BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Senior Leigh Frendberg scored the game-winner with 1:27 left in overtime to lift Maryland to an 8-7 semifinal victory over defending champion Virginia yesterday in the NCAA women's Division I lacrosse tournament.
Maryland will play in its sixth NCAA final when it meets Harvard at 3 p.m. today at Lehigh University's Goodman Stadium. Harvard advanced with a 10-5 victory over Princeton.
The Terps' only victory in the final was in 1986, when they beat Penn State, 11-10. Maryland also won a national crown in 1981, when the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women sponsored the event. Eleven of the last 15 matchups between Virginia and Maryland have been decided by two goals or fewer.
Virginia's Elaine Jones (Friends) took a direct shot with two seconds left in the six-minute overtime period. After Maryland goalie Mandy Stevenson (five saves) stopped the ball, it bounced into the net. The official ruled no goal, and the Terps thought they could thank the clock for the ruling.
"After Mandy cleared the ball, the player committed a crease violation," said Maryland coach Cindy Timchal. "I knew Mindy was going to make the save. I wanted Mindy to tell everyone to get out of the way and let her handle it."
Looking at her players, Timchal added, "I was hoping there was some discussion that went on down there to that effect."
The players burst out laughing and Kerstin Manning (two goals) said, "I was ready to flail my body in front of the ball."
Virginia (14-3) beat Maryland 8-6 in last year's final. This year in regular-season play, the Terps (13-1) beat Virginia 5-4.
Yesterday, the Cavs took a 6-4 lead with 7:34 left in regulation on a goal by Jennifer Marino.
"We're good at putting pressure on ourselves," said Stevenson.
"In our last two or three regular season games, we were down three or four goals and came back to win," said leading scorer Laura Harmon.
Manning scooted in for an underhand shot with 6:49 left to close the gap to 6-5.
Virginia held the ball in its backfield and didn't lose it until Cherie Greer headed into Stevenson's range with two minutes left. The Terps' Patty Parichy and Chris Macko stick- checked Greer into coughing up the ball. Jennifer Fink (Broadneck) scooped it up and chugged to midfield, where she passed off to Kim Terhorst (St. Mary's). Terhorst passed to Harmon, who shot from the right side with 1:20 left. The goal pushed the game into overtime.