CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- If Maryland lacrosse coach Dick Edell calls himself "one of the world's worst losers," then why was he smiling after yesterday's 15-13 loss to North Carolina?
It may have had something to do with Edell's opinion that, against the defending NCAA champions, his Terrapins had played their best game to date on the road.
"We may have lost the game, but we gained respect for each other because we played up to our potential ability level," Edell said.
The Maryland coach was especially pleased with the way the Terps dominated the fourth quarter, erasing a four-goal deficit and taking the lead before yielding the game's last three goals.
Trailing 11-7 after three periods, Maryland cranked up its fast break and tied the score at 11 when senior attackman Chris Dail turned in a neat piece of stick-handling and assisted freshman Rob Chomo with 8:01 left.
Dail and Chomo accounted for five goals and three assists against Carolina's inexperienced defense.
Then, after North Carolina moved ahead 12-11 on John Webster's third goal at the 6:39 mark, Maryland midfielder Bob Huggins tied it again nine seconds later when he came up with a loose ball in a scramble in front of the Tar Heels' goal. It was the third goal for Huggins, who also had an assist.
The Terps then took a 13-12 lead when midfielder Jon Schoenweitz crossed in front and beat goalkeeper Billy Daye with 5:47 left.
But as was the case throughout the game, Maryland's defense was unable to contain Tar Heels midfielders Dan Donnelly and Ryan Wade down the stretch.
Twenty seconds after Schoenweitz's goal, Wade charged Terps goalie Steve Kavovit from the side and forged a 13-13 tie with his fourth goal of the game.
Donnelley then got open beside the cage, faked a high shot and beat Kavovit with a low one from point-blank range for the game-winner with 3:52 left.
Donnelley's point production included three goals and two assists.
It was the first Atlantic Coast Conference game for Carolina (4-2), which avoided a third loss in its past four games.