N. Carolina wins over Maryland in NCAA lacrosse championship

After 24 years without winning a lacrosse championship, the North Carolina Tar Heels won over the Maryland Terrapins with a 14-13 score in overtime. The game was led by Sophomore Chris Cloutier on the N. Carolina side as he scored five goals, including the winning fourteenth one.  Luke Goldstock made four goals and the game was on its decisive final.

With four seconds to go in regulation, the Terrapins were granted a penalty that allowed them to get an extra man opportunity. Unfortunately, it could not convert, making this the 41st year of the Maryland Terrapins championship drought.

The Tar Heels started out strong with a 4-0 lead in their opening four possessions in the first quarter. It all looked almost set up.  But then junior Dylan Matz scored a pair of unanswered goals plus two more to even up the scores.

Then Matt Rambo scored two goals before the half and it was 8-7 for the Tar Heels. The intensity of the game went up on the second half as both teams struggled back and forth for the lead.  Neither team could get an advantage of more than two goals over the other. With 7:49 left to play, Maryland managed a 13-11 lead, followed by four minutes of no scoring from either team.

Then it only took 31 seconds for Goldstock and Connor Kelly to score two goals to tie things up between the two teams, which stayed that way until the end.

For the final shot, Maryland held the ball with 1:06 to go in regulation.  The Heels built up a ferrous defense and saved themselves, including a heroic save from Bran Balkman with only four seconds to go. This allowed overtime, when Cloutier was able to score the goal that would give the North Carolina Tar Heels their first lacrosse championship since 1991.

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