UNC upsets Maryland in semi

Updated: May 23, 2009, 11:10 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

TOWSON, Md. -- Meredith Frank's goal with 1:31 left in sudden-death overtime lifted Northwestern past Penn 13-12, in an NCAA women's lacrosse semifinal Friday at Towson University.

The Wildcats will seek their fifth consecutive national title Sunday against North Carolina, an 8-7 winner over previously undefeated Maryland. Northwestern has won 19 consecutive tournament games, second only to Maryland's 21-game winning streak from 1995 to 2002.

Northwestern's Katrina Dowd finished with three goals and broke the NCAA record with 18 in the tournament. The top-seeded Wildcats (22-0) also broke the Division I single-season scoring record with 381 goals. Danielle Spencer added three goals for Northwestern.

"I think it's a big challenge when you win a lot to appreciate it," Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. "I am really happy for what happened [Friday] because I know now my players will appreciate Sunday. Hopefully, they will appreciate every play and every moment and how special it is. A couple of inches one way could have been a different result."

Ali DeLuca scored four goals for the Quakers (15-3), who were playing in their third consecutive semifinal.

A goal by Spencer gave the Wildcats a 11-7 lead with 9:14 remaining. Penn then scored four straight goals, with Samantha Bird tying the game with 1:30 left. That set up the overtime periods.

Penn's Erin Brennan and Dowd traded goals in the first three-minute overtime. Neither team scored in second extra period, which set up Frank's goal in sudden death.

"It didn't even occur to me that I had broken the record until the game was over," Dowd said. "Breaking the record in a game we won makes it more memorable so I can enjoy it, thanks to Meredith. If we had lost, the record wouldn't have meant anything to me."

In the second game, Maryland (21-1) fell as Laura Zimmerman scored a season-high three goals to lead the Tar Heels (16-4).

The Tar Heels won for the first time in the semifinals after losing in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

Maryland's offense averaged 15.95 goals a game, third-best in Division I, and its seven goals Friday was the team's lowest of the season.

"I think our first half, we stepped on the field timid," Terrapins coach Cathy Reese told the Baltimore Sun. "We looked a little frantic. I thought we turned the ball over more than we typically do. Offensively, we were forcing it in a little too much ... and they stepped up their pressure. They're a fast team. They're athletic. They hustle all over the midfield. They did stop our fast breaks and our transition, which is a key component to our style of play."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.