CHESTER, Pa. (AP) Aly Messinger had three goals and two assists to help North Carolina beat Duke 16-7 on Friday in the NCAA women’s lacrosse semifinals at PPL Park.
The Tar Heels (18-3) will play for their second national championship in three years when they face defending champion Maryland in the final Sunday. Maryland beat Syracuse 10-8 in the second semifinal.
Marie McCool, Maggie Bill, Sydney Holman and Lindsay Scott each scored twice for North Carolina.
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”We showed how dynamic we are with so many different kids stepping up to put the ball in the back of the net today,” coach Jenny Levy said. ”It just shows what a complete team game we play and how much fun it is to do that.”
Taylor Trimble, Brigid Smith and Katie Trees led Duke (16-5) with two goals apiece.
The game was tied four times in the first half before second-seeded North Carolina scored three straight goals to take a 7-4 lead into halftime. The stretch was capped by a wraparound goal from Brittney Coppa with 6.5 seconds left that both teams called the most pivotal moment.
Coppa, a senior leader, has dealt with serious injuries since assisting on the winning goal in North Carolina’s triple-overtime victory over Maryland in the 2013 national championship.
”It was awesome,” Coppa said about her goal Friday. ”It’s been a long journey for me the last two years.”
Third-seeded Duke scored the first goal of the second half on Trimble’s 38th of the year, but the Tar Heels responded with the next six to beat their Atlantic Coast Conference rival.
Bill scored twice during North Carolina’s 6-0 run, which began with a nifty scoop shot from Sammy Jo Tracy and was capped by Holman’s second of the game.
Scott put the finishing touches on North Carolina’s romp with a pair of goals in the final six minutes.
The game was a rematch of a matchup last month when North Carolina posted a 12-6 win over Duke to capture the ACC regular-season title.
Duke missed out on its first finals appearance, dropping to 0-7 in NCAA semifinal games.