By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Chester, PA — Marie McCool can now add a National Championship to her already impressive resume. The North Carolina sophomore attacker already accomplished State Championships and NJSIAA Tournament of Championships from Moorestown High School in Moorestown, N.J.
McCool and her teammates defeated the previously undefeated Maryland Terrapins, 13-7, at Talen Energy Stadium in front of 7,129 fans. It’s the Heels second National Championship since the 2013 season.
It was the Terps largest defeat since March 2007 by Carolina. In addition, it’s the most goals that North Carolina has scored against Maryland, 17-15, since April 2014.
“I’m very proud of the coaching staff that we have and my team,” head coach Jenny Levy said. “And 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.
“I don’t even know what the final score was, because you feel in those games that it’s tight all the way to the end. Congratulations to my team. They’ve worked hard all year and they’re gutsy and they’re tough. I think probably one percent out there believed that we might pull this off today and that one percent was sitting in our locker room all year. Maryland is a great team, and we had to play our best to beat them.”
McCool wore a piece of net in her hat when she was walking away from the field. She also had a goal, two assists, one ground ball and four draw controls.
“It’s amazing to win it so close to home when Philly is about 20 minutes from home,” McCool said. “To have all of my family and friends to attend this game, it means the world to me. It’s so exciting.”
McCool was adamant that the team had unfinished business after losing 9-8 to the Terps last season at the same stadium. Now, she doesn’t have to worry about that as the plate as been cleared.
“We finished that business,” she said. “It’s so exciting and it’s a great feeling. I’m so proud of every single person on this team. Everyone contributed to this win.”
North Carolina jumped on Maryland early. At one point, it was 5-1, before the Terrapins began to come back.
At halftime, it was 6-4. However, in the second half, it was all the Heels. They outscored Maryland 7-3.
Molly Hendrick led the Heels with three goals. Aly Messinger, Carly Reed, Ela Hazar and Sammy Jo Tracy had two goals each.
Devin Markison also had a goal.
Megan Whittle had three goals, while Caroline Steele added two more. She also had a SportsCenter 10 play with her behind-the-back shot and goal on Tar Heels goalie Megan Ward.
Zoe Strukenberg and Taylor Cummings also had a goal each.