COLLEGE PARK -- By the time last night's game reached sudden-death overtime, Maryland goalie Alex Kahoe had a pretty good idea how Princeton's women's lacrosse team would try to score.
All night long, Princeton's Tice Burke looked to feed her teammates from behind the crease, but on the critical play of the game, Kahoe picked off Burke's pass intended for Julie Shaner. Terrapins teammate Quinn Carney turned Kahoe's interception into a transition goal 2: 31 into sudden death to give the No. 1 Terps an 8-7 win over No. 6 Princeton at Ludwig Field.
The victory, in Maryland's first sudden-death game since 1987, preserves a perfect 17-0 record and boosts the Terps' win streak to 24 games. They won their third overtime game of the season.
In the first half of a game that featured six ties, Burke connected twice from behind with Cristi Samaras just off the post. By the second half, Kahoe knew what was coming.
"I knew that's a play they work a lot," said Kahoe. "And I was thinking that's the play they would rely on at the last second, because they're really good at executing that."
That play put the finishing touch on a career-high tying 21-save effort for the junior All-American. Had it not been for two Kahoe saves in the last four seconds of regulation and two more in the first overtime, the four-time defending national champs would not have been celebrating.
At the end of regulation, Kahoe deflected a close-range shot from Samaras and then snared Hilary Maddox's attempt to go high off the rebound from the other side of the arc with one second left.
"She came up big on a few plays where we were even one-on-one with her," said Burke, a St. Paul's graduate. "She played a great game."
Kahoe and the rest of the Terps defense needed a big game, because Princeton's defense held a Maryland attack averaging 16 goals per game to just 13 shots. The Tigers (11-4) stifled the Terps for long stretches, allowing them just one goal in the final 27: 07 of the second half.
Samaras' fourth goal of the game, on a shot from about five meters out, tied the contest. The Annapolis High grad took three of Princeton's five shots in the first overtime, but one sailed high and Kahoe snared the other two.
The Terps, who lost ACC Player of the Year Christie Jenkins to a red card late in regulation, did not take a shot in the first overtime, but they took the only three shots in sudden death. Kristin Sommar missed the first shot and then had her stick checked on a free-position shot 37 seconds into sudden death.
Sommar, however, assisted the game winner. After Kahoe's interception, Sommar had the ball at midfield and spotted Carney breaking to her left ahead of the Tigers defense. Carney took Sommar's pass, raced straight to goal and slipped the ball past Tigers keeper Amber Mettler.
"At first, I just wanted to catch the ball," said Carney. "Then I knew where I was going to shoot it. I saw her coming out left and I knew I was going to go weak side."
Pub Date: 4/29/99