by ACC Media Relations
CHAPEL HILL - A rematch with top-ranked Maryland hung in the balance for North Carolina, but only if the Tar Heels could resist the temptation to look ahead.
Second-seeded North Carolina met the challenge on Friday afternoon at Fetzer Field, dispatching of third-seeded Boston College by a 16-6 score in the ACC Women's Lacrosse Championship semifinals.
The outcome sets up an intriguing battle between the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 teams on Sunday at 5 p.m., when the Tar Heels (14-2) will challenge the four-time defending ACC champion Terps (18-0).
Carolina has vivid recollection of the 14-13 loss to the Terps at College Park on April 6, which snapped an 11-game winning streak and a streak of nine straight regular-season wins over ACC opponents. The Tar Heels also remember the 2012 ACC Championship final, which saw top-seeded North Carolina drop a 14-10 decision to third-seeded Maryland on a cold, rainy night in nearby Durham, N.C.
But first things first. The Tar Heels will be playing in Sunday's championship game because they did not overlook Boston College (12-7), a team that entered Friday's match with a No. 14 national ranking and a school-record, eight-game winning streak.
Abbey Friend scored a game-high four goals, and Aly Messinger added a hat trick for North Carolina, which outshot Boston College 30-15 and held a 19-12 advantage on ground balls.
The Eagles jumped ahead early, grabbing a 1-0 lead on Covie Stanwick's goal 44 seconds into the match.
The Tar Heels countered with five unanswered goals - including two apiece by Messinger and Friend - to gain control. After building a 6-3 halftime lead, North Carolina delivered the first two strikes of the second half on goals by Jessica Griffin and Kara Cannizzaro and padded the margin from there.
Stanwick finished with three goals for Boston College, giving her 60 for the year and adding to her single-season school record.