By Borja Rebaza
Maryland men’s lacrosse defeated North Carolina 11-7 in a ranked match up to move to 7-1 on the season.
The two teams met in the Pacific Coast Shootout in Costa Mesa, California. The matchup was also a rematch of the 2016 National Championship Game, which the Tar Heels won in overtime.
The Terps came in ranked second in the nation after responding to a devastating loss to No. 1 Albany by going on the road and beating another top 10 team in Villanova.
North Carolina, ranked 19th, went into the matchup looking to get back on track after losing three straight following a 6-0 start.
Early pressure from the Terrapins led to an opening goal from Connor Kelly to give the Terps the early lead. Maryland’s ability to dominate on faceoffs was the key to keeping the Tar Heels off the board in the first quarter.
The second quarter looked to be a different story, as North Carolina won its first faceoff of the game, and preceded to cut the Terrapin lead in half with a goal.
Connor Kelly had other ideas, as he responded minutes later, rifling home his second goal of the game. From there, the Terps kept on rolling, going into the half with a 5-2 advantage.
Kelly picked up where he left off as the second half began, completing his hat trick within the first three minutes of the half.
Both teams then traded pairs of goals before Connor Kelly made his presence felt once again, his fourth goal of the game giving Maryland a 9-4 lead.
North Carolina made a run, closing the gap to 9-7, but Bryce Young’s first goal of the season got the Terps back on track as they closed out the victory.
The Terrapins will open up conference play on the road against Michigan next Saturday.