Terps Face Tar Heels for Title

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The quest for a 12th national championship concludes Sunday when top-seeded Maryland battles North Carolina in the 2013 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

Courtesy of Maryland Athletic Department

Villanova, Pa. - The quest for a 12th national championship concludes Sunday when top-seeded Maryland battles North Carolina in the 2013 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

The Terps (22-0) edged Syracuse 11-10 to land t in their nation-leading 17th NCAA title game. Kelly McPartland tallied three second half goals to lead Maryland offensively while a stellar defensive effort held the Orange scoreless the final 18:31 of the contest.

No. 3 seed North Carolina (17-3) upset Northwestern 11-4 Friday night to punch its ticket to the championship game.

Maryland defeated North Carolina 14-13 in the regular season meeting in College Park April 6 and topped the Tar Heels 12-8 in the ACC championship game in Chapel Hill April 28.

Scouting the Terps

Maryland hopes to win its first national championship since 2010 when it faces North Carolina Sunday.

Alex Aust has led the Maryland attack with team-highs in goals, assists and points. She is joined by Brooke Griffin and reserves Kristen Lamon and Halle Majorana to form one of the top scoring offenses in the nation, averaging over 15 goals per match in 2013.

Maryland's deepest position is certainly the midfield where it returned eight players from last year's squad including all-everything Katie Schwarzmann, who spent the majority of the offseason training with the U.S. women's national team in preparation for the 2013 FIL World Cup. Freshman Taylor Cummings has made a seamless transition to the college game and leads the Terps in draw controls.

The Maryland defense is led by reigning IWLCA National Defender of the Year Iliana Sanza. Other key contributors to the back is senior Melissa Diepold, sophomores Shanna Brady and Megan Douty and rookie Alice Mercer.

Senior Kasey Howard has worked hard to fill the void left by four-year starter Brittany Dipper in the goal. She has four double-digit save performances, including a career-best 14 against Penn State.

Scouting the Tar Heels

North Carolina dropped Northwestern 11-4 to advance to the national championship game.

Tewaaraton finalist Kara Cannizzaro leads the Tar Heels with 57 goals and 20 assists. Abbey Friend is a quality finisher for the UNC offense with 47 scores in 2013.

Five players boast 20 or more draw controls, led by Jessica Griffin's 39.

Maryland defeated North Carolina 14-13 in the regular season meeting in College Park and topped the Tar Heels 12-8 in the ACC championship game in Chapel Hill.

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