Switch puts Everly in spotlight

November 23, 1993|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- For Tara Everly, ignorance proved to be an advantage.

Everly, who always shot second in penalty-stroke order in practice, scored the third and deciding penalty stroke to lift third-seeded Maryland over North Carolina, 2-1, Sunday for the NCAA field hockey title in Piscataway, N.J. The penalty stroke-off, which ends with the first team to score three times, is used in tournament play after 70 minutes of regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods.

Everly, however, was not aware of the lineup switch.

"I wasn't paying attention when everyone else was shooting," said Everly, a senior midfielder, who attended Oakland Mills. "I was just focused on my shooting. In my mind, if I made it, it wasn't for the title."

Everly clinched the title with a sailing shot over the right shoulder of goalkeeper Peggy Storrar.

"I stood there," Everly said. "When I saw my teammates, it kind of hit me. I was just so focused at that time."

Everly had scored two goals in her three previous seasons and started eight of 18 games last season. This year, Everly started all 24 games and led the Terps in scoring with 12 goals and three assists.

Besides her increased offensive production and the title-clinching score, Everly said this year was satisfying because the Terps defeated archrival North Carolina for the championship.

The Terps won the ACC tournament championship last year to stop the Tar Heels' nine-year conference reign, and defeated North Carolina, 4-0, this October. However, in this year's ACC title game, North Carolina avenged those two losses with a 2-0 win.

"It's no secret that we don't like North Carolina," Everly said. "It was the best way to go out, especially to make the final stroke and defeat North Carolina."

On the defensive side, Terps junior goalkeeper Irene Horvat held North Carolina scoreless in the penalty stroke-off.

Horvat, who allowed more than one goal in two games this season, overshadowed Storrar, the ACC Goalkeeper of the Year.

After facing two shots in 100 minutes of play in the title game, Horvat blocked all three North Carolina attempts in her second career stroke-off.

"I looked at the team play the entire game, and then it was my turn," said Horvat, a native of Victoria, Australia, who has 33.5 shutouts in 68 career games. "It was all a matter of reflex. I was in a zone."

Horvat, a three-year starter, was recruited by Terps coach Missy Meharg when the U.S. National Team toured Australia. Horvat is a member of the Australian under-21 national team.

The Terps (22-3) ended the season by winning 16 of their final 17 games for a school-record 22 wins.

During that winning stretch, the Terps defeated 10 Top 20 teams, including three-time defending national champion Old Dominion.

Maryland had advanced past the second round once in the past five years.

Maryland won its only NCAA title in 1987, also with a 2-1 victory over North Carolina.

Meharg, the ACC Coach of the Year, was an assistant on the 1987 squad and became head coach the next year. She is on a two-week recruiting trip and could not be reached for comment.

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