- Associated Press - Sunday, May 29, 2016

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - Aly Messinger and Megan Ward led North Carolina to its second NCAA women’s lacrosse championship in four years Sunday, 13-7 over Maryland at Talen Energy Stadium.

Messinger tied her career high with six points with two goals and four assists, and Ward made a career-high 14 saves for North Carolina. The Tar Heels closed with a school-record 17 straight victories to finish at 20-2 - also a club record for victories in a season.

“I’m very proud of the coaching staff that we have and my team,” North Carolina coach Jenny Levy said. “We were just gritty and tough all year, and today’s game was no different. We’ve been in tight games all year. I think we’ve played nine one-goal games and all year long we’ve believed we’ve worked hard and we found ways to win, which I think is a great thing.

Molly Hendrick scored three times, Carly Reed had two goals and two assists, Ela Hazar added two goals and an assist, Sammy Jo Tracy also had two goals, and Marie McCool had a goal and two assists.

Maryland (22-1) had won 26 straight games. Megan Whittle led Maryland with three goals, and Caroline Steele had two.

“Carolina came out and fought hard, congrats to them,” Maryland coach Cathy Reese said. “We told the team, ‘This moment stings, but these 60 minutes don’t define this group.’ We had a really special year and a really special group of seniors, and while we didn’t send them off the way we wanted, we appreciate everything they’ve done for this team.”


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