Walters, Terrapins get best of Tar Heels

He scores 4 times to help No. 2 men rally to 10-9 win

College Lacrosse

March 28, 2004|By Evan Markfield | Evan Markfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - In a battle of the Atlantic Coast Conference's two leading lacrosse scorers, Maryland's Joe Walters was a winner - twice.

Walters, the league leader in total points, had four goals yesterday at Fetzer Field to top three by North Carolina's Jed Prossner, the ACC's leading goal scorer. And thanks to Walters and freshman Mike Brown, it was the No. 2 Terrapins who won, 10-9, over the fourth-ranked Tar Heels to remain unbeaten.

Walters and Brown combined for three fourth-quarter goals that turned an 8-7 deficit into a 10-8 lead, helping Maryland counter a North Carolina rally and hang on for the crucial road win.

North Carolina attackman Mike McCall scored with 1:37 remaining to pull the Tar Heels (5-2, 1-1 ACC) within one goal. But the Terps (7-0, 2-0) regained control on a Carolina turnover and ran out the clock.

"I thought we played well," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "They took a run at us, but you have to give credit to our players. I thought they hung in there."

The final turnover was one of 24 for North Carolina, including 10 in the second quarter.

"When you're playing a game against a quality opponent, you can't turn the ball over," said Tar Heels coach John Haus, whose team's four-game winning streak ended. "We have to be efficient at both ends of the field, and we weren't."

After trailing by four at halftime, the Tar Heels scored five unanswered goals and took an 8-7 lead on an unassisted wraparound goal by attackman Ryan Blair with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

All five goals came in the third quarter. Prossner was shut out during the run, but the Tar Heels still outshot the Terps 10-5.

"I thought our kids got tired," Cottle said. "I reminded them how much running we did in January."

The message got through.

The Terps' defense, which had given up the fewest goals of any ACC team, recovered, and the attack responded with three straight fourth-quarter goals.

Brown, a freshman attackman, scored on a fast break to tie the game at 8-8 early in the fourth quarter, then added the game-winner with 6:48 remaining. Walters had given Maryland a 9-8 lead less than three minutes before Brown's second goal, faking low and scoring high against goalkeeper Paul Spellman (13 saves).

"It started with the stops," said Cottle. "When we cleared it, we had some breaks."

By the 11:35 mark of the second quarter, Walters already had his sixth hat trick in seven games this season. That third goal, which put Maryland up 4-2, was a behind-the-back, no-look shot.

That got the rest of the Terps going, and they scored three more goals in a row on the way to a 7-3 halftime lead. Maryland has outscored its opponents 50-13 this season in the first half.

"That was important," Walters said. "We came out ready to go, and we were happy going into halftime up."

Maryland 3 4 0 3 - 10

North Carolina 1 2 5 1 - 9

Goals: M-Walters 4, Brown 2, Phipps 2, Schwartzman, McGlone; NC-Prossner 3, McCall 2, Will 2, McElduff, Blair. Assists: M-Ritz 2, Smith 2, Brown, Hartofilis, I. Healy, Passavia; NC-Falatach, McCall, Will, Zimmerman. Saves: M-McGinnis 13; NC-Spellman 13.

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