Turtles Race Past UNC to Reach ACC Final
from press release
DURHAM, N.C. - Senior Grant Catalino's
behind-the-back shot capped a 5-0 fourth-quarter scoring run to
give the No. 6 University of Maryland men's lacrosse team a
thrilling 7-6 victory over No. 10 North Carolina in the semifinals
of the ACC tournament Friday evening at Koskinen Stadium.
The victory lifts the Terps to 9-3 on the season, while Carolina falls to 9-5.
After Carolina opened up a 2-0 lead on goals by Pat Foster and Ryan Creighton in the first five minutes of the game, Maryland got on the board with 7:07 left in the first. Junior Drew Snider took a free from senior Travis Reed in the right alley and ripped a shot over the left
shoulder of UNC goalie Steve Rastivo to make it a 2-1 game.
The Tar Heels opened up a 3-1 lead early in the second when Chris Hunt dodged down the middle and took a low shot. Maryland reshirt freshman goalie Niko Amato got a piece of the ball, but it trickled over the goal line for the score.
UNC drew first blood in the third quarter on another shot, this one by Wood, that trickled in past Amato for a 5-1 Carolina lead with 7:38 to go in the quarter.
But the Terps were quick to respond as sophomore John Haus fed junior Jake Bernhardt in the right alley and Bernhardt's bouncer from 10 yards out found the back of the Carolina goal at the 6:33 mark.
A scrum in front of the Maryland goal with just over two minutes remaining in the third ended with Matt Davie finishing a feed from Creighton to give Carolina a 6-2 lead heading into the fourth.
But the fourth quarter belonged to the Terps and the epic comeback began with Haus scoring on some high heat from the right wing to cut the Tar Heel lead to 6-3 at 12:25.
Exactly one minute later Snider scored his second of the game, finishing a slick feed from senior Ryan Young, making it a two-goal game.
From there sophomore Owen Blye took things over, scoring back-to-back goals to tie the game with 5:08 left.
Blye's first goal came thanks to a great dodge by junior Joe Cummings down the right side of the box. Blye snuck in behind Cummings' dodge and Cummings found him in the right slot and Blye ripped a high shot.
The game-tying goal was all Blye, as he took the ball from behind the cage and dodged around the left side. Once he was a step beyond goal line extended he quickly turned and fired a shot inside the upper right corner.
The 5-0 Terrapin run was complete with Catalino's amazing game-winner at the 3:04 mark.
But the game was far from finished.
The Tar Heels controlled the ball with less than two minutes to go and Carolina put it in the hands of Bitter. Senior defender Brett Schmidt, who has locked up with Bitter for the last three meetings between these two teams and he was again one-on-one as Bitter tried to back in from the right wing. Schmidt, however, forced Bitter into a bad-angle shot that Amato smothered.
Even that wasn't the end. Maryland had the ball with a minute to go and drew a holding penalty on UNC's Mark McNeil. But a quick mental mistake resulted in a Maryland turnover, giving Carolina a chance to tie.
North Carolina was down a man with possession, but Carolina was whistled for too many men on the field when a Tar Heel came onto the field prior to the penalty being released.
From there, Maryland was able to kill the remaining 34 seconds on the clock, sending the Terps to their second consecutive ACC title game.
The Terps will play Duke in the championship at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 24 at Koskinen Stadium.
• With the 7-6 win Maryland is now 39-21 all-time vs. North Carolina.
• Maryland is 4-7 all-time vs. the Tar Heels in ACC tournament play.
• Catalino's goal was the 109th of his career, tying him with Mark Douglas (1988-91) for eighth on the Terps' all-time goals list.
• Catalino's goal was also the 172nd point of his career, tying him with Mike Mollott (2000-03) for 15th on the Terps' all-time goals list.
• Catalino's goal was the eighth game-winning goal of his career.
• Maryland held the Tar Heels scoreless in the fourth quarter, marking the ninth time this season that an opponent went without a goal for an entire quarter.
• With two points on two goals, sophomore Owen Blye now has seven multi-point, and five multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, sophomore John Haus now has nine multi-point games for his career.