Maryland booked a trip to the NCAA lacrosse quarterfinals in part because of its usual staples of strong defense, deft faceoff play and steady goalie.
A little trickery helped as well.
The Terrapins scored on a hidden-ball trick as part of a game-clinching stretch in the second half en route to a 13-6 rout of eighth-seeded North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Maryland (11-4) will meet the winner of Sunday’s late game between top-seeded Syracuse and Siena on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.
“I think the big thing if we had lost today was it would have been like ‘Geez, what a tough way to go down, ” Maryland coach John Tillman said in a telephone interview after the game. “If we had won the ACC tournament and then lost the last two, it would have been very disheartening. Right now, we’re excited and eager to enjoy a new challenge.”
Drew Snider collected four goals for the Terps, but none will be remembered as long as his score off a hidden ball trick. With Maryland up 8-5, long pole Brian Farrell caught his own flip to attackman Grant Catalino, who sold the fake. Farrell eventually found Snider open on the wing for a goal against a stunned Tar Heels defense.
Maryland scored the next four goals to secure its largest margin of victory in an NCAA tournament game since a 16-8 rout of Denver in the 2006 first round.
“That was more them to be honest,” Tillman said of the hidden ball trick. “Those are two kids that are very creative and who have played a lot of lacrosse.”
Goalie Niko Amato made 13 saves - including seven in the third quarter - and Curtis Holmes won 15 of 22 faceoffs. Second line midfielder Kevin Cooper had three goals for the Terps.
Both Catalino and midfielder Joe Cummings - who missed Maryland’s loss to Colgate in the regular-season finale - played for Maryland. The pair combined for two goals and an assist against the Tar Heels (10-6).