Just hours before taking the field Friday, both Maryland and Syracuse waited as North Carolina dismantled traditional powerhouse Northwestern to earn a spot in the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse national championship game.
The No. 4-seeded Orange, however, were not as fortunate against the top-seeded and undefeated Terrapins.
Maryland defeated Syracuse, 11-10, in the second semifinal at Villanova Stadium, surviving a second-half surge by the Orange.
"We're really excited to have the opportunity to compete for a national championship on Sunday," said Maryland coach Cathy Reese. "That's been a goal we've had the entire year."
Reigning Tewaaraton Award winner Katie Schwarzmann found teammate Brooke Griffin waiting in the crease with a little less than three minutes remaining, and Griffin buried the decisive goal past Syracuse keeper Alyssa Constantino.
Maryland is eyeing its first national title since 2010 and 11th overall and will take on North Carolina at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Griffin's goal ended a 14-minute scoring drought for both teams in what had been a bona-fide shootout.
The Orange trailed the majority of the game until knotting it up, 9-9, nine minutes into the second half on freshman Kayla Treanor's fourth goal of the night. Minutes later, fellow freshman Katie Webster gave Syracuse its first lead, creating an opening from behind the net to get to the Maryland crease and cap a 4-0 Orange run.
Maryland twice led by as many as three goals - the largest lead by either team. The Terps took a three-goal lead into the break, scoring twice over a 24-second span in the final minute of the first half.
Treanor's four goals paced the Orange, while Maryland had four players score two goals or more. Sophomore Kelly McPartland led the Terps with three goals - all scored in the second half - and Schwarzmann added three assists.
"There's no better feeling than this," said Schwarzmann.
"Hopefully we're going to do what we do and win the national championship."