After traveling to Maryland from upstate New York, members of the Army women's lacrosse team seemed to be done in before they even took to Siegert Field to take on Anne Arundel Community College.
They complained about the heat as they got out of their team van to begin warm-ups, then saw their offense wither against the Pioneers' defensive pressure, in an 8-4 loss to AACC.
The Pioneers ended their season with a 17-5 record, and sophomore midfielder Tracy Tobin finished her career with a game-high four goals.
"Tracy just had a super game, she along with Lisa [Jordan] have been our catalysts all year long," said first-year Anne Arundel coach Jim Shuck. Tobin, a St. Mary's High graduate, ended the season with 41 goals and four assists.
The first 10 minutes were played on even terms, as AACC freshman Christie Cade opened the scoring with a left-handed shot 2:20 into the first half.
Army's Julia Slokar was credited with the tying goal 50 seconds later, when AACC goalie Shannon Pastrana inadvertently tapped the loose ball into the wrong net. It was one of the few mistakes made by the freshman, who made 21 saves on 30 shots.
Jordan, who led the Pioneers in scoring this year with 66 goals and 25 assists, cut across the middle of the Army defense to put the Pioneers ahead. But about 90 seconds later, Army's Gretchen Platt tied the game for the last time, at 2-2.
"I guess this hot weather did take its toll on us, too," she said. "We were a little sluggish in the first part of the first half. We had lots of turnovers and made some silly passes during that part of the game, but overall, we did pass the ball well."
Schuck's club moved the ball well enough to score four straight goals by the end of the half. Tobin fired in the first of three goals -- two of which occurred with AACC a player short because of injury -- in four minutes with 14:16 left in the half. Jordan assisted on Tobin's first score with a quick pass from behind the Army goal.
Jordan then ended the half with an unassisted shot into the lower-right corner past goalie Shauna Hauser (11 saves on 22 shots) to give the Pioneers an 6-2 lead going into the half.
"I think we did very well during the last 10 minutes of the first half, considering we were a man down. Hope Scheid had injured her thumb, and then Christie Griffith was extremely fatigued from the heat," said Shuck, who had just 13 available players.
Defense was the name of the game early in the second half. Army (8-2) broke the scoring drought with 12:36 remaning on Platt's second goal. Both squads then traded goals the rest of the way.
Stacy Barger (30 goals, two assists on the year) stretched the AACC lead to 7-3 with 7:16 left. Stacy Anselmi then brought the Cadets back to within three on a pass from Platt, but the Jordan-Tobin combination worked its magic for the game's last goal with 6:29 remaining.
Said Shuck: "You have to give credit to our defense, they played extremely well. Sarah Krucoff, and Kim Raff did an excellent job, and Hope really did a good job of shutting down [Platt].