CARY, N.C. - Chris Lancos tied an ACC Tournament record with three assists and also scored one goal to help the Maryland Terrapins past North Carolina, 4-2, Saturday afternoon in the ACC Semifinals at SAS Stadium. The Terps advance to face Virginia in the finals for the third straight year tomorrow at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live in the College Park area on Comcast SportsNet .
"I thought it was a great game worthy of the ACC Semifinals," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I'm very proud of our team and the character we showed because we were down twice in the game and could have easily fizzled, but I think you saw their character, win and competitive spirit to be able to come back in the game."
After an initial flurry to start the first half in which the Terps took two corners and two shots in the first two minutes, Carolina controlled possession for the next 15 minutes of play. The Terps and Tar Heels then traded control and quality chances, with North Carolina's best chance coming off a Corey Ashe shot that just missed high and with Jason Garey providing Maryland's best opportunity for a score but his shot off a nice cross from Abe Thompson just missed the net.
In the first half, each team took four shots and made one save. Maryland had three corner kicks to UNC's two, and the Terps were whistled for one more foul (six) than the Tar Heels (five) in an evenly played half.
Andrew Rhea gave UNC the lead after taking a foul was called on the Terps just outside the box on a Tar Heel run by Corey Ashe. Rhea fired the free kick through the Maryland wall and found the back of the net for the score at 53:38.
The Terps rebounded with a goal after Lancos served the ball into Jason Garey from just inside the midfield stripe. Garey held off two UNC defenders and fired the ball past Ford Williams at 63:36. The Tar Heels answered the score immediately on a header from Corey Ashe just 30 seconds later. Ashe headed the ball in after a cross from Jaime Watson.
"That was a terrific play on their part," Cirovski said. "It was good execution on their part. It's a play that two great players made. I was proud of our team because there was no panic. We knew that there was still time on the clock and there was a sense of urgency that took us to a higher level."
Maryland would rally again, though, scoring the game's next three goals. The Terps evened the score at 2-2 when Lancos headed in a throw-in from Kenney Bertz. Bertz launched the ball to the far post and found Lancos for the score at 69:33. Domenic Mediate gave Maryland the lead it would not relinquish just two minutes later after Lancos again served a beautiful ball in from the midfield.
The Terps put the game away on another Lancos-Garey connection at 80:44. Lancos again sent the ball in from the midfield and found a streaking Garey who was able to settle the ball and send the shot in the lower left corner of the net.
"I'd like to take credit for it but I really can't," Lancos said of his three-assist effort. "I just put the ball up there and the forwards made the goals happen. I was just fortunate enough to get the assist. I've got to pat them on the back because they made the goals happen."
With the win, Maryland moved to 15-4-1 on the season. North Carolina fell to 10-8-2.
Terp Notes - "The Crew," the devoted Maryland student section, was in attendance for the second straight game ... the group bussed to Friday night's game that was cancelled, drove back to College Park at 1 a.m. Saturday morning, and then left again for Cary at 5 a.m. to be at the semifinal match ... the Terps and UVa will play in the finals for the third straight year ... Maryland has only faced Virginia in the ACC Finals ... Lancos had five points today, giving him 13 on the year ... the defender had seven points during his first two seasons ... Garey's 19 goals this season are the third most in Maryland history ... his 47 points are second in a single season at Maryland ... the Terps have won eight straight ... the Terps scored four goals for the first time since Sept. 15 when they defeated Loyola, 9-0 ... Maryland is 11-0-1 in games when Garey scores a goal ... the Terps are 44-2-1 in the last 47 games when scoring at least two goals.
#3 North Carolina (10-8-2) 0 2 2 #2 Maryland (15-4-1) 0 4 2 Scoring: NC-Rhea 53:38; MD-Garey (Lancos) 63:36; NC: Ashe (Watson) 64:03; MD-Lancos (Bertz) 69:33; MD-Mediate (Lancos) 71:16; MD-Garey (Lancos) 80:44 Shots: MD-4+10=14; UNC-4+6=10 Saves: MD-1+1=2; UNC-1+2=3 Corners: MD-3+1=4; UNC-2+1=3 Fouls: MD-6+7=13; UNC-5+5=10