CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Junior Billy Gribbin had a hat trick to lead the No. 7 Maryland men’s lacrosse team, but the Terps dropped an 11-10 decision at No. 14 North Carolina Saturday afternoon at Fetzer Field.
The loss puts the Terrapins at 5-2 on the year and evens their conference mark at 1-1. UNC improves to 6-3 overall and are also 1-1 in ACC play.
A sloppy field led to some sloppy play at the start and that allowed the Tar Heels to take advantage of some Terrapin turnovers to open a 3-0 lead in the first quarter off of goals by Marcus Holman, Will Campbell and Joey Sankey.
Carolina looked to up its lead when freshman Goran Murray was called for an illegal body check, giving the Tar Heels an extra-man opportunity. But sophomore goalie Niko Amato made a big save on the first UNC shot, which allowed the Terps to kill off the penalty.
The Terps used that possession to score its first goal of the game as senior Joe Cummings found Gribbin on the right wing and Gribbin got a shot past UNC goalie Steven Rastivo to make it 3-1 with 2:56 left in the first.
Maryland opened the scoring in the second quarter when junior Owen Blye found Gribbin open at right goal line extended and Gribbin made the Tar Heels pay, making it a 3-2 game at the 12:26 mark.
The Terps appeared to have tied the game with 10:05 to go in the second when Cummings’ shot slipped past Rastivo, but the goals was taken off the board due to an interference call on UNC’s Tyler Morton. Maryland couldn’t convert on the extra-man opportunity keeping the game 3-2 in favor of the Tar Heels.
The game stayed that way until 16 second left in the second when Sankey scored from the left wing top put UNC up by a pair.
It looked like that’s the way it would be going into halftime, but junior Curtis Holmes won the ensuing faceoff when junior Landon Carr scooped up the groundball. Carr patiently brought the ball down the right alley, set his feet and unleashed a Huge shot that got past Rastivo with just one tick left on the clock.
A violation by UNC’s R.G. Keenan on the opening faceoff of the third gave Maryland the ball on a mini-break. Good ball movement from Holmes to junior Jesse Bernhardt to Carr to Cummings on the left wing created a clear look at the goal for Cummings. Rastivo got a piece of the shot, but the ball trickled over the goal line, tying the score at 4-4 just nine seconds into the third.
Amato make a big save on a shot by Jimmy Dunster and made a great outlet pass to Bernhardt. He brought the ball into the box, but was never really picked up by a Tar Heel defender. A couple of pumps by Bernhardt preceded a a long low-to-low shot that got past Rastivo, giving Maryland its first lead of the day, 5-4, at 13:13 of the third.
Carolina looked to tie the game on a goal by Chad Tutton at the 11:59 mark, but the officials ruled he was in the crease before getting the shot off.
Two Maryland penalties gave UNC a 6-on-4 advantage and the Tar Heels tied the game at 5-5 with 11:42 left on a goal by Davey Emala.
Carolina retook the lead when Chad Tutton tipped a shot by Holman past Amato at the 10:34 mark.
The Terps tied the game at 6-6 with 6:33 to go in the third. Cummings was swarmed by the UNC defense, but junior Kevin Cooper picked up the tough groundball and moved it to Blye behind the cage. Blye skipped the ball over to the right alley where senior Michael Shakespeare’s bouncer found the back of the net.
An unsportsmanlike penalty on Greg McBride gave Maryland an extra-man opportunity and Cummings converted off a feed from Blye to put the Terps back up 7-6 with 5:38 to go.
Two penalties on UNC’s Ryan Creighton, including an non-releasable unsportmanlike conduct foul, near the end of the third gave the Terps the ball and a 1:42 EMO to start the fourth quarter.
However, Maryland couldn’t capitalize on the chance for the first 1:41, but as the penalties expired redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk found Gribbin on the right wing where he ripped a shot inside the near pipe to give Maryland an 8-6 lead at the 13:14 mark of the fourth.
Sankey continued to score tough goals, when he split two crashing Terp defenders and slipped a shot past Amato to make it an 8-7 Terp lead with 11:39 left in the fourth.
A slashing call on Murray gave UNC an extra-man opportunity and Keenan won the faceoff giving the Tar Heels a chance to tie the game. Sophomore Michael Ehrhardt blocked a shot by Emala, but Emala picked up the groundball and moved it to Holman, who found Nicky Glasso on the right side of the crease, tying the game at 8-8 at the 10:37 mark.
A slip by junior John Haus created a huge scramble for the ball that ended with Cooper picking up his second tough groundball of the game. He moved it to senior Drew Snider, who had time and room to unleash a big shot from 15 yards out into the upper right corner, tying the game at 9-9 with 7:54 to go.
Campbell scored his second of the day just over a minute later to give UNC a 10-9 lead.
A Maryland turnover turned into a transition opportunity for the Tar Heels and Wood scored his second of the quarter to give UNC a two-goal lead at 11-9 with 2:23 to go.
The Terps had the ball, but turned the ball over. An ugly incident led to ejections for both teams, but Maryland made it a one-goal game with 20 second left.
Murray caused a Jimmy Dunster turnover and then scored his first goal of his career off an assist from Cummings to make it an 11-10 game.
Freshman Charlie Raffa won the final faceoff, giving the Terps a chance. Blye’s feed to Cummings on the crease missed him, but got through to Rastivo, but didn’t make it past him, preserving the 11-10 win for the Tar Heels.
Amato finished the game with 10 saves, while Rastivo had six. Murray led the Terrapin defense with three groundballs and four caused turnovers. Ehrhardt finished the game with five groundballs.
Maryland finishes up its regular season conference slate next Saturday when it hosts No. 1 Virginia in a noon game at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. That game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
• With today’s 11-10 loss, Maryland is now 40-22 all-time vs. North Carolina and 16-11 all-time in Chapel Hill.
• With four points on two goals and two assists, senior Joe Cummings now has 24 multi-point, 16 multi-goal and two multi-assist games for his career.
• With three points on three assists, junior Owen Blye now has 16 multi-point, eight multi-assist games for his career.
• With three points on three goals, junior Billy Gribbin now has one hat trick, five multi-point and five multi-goal games for his Maryland career.