#NCAAWLax Semifinal ACCtion: Friday, May 27

May 27, 2011

Stellar Defense Lifts Terps to NCAA Finals

A tenacious defensive effort quelled a normally potent Blue Devil attack Friday as top-seeded Maryland topped No. 5 Duke, 14-8, in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.

Fueled by the energy from Maryland's stingy defensive showing, senior Sarah Mollison and sophomore Katie Schwarzmann propelled the offense with four goals apiece. Senior Laura Merrifield added a hat trick.

Maryland (21-1) got the better end of a low-scoring affair in the first half, taking a 5-2 lead into halftime. The Terps bested their rival in nearly every category, including a 5-3 advantage in the integral draw control. Mollison and Merrifield led the attack in the first stanza with two goals apiece.

The Terps turned their offense up a notch in the second half, kicking off the stanza with three unanswered goals and ultimately outscoring the Blue Devils, 9-6, in the period. Six different Terps got in on the second half scoring including Alex Aust, Kristy Black, Beth Glaros, Mollison, Merrifield and Schwarzmann.

Iliana Sanza paced the backline with a career-high five ground balls. Brittany Poist added three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers to aid the defense, which held its 18th consecutive opponent to 10 or fewer goals.

With the win Friday, Maryland advances to its nation-leading 16th NCAA championship game and will face either North Carolina or Northwestern. The Terps will battle the winner of the second semifinal Sunday at 4 p.m. for a chance at its 11th NCAA crown.

Northwestern Ends Carolina's Season In NCAA Semis, 11-10

Stony Brook, N.Y. - All-America Shannon Smith scored with 18 seconds to play to give second-seeded Northwestern an 11-10 victory over third-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Friday night at LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y.

Northwestern advances to Sunday's championship game to face top-seeded Maryland, which beat fifth-seeded Duke 14-8 in Friday's first semifinal contest.

Carolina battled back from three-goal deficits in both halves to tie the score in each case, including tying the score with 7:13 to play after trailing 10-7 with 12:09 to go.

The Tar Heels (15-6) end their season at the hands of Northwestern (20-2) in the final weekend of the season for the third year in a row. In 2009, the Wildcats beat UNC in the national championship game and Friday's loss was the second in a row to NU in the NCAA semifinals.

Laura Zimmerman led UNC with four goals and one assist. Becky Lynch had two goals and an assist and Corey Donohoe had a goal and two assists. Abbey Friend scored twice for the Tar Heels, Brittney Coppa scored once and Emily Garrity had two assists.