NCAA women's lacrosse: North Carolina ends No. 1 Maryland's 25-game win streak in overtime thriller
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.— Marie McCool scored 43 seconds into overtime to lift eighth-ranked North Carolina to a 16-15 win over top-ranked Maryland on Saturday afternoon.
After freshman Emma Trenchard won the draw to start the extra period, fellow freshman Jamie Ortega dished to McCool, who scored the game-winner. McCool also assisted Ela Hazar's goal with 22 seconds remaining in the second half to tie the game at 15-all. Carolina overcame a two-goal deficit in the final four minutes of regulation to force overtime.
The Tar Heels improved to 3-1 with the victory, capturing their third win in a row after dropping their season opener in overtime at James Madison two weeks ago.
Maryland, which saw its 25-game winning streak and its 24-game road winning streak come to an end, fell to 2-1 in 2018. It was Maryland's first road loss in nearly four years, since a 17-15 UNC win in Chapel Hill in 2014.
The game was played at Kenan Stadium, home of the football Tar Heels, while UNC's longtime lacrosse facility, Fetzer Field, is under renovations this season.
Ortega led all players with six points on four goals and two assists in the game, while McCool had four goals and one assist and Hazar had three goals and an assist. Ally Mastroianni scored twice and added an assist for Carolina, while Katie Hoeg had a goal and two assists. Kara Klages and Gianna Bowe each scored single goals.
Full highlights from a win you'll want to watch again... pic.twitter.com/FhuyuQiKCk— UNC Women's Lacrosse (@uncwlax) February 24, 2018
Jen Giles (three goals and an assist) and Caroline Steele (two goals and two assists) led the Terrapins with four points each. Megan Whittle had two goals and an assist, while Kali Hartshorn, Taylor Hensh, Grace Griffin and Meghan Siverson all scored twice.
"It's always fun when we play Maryland," UNC head coach Jenny Levy said afterward. "I thought we did some really good things, and we did some things that showed we're still a little inexperienced.
"When you play a team like Maryland, they'll challenge you to see what you know and how good you are at the things you're supposed to be doing on the field, whether it's defense, midfield or offense. I really loved the challenge today and thought the toughness and grit to come back from down two goals down the stretch was great."
Carolina out-shot the Terps 46-29, including 23-12 in the second half. Ground balls (27-23 in favor of UNC) and draw controls (17-16 Maryland) were basically even between the teams. The Terrapins connected on 9-of-11 free position opportunities while UNC was just 2-for-8 from the eight-meter arc.
Elise Hennessey started her fourth consecutive game in goal for Carolina and played 12:14 in the cage, allowing seven goals. Redshirt freshman Taylor Moreno (1-1) came in and played 48:29 to pick up the win in relief, making seven saves and allowing eight goals. Megan Taylor (2-1) went the distance in the cage for Maryland and made six saves.
In the first half, the Tar Heels jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first six minutes before the Terrapins went on a 6-0 run to take a 7-3 lead. Carolina responded with a 3-0 run of its own, including goals from McCool, Hazar and Hoeg, to cut the Terrapin lead to 7-6. Maryland scored back-to-back goals to make it 9-6, only to see the Tar Heels close the half with two in a row for a 9-8 halftime Maryland lead.
In the second half, Carolina tied the score at 9-9 and 11-11 before Maryland held a 15-13 lead after a goal by Giles with 8:42 to go. Ortega then scored off a free position shot with 3:51 left, followed by Hazar's goal off a McCool assist with 22 seconds left to force OT.
North Carolina will return to action next Saturday against Florida.