UM women turn out lights on LIU

Basalyga's 2 goals, assist pace 6-0 win in first round of NCAA tournament

College Soccer

November 11, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Senior Maryland forward Lindsay Basalyga is proof that soccer nightmares can turn into sweet dreams.

Three nights ago, Basalyga had a nightmare that she got "caught in an offsides trap" and "got shot by my coach [Shannon Higgins-Cirovski]."

Two nights ago, she had good dreams about scoring goals.

So what happened last night? Basalyga went out and scored her first two goals of the season and added an assist, leading Maryland to a 6-0 romp over Long Island University in the first round of the NCAA women's soccer tournament at Ludwig Field.

The Terps (11-9-1) are now headed to Penn State on Saturday to meet the sixth-seeded Nittany Lions (18-3-1) in the round of 32.

Basalyga and her teammates, ranked No. 25 in the country, enter the Penn State game as underdogs, but they were brimming with confidence following the pounding of the Blackbirds.

Basalyga was feeling so good she could laugh and joke with her coach about the bizarre dream.

"[Shannon] always tells us she will shoot us if we get caught in that offsides trap," Basalyga said.

Not really, said Higgins-Cirovski with a laugh.

"This was a perfect night for us," said Higgins-Cirovski. "This is exactly the kind of game we needed to have. We finally were able to score a lot of goals and get some players in the game. We've been under the gun all year, with 15 of our games against NCAA tournament teams."

So why did Basalyga suddenly become a goal-scorer last night after scoring only five times in four regular seasons.

"I was just on," said Basalyga. "I was on a roll and my teammates were finding me."

Basalyga is one of only three seniors on the Maryland team and they all went out in grand style in the final home game of their careers.

Senior midfielders Jackie Mynarski and Emily Janss each scored two goals for the runaway Terps, who dominated from the start against a Blackbirds team (11-9-2 ) that was just happy to be in the tournament. Freshman midfielder Valerie Lawrence had two assists.

This is only the third season for LIU women's soccer. Maryland outshot the Blackbirds, 22-3, and had six corner kicks to two for the losers.

The game was a homecoming for two LIU players who are former Severna Park High standouts, freshman midfielder Meredith McAlister and her sister, Lauryn, who is a senior backup goalkeeper. Meredith got into the game in the second half, but Lauryn did not play.

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