The sun finally had moved behind the clouds on this beautiful day at University of Delaware Stadium, and North Carolina's Mike Tummillo lay buried beneath a pile made by his delirious Tar Heels teammates.
Seconds before, Tummillo capped a remarkable comeback by the Tar Heels -- scoring on a fast break with 1:52 remaining in the first sudden death overtime -- to give fifth-ranked North Carolina a 10-9 upset victory over top-ranked Johns Hopkins in an NCAA semifinal game today before 8,754.
The Tar Heels will play in their first NCAA title match since 1982 here on Monday. Their opponent will be Virginia, which defeated Syracuse, 12-10, today.
It was a stunning reversal by the Tar Heels, who had lost to the Blue Jays, 16-4, earlier in the season and were held scoreless for 31 consecutive minutes in this match.
But North Carolina (10-3) began a rally with 12 minutes remaining in regulation, scoring four straight goals to take a 9-8 lead. Hopkins tied the match with 2:08 left, but it did little to offset the Tar Heels' momentum.
Shortly after North Carolina goalie Barney Aburn stopped Steve Mitchell's wide-open shot in overtime, the Tar Heels' Gary Seivold beat John DeTommaso at midfield for a two-on-three break. Ten yards before the goal, he passed to Tummillo on the left side. Tummillo took a step to his right and reached a shot around goalie Stuart Jones for the winner.
The Blue Jays (10-2), who had won the NCAA title the last two years, outshot the Tar Heels by 49-34, won eight more ground balls and nine more faceoffs.
In the Virginia-Syracuse semifinal, the Cavaliers (12-2) were down, 6-5, at halftime, but got two goals each from Roddy Marino and Ed Harney and a fine performance by goalie Peter Sheehan in the second half.
Jeff Nicklas scored unassisted with 4:58 remaining in the third period to give Virginia a 10-7 lead. Twice thereafter, Syracuse reduced the lead to 10-8 and 11-9, but Harney and