Big run for Terps women ends

UM twice leads Penn State but falls in NCAA play, 3-2

November 15, 1999|By Chris Antonacci | Chris Antonacci,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- When it was over, the tears began to come from Lindsay Basalyga.

With the Maryland women's soccer forward facing a chilly breeze, her face became as red as her jersey. So she hid her eyes in her shin pads, trying not to think of what had happened.

What had happened was the end of Basalyga's collegiate career, the result of an emotional, 3-2 loss at the hands of No. 6 Penn State yesterday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Basalyga had scored two goals for the Terrapins, giving her team 1-0 and 2-1 advantages. But in the end, Penn State was too much.

"I'm very disappointed that we lost, but I'm very proud of our team," Basalyga said. "I'm very proud to say that I played for Maryland. I'm just living life right now."

Nittany Lions forward Kelly Convey scored twice within two minutes to give Penn State the lead, which it held with solid goalkeeping from Emily Oleksiuk and strong defense.

It had been quite a ride for rookie coach Shannon Higgins-Cirovski's squad.

After starting the season 3-7-1, her team had stormed back to raise its record to 10-9-1.

And after an impressive, 6-0 win over Long Island on Wednesday, the Terps had high hopes coming into yesterday's game. And those hopes rose after Basalyga scored the game's first gaol by taking a feed from freshman forward Dana Jarzyniecki and sending it past Oleksiuk into the lower right corner with 33 minutes left in the second half.

But as the overcast skies began to open up, so did the scoring.

Penn State midfielder Shari Pickett rifled a high shot past Terps goalkeeper Riki-Ann Serrins, who replaced junior Ali Wolff at the start of the second half.

But as the once-dormant crowd came alive, it was Basalyga and the Terps who came out fighting. Basalyga scored her second goal of the game, on a free kick. The wind swept the ball to the right over a four-player wall, silencing the boisterous pack of 734 and angering the Lions.

But Convey, a senior, kept her control. Nineteen seconds later, she found the back of the net, making it 2-2 after freshman Christie Welsh had kicked the ball out to her at the top of the box and she finished with a strong boot to the right side.

And it was Convey again who put the Lions ahead for good. She put a pass from sophomore Bonnie Young into an open net, allowing Penn State to advance to the third round.

"You can see why Kelly Convey was a first-team All-American last season," Penn State coach Pat Farmer said.

"It's very emotional," Higgins-Cirovski said. "When you come from the lows that we've had to the highs that we've had, it's tough. It's a tough way to end the season."

Goals: M--Basalyga 2; PS--Covney 2, Pickett. Assists: M--Harrison; PS--Welsh, Young. Saves: M--Wolff 0, Serrins; PS--Oleksiuk. Half: 0-0.

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