Casual Terps Rally To Top Virginia, 11-10

Down 6-2, Maryland Gets 50th Straight In Title Game

Ge: Acc Women's Tournament

April 21, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Maryland didn't look so invincible in the first 20 minutes against Virginia yesterday.

The Cavaliers had a 6-2 edge in a game oozing with historical significance, as Maryland's quest for its 50th consecutive win appeared doomed in the championship game of the first Atlantic Coast Conference lacrosse tournament for women.

How concerned were the Terps?

"I didn't even know we were down 6-2," said Sarah Forbes, the ACC Player of the Year.

Coach Cindy Timchal's team has grown accustomed to playing from ahead over nearly three perfect seasons, but yesterday the Terps showed they can come back, too, as they picked themselves up with a stirring rally that silenced Virginia, 11-10, at its Turf Field.

The Terps trailed, 9-7, heading into the last 14 minutes, but they ran off the next three goals and got the game-winner from Sascha Newmarch with 2: 45 remaining.

Newmarch, one of the Terps' Australian aces, was named the Most Valuable Player in the tournament, but the climactic goal was more about teamwork than individual play. Newmarch was fed by Cathy Nelson, who in turn got the ball from behind by Forbes, who drew a crowd wherever she went.

No. 1-ranked Maryland (14-0) had won a defensive battle here on March 19, but the Terps started a step slow this time, as No. 4 Virginia (12-4) had too many free-position shots in the first 20 minutes. The previous time the Terps had trailed by as many as four goals was also the last time they had lost, in the 1994 NCAA final to Princeton.

"We were a little out of sync, and credit Virginia for that," Timchal said. "They put a lot of defensive pressure on us, and they had some great double-teams at midfield."

Nelson led a 3-0 run that pulled Maryland within a goal at the half, but the Terps' offense in the first 16 minutes of the second half consisted of a single Forbes goal, and that from an impossible angle. Mia Mooney's roll dodge got the Virginia lead back to two goals, but Newmarch completed another 3-0 run for the Terps' first lead, at 10-9.

Kate Evans forced one more tie with her fourth goal, before Newmarch answered with her fourth and goalie Alex Kahoe made two saves in the final minute.

Her players seemed nonchalant about the comeback, but Timchal wasn't certain of victory.

"I never had any doubt that we would pull it together, but Virginia could easily have won," Timchal said. "I just never wanted our team to walk off the field with any regrets. This wasn't the easiest situation we could've been in. It was our second time down here this season. Their band is playing, they've got the fans, and then we fall behind."

After Maryland's second one-goal win here this season, Virginia talked of getting another shot at the Terps in the NCAA tournament.

"This is a game that Virginia's going to win the next time we step out on the field," Cavaliers coach Julie Myers said. "It's got to be our turn next time."

The Terps aren't thinking about a bid for an unprecedented third NCAA title in a row just yet, as they'll go for No. 51 in a row tomorrow (7 p.m.) at home against Loyola.

Pub Date: 4/21/97

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