COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 1 University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team scored six of the final eight goals, but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 10-8 loss to No. 14 North Carolina in front of 3,053 at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The result drops the Terps to 6-1 on the season and evens their ACC mark at 1-1, while the Tar Heels improve to 5-3 overall and are also 1-1 in conference play.
Senior attackmen Owen Blye and Kevin Cooper each had three points on two goals and an assist to lead the Terrapins, but Carolina got 12 points combined from its starting attack of senior Marcus Holman and sophomores Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey.
Maryland started the game quickly, getting on the board just 47 seconds into the contest when Cooper found Blye on the right side of the crease and Blye one-timed the ball into the Tar Heel goal.
UNC answered back quickly with goals by sophomore Chad Tutton and Bitter to take a 2-1 lead with 10:48 to play in the first.
The Terps tied the game at 2-2 at the 9:30 mark when Blye came around the right side of the goal and slipped a shot past freshman goalie Kieran Burke.
But that was all the offense Maryland would get for the remainder of the first half, as North Carolina scored three goals to make it a 5-2 game at the end of the first quarter and then tacked on one in the second to put the Tar Heels up 6-2 at the half.
Carolina continued its scoring run with back-toback goals by Sankey to open the third quarter to open up an 8-2 lead, but Maryland got back into things when Cooper converted on a feed from sophomore Joe LoCascio with 6:14 left in the third to cut the Terrapin deficit to 8-3.
Bitter scored an unassisted goal to push the Tar Heel lead back to six with 4:43 remaining in the third, but redshirt-senior Jake Bernhardt scored consecutive goals before the end of the quarter to make it a 9-5 game heading into the fourth.
The Terps’ extra-man unit cut into the Carolina lead again at the start of the fourth when junior Mike Chanenchuk scored off of a pass by senior Billy Gribbin.
Bitter’s third goal of the game closed out the scoring for the Tar Heels with 5:04 to play, but Maryland wasn’t quite finished.
The extra-man unit came through again with 3:28 left in the fourth when senior John Haus scored off of a feed from Blye to make it a 10-7 game.
The clock continued to run down and Maryland pulled to within two with 26 seconds left when Cooper scored his second of the game, finishing a pass from Chanenchuk.
Sophomore Charlie Raffa won the ensuing faceoff, but Burke made his 15th save of the game when he stopped Blye’s shot with 13 seconds left to end the Terps’ comeback attempt.
Junior Niko Amato made 11 saves for the Terps, who were led on the defensive end of the field by junior Michael Ehrhardt, who had six groundballs and three caused turnovers.
Maryland finished up its ACC slate next Saturday when it travels to Charlottesville, Va., to take on No. 13 Virginia. Faceoff for the Terps and Cavaliers is set for 2 p.m. at Klöckner Stadium.
• With today’s 10-8 loss, Maryland is now 40-23 all-time vs. North Carolina.
• With three points on two goals and a assist, senior Kevin Cooper now has 17 multi-point and eight multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two goals and an assist, senior Owen Blye now has 28 multi-point and 16 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two goals, senior Jake Bernhardt now has 16 multi-point and 11 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, junior Mike Chanenchuk now has 20 multi-point games for his career.