STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) - Taylor Thornton scored twice, including the game-winning goal with 16:19 remaining and second-seeded Northwestern advanced to another women's lacrosse national championship game with a 9-7 victory over No. 3 Maryland on Friday night.
Shannon Smith took just one shot on goal, but collected four assists in the victory. She set up goals by Alex Frank, Jessica Russo, Kara Mupo and Lacey Vigmostad.
Erin Fitzgerald and Amanda Macaluso also scored for Northwestern (20-2), which will face fourth-seeded Syracuse on Sunday for its seventh title in eight years. The Orange advanced with a 14-13, double-overtime victory over top-seeded Florida in the first semifinal.
Katie Schwarzmann scored three goals for Maryland (19-4), which lost to the Wildcats in last season's championship game. Last year, the Terrapins opened a three-goal lead on the Wildcats, and they even held a two-goal margin early in the second half before folding.
Kristy Black, Karri Ellen Johnson, Kelly McPartland and Brooke Griffin also scored for Maryland, which had won eight straight games by scoring at least 12 goals.
Last year's game also was decided by virtually the same score, though this year, the winner came much sooner than with 4 1/2 minutes remaining. Thornton made it 8-6 by getting past a defender and going up the middle to beat Maryland goaltender Brittany Dipper for her 31st tally of the season.
The Terrapins overcame a one-goal deficit midway through the first half and took a 5-4 lead into halftime on Johnson's 54th goal of the season. Schwarzmann gave the Terrapins a two-goal lead less than three minutes into the second half, but Northwestern tied it on goals by Kara Mupo and Amanda Macaluso 49 seconds apart.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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