Terps squeeze Orange for title berth

Terps squeeze Orange for title berth
May 24, 2013, 10:15 pm
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Maryland Terrapins players celebrate after defeating the Syracuse Orange at Villanova Stadium. Maryland defeated Syracuse 11-10.

The Maryland women found themselves in an unusual position during the second half of Friday's NCAA semifinal against Syracuse-- trailing. 

But the Terrapins came back with strong defense and timely offense. They shut out Syracuse for the final 18;31 and got the game's final two goals for an 11-10 victory over Syracuse at Villanova.

That earned Maryland a berth in Sunday's national championship game against North Carolina, who scored an 11-4 victory over defending national champion Northwestern. The title game starts at 8 p.m.

This victory improved Maryland's record to 22-0. The Terrapins could wrap up both a national title and a perfect season with a win on Sunday. 

Maryland and North Carolina met during the season at College Park, where the Terrapins hung on for a 14-13 victory. 

Maryland found itself trailing, 10-9, with 18:31 left. But the Terps tightened up defensively and were able to blank the Orange the rest of the way, which gave the offense time to do its work.

Kelly McPartland (three goals, one assist) scored the game-tying goal with 16:51 left to make it 10-10. The game remained tied until Brooke Griffin got the tie-breaker with 2:51 left off a pass from Katie Schwarzmann (one goal, three assists). 

That was Griffin's only goal of the night, and it came at a very good time. 

In addition to four-point efforts from Schwarzmann and McPartland, Alex Aust (two goals, two assists) also added four points. The Terrapins needed everything as they found themselves in a close game, something that didn't happen often this season. But they stayed alive and now get to play for a national title on Sunday. 

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