No. 1 Maryland women go OT to defeat JMU

Sommar's goal with : 37 left edges No. 5 Dukes, 12-11

April 04, 1999|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- After crushing its previous six opponents by an average of 12 points, the No. 1 Maryland women's lacrosse team finally faced a test.

Pushed into overtime by a smothering James Madison defense yesterday, the Terps attack struggled before scoring three goals in overtime to edge the No. 5 Dukes, 12-11, at Byrd Stadium.

Kristin Sommar scored the game-winner with 37 seconds left in overtime and Christie Jenkins made a game-saving interception with 12 seconds left to give the four-time defending national champs their 17th straight victory.

Until yesterday, the Terps' closest game was an 8-5 win over Duke on March 5. Since then, no one has gotten closer than six goals.

With yesterday's win posted on the scoreboard, the Terps (10-0) said they were glad for the test.

"It's not that we're becoming overconfident," said Terps defender Tonia Porras, "but we've been searching for a very competitive game. This was great to test our composure, to see if we could hold on. It showed us we won't collapse under pressure."

The Terps, who had not trailed in the second half all season, fell two goals behind twice in the second half and were down 9-8 with 6: 12 left in regulation before Jenkins netted her third goal to tie with 3: 09 left.

After pulling ahead 3-1 early, the Terps hit their worst scoring drought of the season. They went without a goal for 27: 20 and missed 18 straight shots.

"They put a lot of defensive pressure on us," said Terps coach Cindy Timchal. "Of all the teams [we've played], they've probably played the best defense, and even though they have been, in the last couple games, giving up a lot of goals, they were really hungry to play well [yesterday]. We were really not executing well, but we were able to dig down deep."

Maryland tied the game at 6, 8 and 9. After no one scored in the first three minutes of overtime, Jen Adams raced to goal off the draw to give the Terps a 10-9 edge, their first lead in 47 minutes.

The Dukes' Megan Riley tied it on a "Riley riser," an underhanded shot that soared into an upper corner.

But Maryland answered with perhaps the most critical goal of the game on a slippery move by Allison Comito coming around from the side of the crease. Comito used a quick first step to slip inside defender Rebecca Tweel, go one-on-one with Dukes goalie Jen Corradini (16 saves) and give the Terps an 11-10 lead with 1: 07 left in overtime.

"I got the inside," said Comito, "and she wasn't in really good defensive position, so I got the shot off. I just knew it was time to score, and I went around and when I saw an open shot, I took it."

Sommar then nailed the free-position shot for a 12-10 lead, which the Terps needed because Amy Brew fed Riley quickly off the next draw to pull the Dukes within one with 27 seconds to go.

The Dukes (7-2) won the next draw, too, but Riley had to hurry a pass from the sideline and Jenkins picked it off near midfield to preserve the win.

"I didn't even see her. She came out of nowhere," said Riley, a South River graduate who finished with four goals and three assists.

Pub Date: 4/04/99

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