CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- With steady rain falling and temperatures hovering near freezing yesterday, top-ranked Harvard handed second-ranked Maryland its first loss of the season, 7-5.
AWith the victory, Harvard maintained its unbeaten record, at 8-0. Maryland is 6-1.
"I clearly feel those were the two best lacrosse teams in the
country out there on the field," Maryland coach Cindy Timchal said. "Harvard did an exceptional job. They executed well, and we had to struggle for every shot. They are clearly the team to beat."
Yesterday's game at Ohiri Field was similar to most of the teams' recent meetings -- close until the end. Last year, Maryland came away with a 6-5 victory in double overtime. In the 1990 NCAA tournament, Harvard won, 8-7, to capture its first championship.
This year, it looked like the two teams again were heading for overtime, until Harvard sophomore Sarah Downing broke a 5-5 tie with a little more than four minutes to play, squeezing the ball into the goal through the legs of Maryland goalie Mandy Stevenson. Harvard added another goal with 14 seconds left when the Crimson's Francie Walton scored on an empty net after Stevenson was called for a penalty outside the crease.
Downing provided the Crimson's offensive firepower all afternoon, notching three goals in the first half and helping propel Harvard to a 4-2 halftime lead.
"We didn't execute well under pressure in the first half," Timchal said. "We came out a little tentative. It seemed like Harvard was on every ball, got to the ball first. They were half a step quicker than us. I think we played a much better second half."
That improvement was noticeable. It took the Terrapins less than 30 seconds to take a bite out of the lead. Sophomore Betsy Elder's goal tied the game five minutes later.
After falling behind again by one, Maryland tied the score on Theresa Ingram's second goal of the day with 10 minutes to play.
That was all the scoring until Downing put the Crimson ahead to stay.
Towson State 16, Hofstra 9
Freshmen Melissa Young and Kim Wilson (Seton Keough) had three goals each, as the Tigers (6-1) rebounded from a loss to Maryland to rout Hofstra (1-7) in an East Coast Conference game. Towson State, which goes to West Chester Tuesday, led 14-7 midway through the second half.
Salisbury 17, St. Mary's 16
ST. MARY'S CITY -- Joanne Fotia's fifth goal of the game at 4:20 provided Salisbury State (6-3) with a 17-14 margin, and the Sea Gulls withstood a two-goal rally by St. Mary's (5-3) in the closing two minutes. Suzanne DeHaan led St. Mary's with nine goals, including one at 1:48 that closed the gap to 17-15. Maia Kinigopoulos scored with 14 seconds left.
F&M 8, Johns Hopkins 7
Katie Aman, a junior from Notre Dame Prep, scored with 3:05 left in overtime to give fourth-ranked Franklin & Marshall (8-2) the victory at Johns Hopkins (6-3). Aman was assisted by Lauren Petrella, who had four goals and two assists. The Blue Jays got two goals apiece from sophomore Rebecca Savage (Centennial) and senior Jessica Tropp.