No. 1 Um Women Shocked By Loyola

Longest Lacrosse Run Is Ended At 50, 7-6

April 23, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Loyola's women's lacrosse winning streak stands at just one, but oh, what a big one.

The Greyhounds shocked No. 1 Maryland, 7-6, last night before a standing-room-only crowd at Ludwig Field, ending the longest winning streak in NCAA lacrosse history at 50. The two-time defending Division I national champs had last lost on May 22, 1994, to Princeton in the NCAA final.

This was the first victory for No. 4 Loyola (11-2) over the Terrapins (14-1) in their 17-game series.

Senior All-American Michelle Meyer dodged her way through traffic to bounce in the game-winner from about eight meters with 1: 20 left.

"This means a lot," said Meyer, a senior All-American center, "especially to the seniors, because this is one of the only teams we didn't have a win against. We just have to remember this feeling and take it with us to the next level."

The Greyhounds' win ended several other Maryland streaks -- 68 straight regular-season wins, 29 straight victories over ranked teams and 22 straight wins at home. The Terps had not lost a regular-season home game in the 1990s.

"It's a loss but, we'll work through it," said Sarah Forbes, the Terrapins' All-American center. "Maybe this was good for us. My freshman year, we went through the regular season and then lost to Princeton [in the NCAA final]. I'd much rather lose now than when it really counts."

The Greyhounds made a remark

able recovery after Sunday's collapse in the Colonial Athletic Association title game, which they led 8-3 with 14 minutes to go, but lost, 9-8, to James Madison. After starting 9-0, they had lost two of their previous three games.

"We needed this from a mental standpoint," said Loyola coach Diane Aikens, whose team is fighting to play host to one of four first-round NCAA tournament games.

The Greyhounds planned to be aggressive against the Terps' defense, and they were, outshooting Maryland 28-16 and forcing 10 fouls for eight-meter shots. They also won 10 of 14 draws.

"We wanted to push the fast break as much as possible, even if it meant risks and a couple turnovers, and we did that," said Aikens. "And we said we were going to bust our butts to get in the hole to stop their fast break and I think we did a good job of that."

The Greyhounds' defense forced a lot of turnovers and dominated the ground balls. At times, it seemed Maryland couldn't come up with the ball no matter what it did. Loyola held possession about 75 percent of the game.

"We played a lot more defense than offense," said Forbes. "I know I forced it a couple times when I should have settled it, but they played a great game defensively. They stayed really composed."

Forbes and fellow Australian Sascha Newmarch scored all of Maryland's goals, three each. Newmarch gave the Terps a 4-3 lead on a free position late in the first half.

Loyola never backed down, scoring the next three goals to take a 5-4 lead on Allison Valentino's roll.

After the teams traded goals, the Terps went to their ace, Forbes, but Loyola goalie Kourtney Heavey made two point-blank saves against her -- once with Forbes moving right down the middle, one-on-one, and then again on a roll.

Maryland coach Cindy Timchal said she had no doubt her ACC champs would rebound quickly.

"Our players have accomplished something that no other team has accomplished," said Timchal, "and they're still hungry to do other things no one has ever done, so this is just a temporary setback for us."

Pub Date: 4/23/97

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