No. 4 UNC Rallies Past No. 16 Penn State, 16-12

Maryland Athletics
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March 26, 2006

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Fourth-ranked North Carolina erased a 10-7 halftime deficit with an 8-0 run to open the second half as the Tar Heels defeated No. 16 Penn State, 16-12, Sunday afternoon in the ACC/ALC Challenge in College Park.

Melissa McCarthy, Brooke Dieringer and Jess Allen each scored two goals in the pivotal run for UNC. Twelve second half turnovers plagued Penn State as the Nittany Lions out-drew the Tar Heels 17-13 for the game.

After North Carolina (7-2) took an early 2-0 lead, Penn State (4-5) scored eight of the game's next nine goals to take an 8-3 lead with 7:37 left in the half. Shari Maslin, Jessi Lieb and Karen Long helped spark the run with two goals apiece. Three of the Nittany Lion goals came on free-position shots.

Penn State won the ensuing draw, but Lindsey Stover forced a quick turnover which ended in a Tar Heel goal by Allen. UNC won the next two draws, and scored quick goals to pull to within 8-6. The Nittany Lions won the next draw, but again were quickly turned over by Britta Williams. UNC's Erica LaGrow then scored unassited to make pull within a goal. PSU goals from Lieb and Megan McGuire to end the half gave the Nittany Lions a 10-7 lead heading into the half.

Despite winning five of the first eight draws of the second half, Penn State turned the ball over four times and had one offensive possession ended on a Kristen Hordy save. Carolina took advantage of the turnovers and surged past the Nittany Lions scoring on five of its first eight shots in the half to lead 12-10 with 20:47 left in the game. UNC continued to pour it on with three more goals over the next 10 minutes, and by the time Mariel Bryan scored for Penn State, the Nittany Lions had been held scoreless for nearly 21 minutes and trailed 15-11. Lori Havrilla added another PSU score, but could not pull any closer. Stephanie Scurachio added a late goal for UNC to put the game away for the Tar Heels.

UNC goalie Kristen Hordy, who was pulled late in the first half, came back in the second half to make five saves. Penn State's Cammie Jurkowsky made eight saves in the cage for PSU.