CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse team dropped its first game of the season 17-15 at No. 1 North Carolina Saturday.
Taylor Cummings and Kelly McPartland each netted four goals and Zoe Stukenberg added three for Maryland (13-1, 4-1 ACC). A late, valiant comeback effort fell just short while the Terps surrendered 17 goals, the highest mark they have allowed in a game since April 22, 2007. Despite the loss, Maryland dominated the draw, posting a 24-10 advantage in the category led by 10 from Cummings and eight by Beth Glaros.
Cummings put the Terps on the board first with an early tally in the first minute of play. UNC (12-1, 5-0 ACC) answered with a pair of goals at 28:15 and 27:36 for its first lead of the day.
Maryland then put together a punishing 6-0 run for a hefty 7-2 advantage midway through the first half. The scoring stretch featured goals from McPartland, Stukenberg (2), Brooke Griffin, Cummings and Halle Majorana and the Terrapin offense was fueled by a strong presence on the draw.
The two squads exchanged goals for an 8-3 contest with a UNC tally by Abbey Friend and a Terrapin score by McPartland with 13:54 to play in the first.
The game of runs continued in the second portion of the first half as UNC’s offense utilized its possessions with four unanswered tallies by Friend, Molly Hendrick, Taylor George and Aly Messinger in-and-around the nine-minute mark for an 8-7 contest.
Glaros snapped that scoring streak with a low-rolling goal for a 9-7 Terrapin advantage with 6:50 left in the stanza. UNC tied the contest with two consecutive goals in a 50-second stretch to knot the game with 3:53 remaining in the period before the Terps capitalized on their final possession of the half with a Stukenberg free position score to give Maryland a 10-9 lead at the break.
UNC picked up the first four tallies of the second half for a 14-10 advantage with 19:31 remaining. McPartland gave Maryland its first goal of the second half with a free position score at 14:41 to shrink the Tar Heel cushion to three.
Friend picked up her fourth score of the day after a lengthy possession to push UNC’s lead back to four with 11:41 left. A Hendrick score two minutes later extended the Tar Heel advantage to five.
Maryland clawed its way back into the game beginning with a Jen Mendez goal at 8:39. Following a UNC score at 5:02, the Terps posted three consecutive tallies – including two by Cummings – in the final five minutes of play, but the rally fell just short.
Megan Ward posted nine saves in the cage for UNC as the Terps outshot the Tar Heels 35-24 in the rematch of last season’s national championship game.
“We fell short on the defensive side today,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “Their goalies played great, they made a lot of saves. I think we gave up too many easy opportunities. We knew this game was going to be hard fought on both ends. We had a couple goals late which were great to see to close that gap but it’s a game of swings and we need to find a way to be a little more consistent.”
Maryland heads to Princeton for a game against the Tigers Wednesday at 7 p.m.