Five Maryland players scored goals in the last quarter to break open a close game and the Terrapins upset third-ranked North Carolina, 10-5, in an Atlantic Coast Conference lacrosse yesterday at Byrd Stadium.
"When it came to crunch time our kids knew what to do," said Maryland's second-year coach, Dick Edell, referring to the five-goal run. "Maybe that's the turning point in our season."
Brendan Hanley's unassisted goal with 13:25 left in the game, nine seconds after Tar Heel Gary Seivold had tied the score at 5, put the Terrapins ahead for good. Eric Korvin, Tom Bedard and Brian Willard scored in the next 5:01 to give the Terrapins a 9-5 lead with 8:24 to play. Tony Olmert added a goal to his two assists, scoring at 5:03.
"It's SU (Syracuse University), (Johns) Hopkins and (North) Carolina; that's how it goes," said Willard, who finished with two goals. "Then there are teams like us and Rutgers . . . we just broke in, I'd say. The next three games will really tell."
Maryland (5-0, 2-0 in the ACC) plays fourth-ranked Virginia, Navy and top-ranked Johns Hopkins on the next three weekends. The Tar Heels are 3-2, having lost their opening game to Syracuse in overtime.
Freshman midfielder Tom Worstell scored two unassisted goals in the first half and the Terrapins outplayed the quicker Tar Heels to get a 3-2 lead at intermission.
Maryland goalie Jim Beardmore made five of his 10 saves in the first half.
Willard's first goal, the most picturesque of the game, came with 8:37 left in the third quarter when Olmert ran two-thirds of the field, spun past the penultimate Tar Heels defender and threaded a pass to Willard. The sophomore attackman easily beat goalie Tim Mealey for a 4-2 lead.
John Stahl shaved the lead to 4-3 on a goal with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter. Kirk Thurston scored an unassisted goal for the Terrapins with 23 seconds left in the quarter when Worstell's shot caromed off Mealey, giving Maryland a 5-3 advantage.
Mac Ford, North Carolina's second-team all-America attackman, who finished with one goal and two assists, scored 55 seconds into the final quarter. Seivold's goal 31 seconds later tied the score.
Following a timeout by Edell, Todd Ensor controlled the faceoff and cradled it until he spotted Hanley. Hanley sidestepped a defender for the winning goal.
"Coach Edell said (during the timeout) to stay in our offense," said Olmert. "Our game plan was to hold the ball more than them, so when they got it they were impatient and tried to score right away."