The heavily favored Wildcats, 22-0 and aiming for a fifth straight national title, needed sudden-death double overtime and a trick shot from Katrina Dowd to slip past No. 4 Penn, 13-12, in Friday’s semifinal.
North Carolina, which held the high-scoring Terrapins to their lowest scoring total of the season, needs another strong defensive effort if it’s going to end Northwestern’s run of four straight championships. The Wildcats have the top scoring offense in Division I and produced 13 goals in their double-overtime semifinal win over Pennsylvania, even though their catalyst, senior Hannah Nielsen, was held to no goals and two assists. Junior attacker Katrina Dowd has already set a tournament record with 18 goals. North Carolina starts four players with local ties: junior midfielder Megan Bosica (Mt. Hebron), sophomore defender Meredith Newton (Severna Park), senior attacker Chelsea Parks (Centennial), and sophomore midfielder Mia Hurrin (St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes). Bosica, a two-time All-Met player of the year, set up the game-winning goal against Maryland, and finished with two goals and two assists. Northwestern beat North Carolina in early March, 12-7.