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April 24, 2011
CARY, NC — The top-ranked Maryland Terrapins came from behind to defeat the fourth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, 12-7, and win their third consecutive ACC Women’s Lacrosse Championship Sunday afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park. Tournament MVP Laura Merrifield scored five goals and one assist to lead the Terps to victory.
“What an awesome game,” Maryland coach Cathy Reese exclaimed. “We obviously had to make some adjustments at halftime in order to move better together offensively and to create more opportunities. To be able to hold an offensive powerhouse like UNC to seven goals, and just one in the second half, speaks to our potential as a defensive team. I am very proud of our team.”
The teams traded goals early before third-seeded North Carolina scored four consecutive goals to claim a 6-3 halftime lead. It was the first time the top-seeded and undefeated Terrapins had trailed at halftime all year.
Becky Lynch scored the first of her team-high four goals to give the Tar Heels the lead just over two minutes into the game. It took Maryland only 30 seconds to answer when Beth Glaros scored at the 27:17 mark. The early offensive barrage continued when Emily Garrity scored for the Heels at 26:21 before Merrifield responded with back-to-back goals to give Maryland its first lead with 20:30 to play in the first period. Laura Zimmerman’s goal evened the contest less than two minutes later and Lynch scored a pair of goals in a 41-second span to give the Heels a 5-3 advantage with 16:24 remaining in the half. Margaret Corzel took advantage of a fall by Maryland goalie Brittany Dipper, finding the back of the cage to give the Heels a 6-3 advantage at the break.
The Terps showed the determination worthy of the defending ACC and national champions as they overcame their largest deficit of the year to cruise to the victory. After Merrifield and Lynch traded goals to start the half, Maryland scored the final eight goals of the contest. UNC goalkeeper Lauren Maksym registered eight saves in the first half, but Maryland’s top-ranked offense could not be contained after the break.
“I am overwhelmed with excitement about this accomplishment,” Merrifield said of winning the ACC Championship for the third consecutive year. “I am so lucky to be a part of this program. Now we look forward to getting ready for the next tournament and hope to have similar success their as well.”
“I am very proud of the team’s effort here this weekend,” North Carolina coach Jenny Levy said. “We played five great halves, but just weren’t able to get what we needed in the second half today against Maryland. We didn’t move the ball as well in the second half. Credit Maryland for that. They are a great team. They contained us well and then capitalized on opportunities down the stretch to pull away late.”
Maryland improved to 17-0 on the season and will return to action at Georgetown on April 28. North Carolina (12-5) will next play at home against High Point on May 6.
2011 ACC Women’s Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
Laura Merrifield, Maryland – MVP
Becky Lynch, North Carolina
Sarah Mollison, Maryland
Katie Schwarzmann, Maryland
Corey Donahoe, North Carolina
Laura Zimmerman, North Carolina
Brittany Dipper, Maryland
Lauren Maksym, North Carolina
Katie Gallagher, Maryland
Emily Garrity, North Carolina
Kristin Igoe, Boston College
Emma Hamm, Duke