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OVERTIME #2 Maryland (13) vs #3 UNC (12) - OT

IN SEASON

2019 NCAA Women's Lacrosse

#2 Maryland (13) vs #3 UNC (12) - OT

Digital Media Sports by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

College Park, MD - Feb 24, 2019 - In front of a record crowd of 3,696 fans at the new stadium for Maryland Women's Lacrosse (Capital One Field), the Terps extended their home field winning streak to 79 games by narrowly defeating UNC in overtime 13-12. Early in the 2019 season, the game had the intensity of a National Championship and showcased two top teams who are likely to make the Final Four.

Jen Giles (Maryland) drives to goal against Kara Klages (UNC)

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 vs UNC - 2015 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship

The Draw

Draw controls are key in every game and UNC dominated the circle (21-7) against Maryland in 2019. But the Terps found a way to win back possession of the ball and headed into halftime with a five goal lead 9-4.

Kali Hartshorn (Maryland) draws against Ally Mastroianni (UNC) - Feb. 24, 2019

Ally Mastroianni won a record 10 draws on the day for UNC - forcing Maryland to rotate top players (Kali Hartshorn and Meghan Siverson) in the center. Other top midfielders key to UNC's dominance in the circle included: Kara Klages and Gianna Bowe, who recorded 5 and 3 draw controls, respectively.

Ally Mastroianni (UNC - Midfield)

#12 Ally Mastroianni (UNC - Midfield)
Ally Mastroianni (UNC) draws against Kali Hartshorn (Maryland)
Ally Mastroianni wins draw control
Ally Mastroianni (UNC) vs Julia Braig (Maryland)

Kara Klages (UNC - Midfield)

Kara Klages also played a key role in the midfield for UNC with five draw controls, one goal and an assist in the game.

#9 Kara Klages (UNC - Midfield)
Kara Klages (UNC) drives to goal
Kara Klages (UNC) on attack against Meghan Doherty (Maryland)

Maryland Attack

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.

Maryland Attack: #11 Caroline Steele, #22 Grace Griffin, #1 Brindi Griffin

Jen Giles (Maryland - Midfield)

Midfielder, Jen Giles, led Maryland with three goals and two assists - often initiating a dodge from up top to set the Terps attack in motion.

#5 Jen Giles (Maryland - Midfield)
Jen Giles dodges on attack
Jen Giles off a free-position on attack
Jen Giles drives through the UNC defense

Caroline Steele (Maryland - Attack)

Caroline Steele was a constant threat on attack with her vision to feed, ability to roll the crease and lethal lefty sidearm shot. Caroline scored two goals for the Terps, including the game winning goal in overtime. Steele also used her speed to ride Carolina's athletic Goalie, Taylor Moreno.

Taylor Moreno (UNC Goalie) clears the ball with Caroline Steele (Maryland) riding the defense

Brindi Griffin (Maryland - Attack)

Brindi Griffin was a force from behind the cage, putting in a goal and adding an assist to help the Terps. Griffin was also relentless on the ride, countering UNC Goalie, Taylor Moreno, when she came out of the cage to clear the ball.

Taylor Moreno (UNC Goalie) breaks ball out of the defense with Brindi Griffin (Maryland) on the ride

UNC Attack

UNC's attack faltered in the first half, scoring only 4 goals on 16 shots - often shooting into the goalie's stick. Down five goals at halftime, the Tar Heels made key adjustments and returned to the field scoring three goals to open the second half. Despite hitting the goal post several times, the Tar Heels went on a five goal streak and pulled ahead for the first time on a goal from Ally Mastroianni to take the lead 12-11.

Jamie Ortega (UNC - Attack)

After only scoring 1 goal on 7 shots in the first half, UNC standout attacker, Jamie Ortega, found her rhythm and scored back-to-back goals in the second half to help UNC comeback. Ortega dodged her way to goal at full speed, seamlessly switching hands and finishing tight and strong with a lefty shot to record a hat trick for the game.

#3 Jamie Ortega (UNC - Attack)
Jamie Ortega attacks the Maryland goal lefty
Jamie Ortega weaves through a collapsing Maryland defense
Jamie Ortega spins left to open up for a shot against Maryland
Jamie Ortega looks to feed the ball on attack

Gianna Bowe (UNC - Midfield)

Gianna Bowe had a breakout game against Maryland scoring three goals including an unassisted goal midway through the second half to tie the game up at 11-11. At only 5'0", Bowe used her "height" to duck below bigger defenders and gain control of key ground balls and draw controls in the midfield.

#21 Gianna Bowe (UNC - Midfield)
Gianna Bowe takes ball to goal off of a free-position
At 5'0" Bowe uses her "height" to duck beneath defenders
Gianna Bowe carries the ball through midfield

Katie Hoeg (UNC - Attack)

Katie Hoeg at 5'11" used her height with Olivia Ferrucci to work the ball around the crease and feed the UNC attack for two assists and one goal.

#8 Katie Hoeg (UNC - Attack)
Katie Hoeg (UNC) takes on Meghan Doherty (Maryland)
Katie Hoeg (UNC) shoots against Julia Braig (Maryland)
Katie Hoeg looks to feed from behind the goal

Goalies

Both Maryland and UNC had outstanding goaltending for the game. Megan Taylor (Maryland) recorded 14 saves on the day and led the Terps to victory with several point blank shots late in the game. Taylor Moreno for UNC also had an excellent game with 11 saves and displayed her athleticism by coming out of the cage to help with ground balls and make big-time clears.

Taylor Moreno (UNC - Goalie) shows her athleticism against Maryland attacker Brindi Griffin

Megan Taylor (Maryland - Goalie)

Megan Taylor has started in net for the Terps since her Freshman year. Now a Senior with an NCAA title, Taylor's experience in goal was on display as she made key saves in the first half and down the stretch to help Maryland stay in the game and win.

#34 Megan Taylor (Maryland - Goalie)
Megan Taylor clears the ball
Megan Taylor makes save

Taylor Moreno (UNC - Goalie)

Taylor Moreno is one of the most athletic goalies in women’s lacrosse. The multi-sport high school athlete (soccer, track and lacrosse) has a tremendous ability to come out of the cage and cleared the ball over fifty-yards to fast break UNC on attack. Additionally, Moreno led the Tar Heels with three ground balls in the game.

#30 Taylor Moreno (UNC - Goalie)
Taylor Moreno runs the ball out of the defense
Taylor Moreno gets key ground ball
Taylor Moreno steps up to Brindi Griffin shooting on cage
Taylor Moreno clears the ball over 50-yards

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.

Caroline Steele injures left knee late in second half

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.

Taylor Moreno and Charlotte Sofield help an injured Caroline Steele

Still down 11-12, Grace Griffin almost tied up the game for Maryland on a free position, but Taylor Moreno denied Griffin up high and cleared the ball down the field thirty yards.

Taylor Moreno (UNC) denies Grace Griffin (Maryland) goal at 7:50

Kali Hartshorn, who racked up a hat trick for the Terps, came back strong and scored an amazing backhanded goal with only five seconds left on the shot clock. The perfectly placed no-look shot pinged the inside of the pipe to tie up the game at 12-12.

Kali Hartshorn (Maryland) ties up game at 12-12 with a no-look backhanded shot

Tied at 12-12 with 6:13 left to play in the game, both teams would go scoreless for the remainder of regulation play, but not without action at both ends of the field. Both goalies came up with big saves to keep their teams in the game. Maryland's Megan Taylor made back-to-back saves against Oiliva Ferrucci, including a point blank shot during a man-up advantage for UNC after a dangerous shot by Maryland.

Megan Taylor (Maryland) makes key save against shot by Olivia Ferrucci (UNC)

With 20 seconds left in the game, Maryland called a time out to set up the final shot. Jen Giles attacked the goal but ran into a double team - UNC wanted a charge but Maryland would get the call and Giles set up at the 12-meter. With only 8 seconds left in regulation time, Giles passed to Kali Hartshorn in front of the goal - Hartshorn got off a strong shot that went wide.

Taylor Moreno recovers key ground ball in last minute of the game

Taylor Moreno sprinted out of the cage to grab the ground ball and immediately cleared it 70-yards down the field to Olivia Ferrucci who immediately passed it to Jamie Ortega in front of the Maryland goal. Pushed from behind by a Maryland defender, UNC Head Coach, Jenny Levy, wanted a free position called for the foul on Ortega, but time had expired and the two teams headed into OVERTIME.

Taylor Moreno clears the ball 70 yards with five seconds left in the game

OVERTIME

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.

Ally Mastroianni (UNC) draws against Kali Hartshorn (Maryland) in overtime

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.

Charlotte Sofield receives yellow card for penalty against Jen Giles

With game on the line, Taylor Moreno came up with another big-time save against a shot by Jen Giles from the center hash on a free position. Down three players, Moreno helped UNC run the ball out of the defense, but was forced out of bounds by a tough Maryland ride. Somehow, UNC miraculously escaped the first period in overtime and the teams switched sides to start the second period.

Taylor Moreno forced out of bounds under pressure from Maryland

Sweet Caroline

After suffering what appeared to be a game-ending injury, Caroline Steele returned to the field with her left knee taped. Steele's return to the game, would prove to be the right one. On the opening draw of the second period in overtime, Steele gained control of the ball and ran full speed to goal. Double-teamed, Steele spinned her way out of traffic to create space and realized that her defender had dropped - giving Caroline the window she needed to attack again. Sweet Caroline fired her notorious lefty sidearm shot - the ball rifled a few inches off the ground until it found the back of the net and Maryland won 13-12 in overtime.

Caroline Steele scores winning goal in overtime to defeat UNC 13-12

Article and Photos by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

Digital Media Sports by Leigh Ernst Friestedt

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