Maryland Advances to Third-Straight ACC Championship to Face Virginia.

April 28, 2006

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    BALTIMORE - The third-ranked Maryland men's lacrosse team outscored North Carolina 9-3 in the second half to come away with a 10-9 victory over the Tar Heels Friday night at M&T Bank Stadium. Xander Ritz gave Maryland its first lead of the day with just 1:25 left in the fourth quarter to send the Terps to a third-straight ACC Final Sunday afternoon against No. 1 Virginia.

    Sunday's game will be televised live regionally on Fox Sports Net South, SunSports, Comcast SportsNet, New England Sports Network (NESN) at 3:30 p.m.

    Senior All-American Brendan Healy led all scorers with a career-high five points on three goals and two assists, setting a career high with five points. Xander Ritz, who earned All-ACC honors this season, scored two of his three goals, including the game winner, in the final eight minutes of play.

    Sophomore attackman Michael Phipps dished out three assists, including the feed to Ritz for the game-winner, in the come-from-behind victory.

    North Carolina controlled the early going jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter on goals from Ben Hunt, Andrew McElduff, Nick Tintle and Michael Burns. Ritz got Maryland on the scoreboard early in the second period on a man-up goal, but UNC tacked on a pair of goals to take a 6-1 lead into the half.

    The Terps got things going in the second half with a huge third quarter, outscoring the Tar Heels 6-1 to pull the game even at 7-7. Max Ritz opened the scoring for the Terrapins in the second half with a goal just 49 seconds into the period. Healy then continued the charge with three-straight goals midway through the quarter. All-American Bill McGlone and ACC Player of the Year Joe Walters each added scores for the Terps. Carolina's lone goal came from Hunt on a man-up opportunity.

    With its five-goal cushion erased and all of the game's momentum in Maryland's favor, Carolina regained control of the game at the start of the fourth quarter with back-to-back goals by Ben Staines and Drew Habeck to pull out to a 9-7 lead.

    Xander Ritz pulled the Terps to within a goal at the 8:08 mark of the fourth when Tar Heel goalie Grant Zimmerman saved a hard shot by McGlone but could not control the rebound. Ritz pounced on the groundball and quickly fired a shot over Zimmerman's left shoulder into the top corner of the net.

    McGlone tied the game for Maryland with four and a half minutes left off Healy's second assist of the game, setting the stage for Ritz's third game-winning shot of the season.

    The play started for the Terps at 2:53 when All-America defender Steve Whittenberg caused his third UNC turnover of the game and picked up a groundball to help clear the ball into Maryland's offensive zone. Walters appeared to give the Terrapins the lead when he beat Zimmerman with a high, hard shot from the right wing, but the ball clipped the crossbar preserving the Carolina lead. Phipps picked up the tough groundball in traffic to keep the possession with the Terps and head coach Dave Cottle called a timeout to settle his team and setup the ensuing possession.

    That possession started with the ball finding Walters, who drew an immediate double-team from the Carolina defense. The Tewaaraton Trophy nominee drew the defenders out a step further before sending a pass to Phipps on the right side of the crease. Phipps looked across the goal mouth and laced a pass to a wide-open Ritz, who beat Zimmerman to send Maryland to the ACC Championship game.

    Defensively for Maryland, All-America goalie Harry Alford tied his season high with 14 saves, while All-ACC defenders Whittenberg and Ray Megill combined for four groundballs and four caused turnovers. Ritz picked up a game-high six groundballs and junior defensive midfielder Jimmy Borell set his career best with five pick-ups.

    Game Notes:
    • With today's 10-9 win Maryland is now 34-18 all-time vs. North Carolina and 2-6 all-time vs. the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament.

    • With one goal, Joe Walters extended his point scoring streak to 45 games.

    Xander Ritz extended his point scoring streak scoring to 29 games with three goals.

    • Ritz now has 10 hat tricks, 17 multi-goal and 39 multi-point games in his career.

    • Max and Xander Ritz have now scored goals in the same game on eight occasions.

    Bill McGlone's two-goal, two-assist game gives him 19 multi-goal games and 22 multi-point games in his career.

    • McGlone also extended his goal-scoring streak to 12 games.

    • When Walters and McGlone score goals in the same game Maryland is now 31-11.