Terps Capture ACC Regular Season Crown

April 9, 2011

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Katie Schwarzmann and Laura Merrifield scored four goals each to pace No. 1 Maryland to a 12-9 win against league-rival North Carolina Saturday.

Maryland (13-0, 4-0 ACC) won its 23rd consecutive match, despite the absence of All-American attacker Karri Ellen Johnson, who was out with a concussion for the second straight game. Schwarzmann and Merrifield picked up the slack offensively, totaling eight goals on 14 shots. On the whole, the Terrapin attack was extremely efficient, posting a .480 shot percentage against a Carolina defense that was giving up a mere 7.83 goals per game.

After an evenly matched first half, where the Terps and fourth-ranked Tar Heels (10-3, 3-1 ACC) exchanged goals with five ties in the stanza, Maryland kicked off the second period on a devastating 3-0 run. Goals by Sarah Mollison, Brandi Jones and Alex Aust provided Maryland with its largest lead of the game at 9-6 with 12:22 remaining. The Terps relied on a lockdown effort by the nation's top defense the rest of the way, led by several key plays from Iliana Sanza and four stops by goalie Brittany Dipper.

With two assists on the day, Mollison extended her streak to 58 straight games with a point and moved into sole possession of third on Maryland's career assists list with 112. Jones tallied a team-high four draw controls, Sanza registered a career-high four caused turnovers and Dipper posted seven saves in the cage to lead the Terps, who moved to 47-1 in College Park in the Cathy Reese-era.

"We wanted to come out in the second half firing and coming out strong and really stepping up our level," Reese said. "I thought we were a little timid and hesitant in the first half and it seemed a little uncharacteristic for us so we came out in the second half and really were attacking the cage more and that created more opportunities for us."

Maryland has now won at least a share of the ACC regular season championship every season in Reese's five-year tenure. The Terps close out the conference regular season with a match at Virginia Tech next weekend but first play host to Senior Day Wednesday in a dual with Princeton in the home finale.