ACC Lacrosse championship: Maryland 14, North Carolina 10

Maryland beats top-seed UNC to win fourth title in a row

CorrespondentApril 23, 2012 

— Maryland won its record fourth consecutive ACC women’s lacrosse tournament championship, and for the third year in a row the Tar Heels found only frustration in the title game.

Katie Schwarzmann and Karri Ellen Johnson each scored four goals, and Schwarzmann added two assists for the third-seeded Terrapins (16-3), who never trailed in knocking off top-seeded North Carolina 14-10 on Monday night at Duke’s chilly Koskinen Stadium for their ninth ACC title.

The win completed an improbable weekend for the Terrapins, who won three games in four days and beat two teams, Duke and North Carolina, that owned regular-season victories against them.

“We knew this would be a challenging weekend,” Maryland coach Cathy Reese said. “We’ve never played three games in four days in my time at Maryland. And we have to play again on Wednesday (against Georgetown), so it will be four games in six days.”

The Terps were up to the challenge, though. Junior attacker Alex Aust, who set a tournament points record with 17, had a goal and four assists and got the Terps off to a fast start. She recorded a goal and two assists in the first four minutes to stake Maryland to a 3-1 lead.

When the Tar Heels (14-3) had defender Sloane Serpe shadow the playmaking Aust behind the net, there was more room for Schwarzmann and Johnson to operate on dodges inside.

“They had too much offense tonight for us to handle,” UNC coach Jenny Levy said.

Maryland pulled away in the first 10 minutes of the second half after leading 5-3 at intermission. After Emily Garrity, who led North Carolina with three goals, pulled the Tar Heels within 5-4 on a goal with 27:31 remaining, the Terps answered with five of the next six goals to go up 10-5 with 20:04 left to play.

Schwarzmann and Johnson each had two goals in the run, which forced a North Carolina timeout. Schwarzmann had 11 goals for the tournament to tie the record set by Virginia’s Tyler Leachman in 2006.

Levy even tried changing goalkeepers, pulling starter Lauren Maksym after Schwarzmann made it 9-5.

But it didn’t make much difference, as redshirt freshman Terry Thomas surrendered three goals without making a save. Maksym returned to the game, but Schwarzmann tallied a goal and an assist in a 58-second span to give Maryland its biggest lead of the night at 13-6 with 12:22 left.

However, the Tar Heels reeled off the next four goals over six minutes, the last two by Garrity, to keep it interesting and prompt a Maryland timeout with 5:41 left. After the Terps regained possession, they successfully ran off most of the remaining time with some pinpoint passing, and Johnson’s goal at 27 seconds on Aust’s assist wrapped it up.

Becky Lynch, Jessica Griffin and Abbey Friend added two goals apiece for North Carolina, but Kara Cannizzaro, who had four goals in a 14-6 semifinal win over Virginia was held scoreless.

“They doubled her early today, and we anticipated they would do that,” Levy said. “We moved the ball the way we usually do, but we didn’t get the opportunities we usually do.”

“She had five goals against us two weeks ago,” Reese said of Cannizzaro, referencing UNC’s 14-11 win on April 7. “We wanted to step up and play better one-on-one defense on her.”

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