Maryland Advances to ACC Men's Lacrosse Championship with 13-5 Win Over North Carolina
April 23, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Third-seed and tournament host Maryland advanced to the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship final, which will be held on Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on the University of Maryland campus on Sunday at 3:38 p.m., with a 13-5 victory over the second-seeded Tar Heels.
The Terrapins, who improve to 9-2 on the season (1-2 ACC), will make their 10th ACC Championship appearance and first since 2006 when Maryland fell at the hands to the Virginia Cavaliers, 11-5. The two programs have faced one another four times in the title game and are knotted at 2-2 in the series.
The loss gives the second-ranked Tar Heels an 11-2 mark this season (2-1 ACC).
"We're just happy to get a win and advance to the championship," said Maryland head coach Dave Cottle. "We haven't had a breather [in our schedule] lately and when you play tough teams, you have to come in ready to play to give yourself a chance and we did that tonight."
Since Maryland and North Carolina began their series in 1965, the Terrapins hold a 38-20 advantage. With today's win, Maryland has now won 14 of the last 17 contests. In addition, the two teams have battled in the first round of the ACC Championship seven times now, including the last two consecutive years.
Maryland came out of the gates hungry for a win, picking up the first and only goals of the first period. Juniors Grant Catalino and Ryan Young grabbed a pair of unassisted goals to give Maryland a 2-0 start.
Catalino finished the game with a career-high six goals, which marks the first time a Terrapin has posted as many since 2006. The 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy candidate now has 43 points this season, which ties for 17th all-time in Maryland junior campaigns.
Redshirt junior Brian Farrell continued the Terrapins' hot streak with another unassisted score to go up 3-0 to open the second semifinal game of the day.
North Carolina sophomore midfielder Jimmy Dunster put the Tar Heels on the boards with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half. Dunster was assisted by sophomore attackman Thomas Wood, who eventually added two UNC goals of his own.
Maryland then rattled off seven of the next eight goals, led by Catalino, who accounted for three of those, giving the hometown squad a 10-2 mark with just 12 minutes remaining in the fourth period.
The Tar Heels built a 3-0 run midway through the fourth stanza; however, it wasn't enough to build the comeback run. Rookie attackman Marcus Holman, who was named 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year earlier in the day, picked up his 18th goal of the season to start the trio of UNC scores. Wood and senior attackman Gavin Petracca earned the other two Tar Heels goals in the late rally.
The Terrapins outshot the Tar Heels, 44-33, earned the ground balls edge, 42-33, and secured six more successful face-offs (14-of-22) than UNC. Senior midfielder Bryn Holmes, who currently ranks 38th in the nation in face-off percentage, tallied his second-best percentage of the season, picking up 13-of-20 face-offs for Maryland.
Senior goalkeeper Brian Phipps logged all 60 minutes in the creese for the Terrapins and recorded 13 saves in the winning effort. Junior goalie Chris Madalon had 12 saves for the Tar Heels, providing his team all 60 minutes of action as well.
Maryland will meet Virginia in Sunday's championship game at 3:38 p.m. The match-up will be televised live on FS South, and CSN Mid-Atlantic, and next-day delayed on NESN (3 p.m.) and SunSports (9 p.m.).
#2 NORTH CAROLINA vs. #3 MARYLAND
Maryland head coach Dave Cottle
On the game: “We’re just happy to get a win and advance to the championship. We haven’t had a breather [in our schedule] lately and when you play tough teams you have to come in ready to play to give yourself a chance and we did that tonight.”
On not allowing UNC’s Billy Bitter to score: “Well, we put a good athlete on him and he’s still a little banged up. You could tell that out there.”
Maryland junior defender Brett Schmidt
On defending UNC’s Billy Bitter: “We had a really good game plan today and we executed it perfectly. We kind of lost focus when he didn’t play last time, but this time we kept plugging away for the entire 60 minutes.”
On playing Virginia in the championship game: “We are really looking forward to it. Last time it was too little, too late, but we can’t wait until Sunday.”
Maryland junior attackman Grant Catalino
On his long shot from 25 yards out: “I was feeling it all night. I saw the goalie shift and it created an open net, so I went for it. I’m glad it went in because Coach (Dave) Cottle would have really gotten on me if it hadn’t.”
On scoring six goals: “I need to credit my teammates for putting me in position to score. The shots were falling. It was a special day for us.”
On chances of winning an ACC title: “It would mean everything to me. This is the toughest conference in the country, so if we could win it on our home turf, it would be very special.”
North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi
Opening Statement: “They completely outplayed us in every facet of the game tonight. They played with a chip on their shoulder and with an edge that we couldn’t match. I credit Coach [Dave] Cottle and his Maryland staff and the players. They completely dominated us today.”
On why the Tar Heels had trouble containing Maryland’s Grant Catalino: “We played a ton defensively, but we got tired.”