#7 Terps Fall to #1 UNC, 4-2, in ACC Final
Nov. 4, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - No. 7 Maryland scored late to cut No. 1 North Carolina's lead to one, but the late game heroics weren't enough, as the Terrapins fell to the Tar Heels, 4-2, in the ACC Championship game.
"The result is disappointing," head coach Missy Meharg said. "We beat a great Duke team, then a Virginia team and played 70 minutes of wonderful hockey. I'm proud of the Maryland team. We played the beginning of the first half and the second half absolutely brilliant, and then put ourselves in a position through some real tactical adjustments to tie the game up. North Carolina is a very strong team. We look forward to being in a position to hopefully see them again at some point in the NCAA Tournament."
Shots were tied at four apiece as both teams threatened offensively throughout most of the first half. UNC broke through first in the 29th minute when Loren Shealy collected a loose ball after a defensive play by Maryland goalkeeper Natalie Hunter.
North Carolina's Kelsey Kolojejchick made it 2-0 at half when she scored with 18 seconds left. Her first shot hit the left post, then she knocked in the rebound.
Freshman Sarah Sprink put the Terrapins (16-5) on the board when she deflected one in off a Tar Heel defender's stick off a penalty corner. Her goal made it 2-1 with just over 25 minutes to play.
UNC's Charlotte Craddock generated offense to make it 3-1 with 12:22 to play. She sent it in from the right corner and it deflected in off a Terrapin defender's stick for a team goal.
The Tar Heels (20-1) were awarded four straight corners beginning with seven minutes to play. After the final corner, Meharg called timeout with 5:11 to go. During the timeout, she pulled Hunter out of the cage for an extra field player.
The Terrapins found offensive opportunities in those final minutes and finally were able to score their second goal with 1:35 to play. Sophomore Katie Gerzabek sent a bouncing ball to junior Jill Witmer along the right post to make it 3-2.
With Hunter still out of the goal, Shealy scored UNC's last goal to make it a 4-2 final score.
Hunter notched eight saves to UNC's four. Penalty corners were tied at seven each. North Carolina took 17 shots to Maryland's 12.
Senior Megan Frazer, Sprink and Witmer were voted to the All-Tournament team. Sprink's goal gave her four in the tournament and made her the fourth player in ACC history to score four or more goals in a single tournament.
Sunday's contest marked Maryland's 23rd appearance in the ACC Championship game in its 30 years in the tournament. The Terps and the Tar Heels have met in 10 ACC Championship games. The Terrapins have won nine ACC Championships, all under head coach Missy Meharg, including the 2008, 2009 and 2010 crowns.
Next, the Terrapins will await their NCAA Tournament fate. The Selection Show will be shown live online for free Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NCAA.com.