VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Kara Cannizzaro scored four goals in the second half to help third-seeded North Carolina beat two-time defending national champion Northwestern 11-4 on Friday in the NCAA women's lacrosse semifinals.
Abbey Friend added three goals for the Tar Heels (17-3). North Carolina will play top-seeded Maryland or No. 4 Syracuse in the final Sunday.
Kat DeRonda had a goal and assist for second-seeded Northwestern (19-3). The Wildcats, the winners of seven of the last eight NCAA titles, also lost to North Carolina on Feb. 22.
In North Carolina's only other appearance in the final, the Tar Heels lost to Northwestern 21-9 in 2009.
Friend scored two first-half goals to help North Carolina to a 4-1 halftime advantage. And the Tar Heels opened the second half with three straight goals, capped by Kelly Devlin's goal on a free position that put them up 7-1 with just under 23 minutes left.
Alyssa Leonard and Kelly Rich scored to pull Northwestern to 7-3 with 18:55 remaining, but Cannizzaro scored four straight goals over the next 7:20 to put the Tar Heels ahead 11-3 with 11:35 left. The Wildcats played short-handed in the final 15:45 after Leonard received a second yellow card.