History - The Rivalry
The intense rivalry between Maryland and UNC dates back to 1996 when UNC expanded their women's sports teams to include varsity lacrosse in an effort to comply with Title IX. Decades later, the two teams are still going head-to-head, with the most recent game bringing back memories of the epic 2013 Championship Game when UNC captured its first NCAA title by defeating Maryland 13-12 (3OT) in triple overtime.
The rivalry for a national title continued to play out in 2015 and 2016, with Maryland winning in 2015 and UNC capturing its second NCAA title in 2016. Maryland would go on to win their 14th NCAA title in 2017 by defeating Boston College, who is currently ranked #1 in national polls, but still trying to win their first NCAA title.
Maryland executed a balanced attack with multiple scoring threats to tally 13 goals on the day. Maryland's veteran attack squad featuring: Caroline Steele, Brindi Griffin and Kali Hartshorn was reinforced by a powerful midfield: Jen Giles, Grace Griffin, Meghan Siverson and graduate student Erica Evans.
End of Regulation
A scary moment for Maryland when Caroline Steele went down with a knee injury late in the second half. Down by a goal at 11-12 with ten minutes to play, Maryland's Jen Giles fired a shot that Taylor Moreno saved. In an effort to redefend, Caroline Steele jumped up to block Moreno's clear but hurt her left knee on the way down.
With Maryland attacking at the other end, both Moreno and UNC defender, Charlotte Sofield, helped Steele who was clearly in pain on the field. Caroline did not put weight on her legs as she left the field with trainers, but returned to the game several minutes later with her left knee taped.
With the game tied up at 12-12, the sun finally broke out and the two teams headed into sudden death overtime - Ally Mastroianni (UNC) faced off against Kali Hartshorn (Maryland). The Tar Heels controlled the opening draw in overtime but failed to score on this key possession, leaving Maryland with a chance to end the game at the other end.
Yellow + Green Cards
UNC went down three players in overtime with penalties: (1) a yellow card on Ally Mastroianni for a check to the head after turning the ball over on attack, (2) a green card on the UNC team for having too many players on the field, and (3) yellow card on Charlotte Sofield for a check to Jen Giles at 1:15.