By Annie Ross
So, North Carolina won a national championship yesterday at the Linc.
Though it probably doesn’t make up for the Tar Heels’ loss to Villanova in the NCAA basketball championship almost two months ago.
After North Carolina’s Chris Cloutier rifled in the game-winning overtime goal to beat yesterday, 14-13, in the Division I men’s lacrosse national championship game, Terrapins goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr found a spot behind the net and collapsed on his back.
It seemed as if there were 41 years of misery and disappointment pressing down on his chest in that moment. Defender Matt Dunn staggered over to Bernlohr and got down beside him on both knees, eventually laying his head on his fellow senior’s chest.
Maryland last won the title in 1975, and it had perhaps its best chance to end the drought when it entered sudden-death overtime with an extra-man opportunity following a wild sequence near the end of regulation.
But after its scoring attempt was blocked by North Carolina goalkeeper Brian Balkam on the first possession of overtime, Maryland committed a penalty of its own to give North Carolina a man advantage later in the extra period. Cloutier, who finished with five goals, capitalized by beating Bernlohr in the lower right of the net to give the Tar Heels their first national championship since 1991 and hand the Terrapins their ninth consecutive title game loss.
“We’re all sad,” junior Dylan Maltz said, “and just to see the seniors, especially, it’s the worst feeling you can imagine.”