No. 10 James Madison runs from Towson women, 16-9 Four-goal flurry dashes No. 13 Tigers' upset hopes

March 29, 1998|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN STAFF

In the two games leading up to yesterday's meeting with James Madison, Towson's 13th-ranked women's lacrosse team had played No. 5 Duke to within one goal and had scored 10 second-half goals to edge Hofstra.

The Tigers expected another close game against the No. 10 Dukes.

While the first half lived up to those expectations, the Dukes' veteran attack dashed them in the second, breaking away for a 16-9 win at Towson's Minnegan Stadium.

The Tigers (4-3) led twice in the first half and were within 9-7 early in the second after Kathy McCafferty fed Amy Buck and then added a transition goal. But the Dukes answered with four straight goals that nearly put the game out of reach by the middle of the half.

"It's very hard for us to find some consistency," said Tigers coach Ashley Duncan, whose team has four starting freshmen and only one senior.

The Tigers played well in their previous two games, falling, 10-9, to Duke on a last-second shot last weekend and then outscoring Hofstra by 10-4 in the second half Thursday escape, 11-10.

"We were definitely coming out fired up for this game," said Duncan. "We knew we could not be down by a lot of goals. We kept it close for the first half, but second half, they opened it up. They were really driving hard to the cage and we weren't sliding a lot."

Towson keeper Jacquie Sica made 19 saves, but the Tigers' defense let the Dukes get too close too often. Sica could not stop all of the point-blank attempts.

South River graduate Megan Riley set up many of the Dukes' close-range shots and finished with five assists and three goals.

The victory was the third straight for the Dukes (5-2), who upset No. 2 Temple, 15-6, on Monday.

"Once we beat Temple, our confidence was like wow," said Riley, a second-team All-American last year. "We made not one mistake. I've never seen us play that well against a team so good."

The Dukes' confidence showed on attack where they worked the ball well, hit the open players and went aggressively to the nets. They outshot Towson, 43-26.

Their best came in a four-goal second-half spurt that ran the lead to 13-7. Jenn Ball and Riley nailed free-position goals before Julie Martinez scored. Riley hit Amy Brew to cap the rally with 15:41 left in the game.

Robyn Harry got one back for the Tigers a minute later, but Riley then fed Jess Marion and Jamie Pleyo for back-to-back goals and a 15-8 lead with 10:23 left.

Pub Date: 3/29/98

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