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NCAA lacrosse Final Four: When and how to watch

(Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NCAA women’s lacrosse Final Four is here, with some marquee matchups set to determine who will have a shot at the championship.

The championship game is scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m. ET.

No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Northwestern

12:30 p.m. ET on ESPNews

Northwestern enters this game already passed its first test of this NCAA tournament: avenging last year’s Final Four loss to Syracuse. The Wildcats beat the Orange 15-4 – the second-largest margin of victory in last weekend’s matchups.

Lauren Gilbert was big for the Wildcats, scoring four goals. But Madison Doucette was the real difference maker, making 11 saves in net to hold Syracuse to a season-low four goals. It was just the second time in the past 15 years that Syracuse has scored four goals or less.

Now the Wildcats will play in their third consecutive Final Four. The program with the second-most national championships (seven) will take on top-seeded North Carolina.

North Carolina enters this game having gone undefeated to this point. The Tar Heels had a scare last weekend, however, when No. 8 Stony Brook gave them a run for their money. The Tar Heels managed to eke out an 8-5 win and advance to the Final Four, their 10th in the last 13 years.

On paper, UNC is the better team, having scored 17.15 goals per game to Northwestern’s 15.95. The Tar Heels also took down the Wildcats earlier this season in a 20-9 win at home. This game will be on neutral ground, though, and both teams have been battle tested since then.

No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 3 Boston College

3 p.m. ET on ESPNU

This matchup features each of the previous NCAA champions, with Boston College winning their first last year and Maryland beating BC to win the title – their 15th and the most of any women’s lacrosse program – in 2019.

Historically, Maryland has the edge in the postseason against the Eagles. The national title game in 2017 also featured a matchup between the Eagles and the Terrapins, which the Terps won.

While the Terps historically are the top NCAA lacrosse program, the Eagles have been knocking at the door for years. They were runners-up for three years straight before finally winning a title. Yet while they’ve finally broken through, Maryland presents a test that they have yet to pass.

Maryland enters this game on an 11-game winning streak after beating Florida 18-5 in the quarterfinals. It was the largest margin of victory in any of Thursday’s quarterfinals. Attacker Libby May had five goals – matching the Gators’ entire total – while Hannah Leubecker, Aurora Cordingley and Victoria Hensh each had three goals apiece.

Boston College is coming off a 20-13 win against Loyola Maryland. Belle Smith was the difference maker, scoring seven goals. Jenn Medjid also factored heavily with five goals and Kayla Martello with four. Not one to be absent from the score sheet, Charlotte North had three goals.