Maryland tops Carolina to advance to fourth Final Four in five years

May 17, 2015 | WNST Staff

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Junior midfielder Bryan Cole tallied a career-high four goals to lead the 6th-seeded Maryland men’s lacrosse team to a 14-7 victory over 3rd-seeded North Carolina Sunday afternoon at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Maryland (14-4) punched a ticket to its fourth Final Four in the last five seasons and will face Johns Hopkins (11-6) on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

The Terps jumped out a two-goal lead early in the first quarter behind goals from Cole and freshman midfielder Connor Kelly. Kelly would also notch a career-high in goals with his first career hat trick, after scoring just two goals in his previous 16 games.

High-powered North Carolina was held to just one goal in the first frame, as Maryland held a 4-1 advantage heading into the second quarter.

Kelly’s second score of the day with 10:50 remaining in the second quarter kick-started an eight-goal Terp run, which led to a 13-2 advantage. During the run, Kelly, Cole and senior attackman Jay Carlson each tallied two goals along with one score apiece from senior midfielder Bobby Gribbin and sophomore attackman Dylan Maltz.

The Tar Heels finally found the back of net with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter, ending a 24:20 scoreless drought.

Maryland’s top-ranked defense put forth another stellar effort led by junior goalie Kyle Bernlohr, who matched his career-high with 12 saves. Junior defenseman Matt Dunn registered three caused turnovers to go along with two groundballs.

The Terps were able control the tempo as well as possession throughout the contest keyed by the efforts of senior faceoff specialist Charlie Raffa, who went 12-of-19 at the X.

Senior midfielder Joe LoCascio dished out three assists to go along with one goal. Sophomore attackman Matt Rambo and sophomore midfielder Colin Heacock scored one goal apiece.

Game Notes:

– Both the Maryland men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are headed to the Final Four together for the 10th season.

– With its 14th win, Maryland matched its all-time record for victories in a season (1998).

– Maryland moved to 52-35 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, and 23-11 in the quarterfinals. It is also 2-1 against North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.

– The Terps are headed to their 23rd Final Four – the third most of any school in NCAA history.

– Maryland last played Johns Hopkins in the NCAA Semifinals in 1995, when it knocked off the top-seed Blue Jays, 16-8.