By Anthony Caruso
Phiollylacrosse.com, Posted 5/29/16
North Carolina senior defender Stephanie Lobb remembered the hurt she felt a year ago when her Tar Heels fell to Maryland, 9-8, in the NCAA Division I championship.
A year later, the 13-7 win today over the previously-undefeated terrapins at Talen Energy Stadium was even sweeter.
“It has definitely been 365 days since we were back here following a tough loss in this same arena,” Lobb said, amid the championship celebration. “To finally win it during my senior year, along with co-captain Kelly Devlin’s senior year, it’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s awesome to be back at home and finish my career with the championship. It’s a great note to go out on top.”
Lobb, Devlin (Downingtown East), Marie McCool (Moorestown) and Molly Hendrick (Manheim, Township) were the four Philly starters that helped lift UNC to its second national title in four years.
UNC scored six of the game’s final seven goals and dominated the second half, completely shutting down the vaunted Maryland attack led by Taylor Cummings and Megan Whittle.
Hendrick scored three times and McCool had a goal and two assists as well as four draw controls for UNC. Defensively, Lobb had a groundball and a caused turnover as well as an assist and Devlin also was a key on defense from her midfield spot.
“It’s a balanced attack with seven great attackers,” Lobb said. “To be able to have everyone’s back, that’s what defeats that type of team. That’s exactly what we did today. It was a whole unit functioning as one, which is really hard to do, but we did it.
“We believed. We didn’t believe that we could beat them last time during the regular season, or on this stage last year. I think we weren’t at a point yet, where we had our mojo. This team has been through a lot of adversity – and to overcome it and play as one, it’s a difference that we had over them. I believe that’s what allowed us to win.”
McCool said her family, friends and coaches witnessed history.
“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 has said that her team had unfinished business all week. They didn’t want to feel the heartache of losing again.
“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.”
McCool had a special guest in attendance, as her former high school coach Deanna Knobloch. The two exchanged text messages before the game and received texts from coach after the game, but wasn’t able to read it during the celebration.
“She actually makes the best chocolate chip cookies and sent me a picture,” McCool said. “She said these will be waiting for you after the game. It means a lot to me to have her here. She was my mentor in high school. She’s taught me so much on and off the field. She’s also prepared me for this stage. I thank her and Mr. Knobloch for all that they’ve done for me.”