. UNC made it 7-5 with 14 minutes left in the game on Delaney's third goal, all off assists by Hunt. Bobby McAuley hit the pipe with a shot moments later and Maryland came down on the next possession with an unassisted goal by Jeff Reynolds. Will Yeatman tied the game two minutes later and just over a minute after that Groot's game-winner squirted in.