Terps women slowed, not stopped

Top-ranked UM gets enough offense to top Va. in ACC semi, 8-6

April 23, 2000|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Virginia's defense put the skids on Maryland's explosive offense yesterday, but the No. 1 Terrapins still managed to score enough goals for an 8-6 Atlantic Coast Conference women's tournament semifinal victory over the No. 8 Cavaliers at Ludwig Field.

Before yesterday, the Terrapins (14-1) had averaged 17.71 goals a game and had not scored fewer than 13 in a game all season.

The Terps like to score goals in bunches and started yesterday's game with a 3-0 run, but the Cavaliers tightened the middle and slowed the Terps' usually lethal transition game.

"We changed our transition defense," said Cavaliers coach Julie Myers, whose team fell 17-8 to Maryland during the regular season. "We actually conceded a lot of the midfield where they got some of their momentum going. We dropped three defenders back to try to slow the ball down, so we could clog up the 12 [-meter] or the 8 [-meter] area and try to put a runner on the ball to slow them down."

Cavaliers defender Stephy Samaras said her team also attempted to keep the five-time defending national champs from attacking down the middle.

"The thing about Maryland is their stick skills are so good and their passing is really good," said the Annapolis graduate. "We wanted to get the ball wide, because they are such a great offensive threat from the center of the field."

Maryland's leading scorer and ACC Player of the Year Jen Adams said it didn't matter to the Terps where they initiated their attack.

"It's all about having an adaptable attack, which Maryland has, being able to adjust to any situation," said the sophomore from Australia.

Though Myers said holding the Terps to three goals in the second half and eight total was a moral victory for the Cavaliers, it was still their 13th straight loss to Maryland.

Although the Cavaliers (10-5) twice cut the lead to one, the Terps never trailed.

Maryland took a 5-2 lead into halftime and extended it to 7-3 when Allison Comito fed Adams for a transition goal with 10: 17 left.

The Cavaliers cut the lead to 7-5 on back-to-back goals by Jamie Haas. The senior hit a free position shot and nailed a spinner off a feed from Lauren Aumiller.

After turning over the next draw, Virginia forced a Terps turnover with a double-team on Comito near the far restraining line. Mills Hook converted the possession, firing a pass from Amy Fromal to the left of Terps goalie Alex Kahoe, cutting the lead to 7-6. The Cavaliers never managed another shot, but the Terps did.

With two minutes to go, Quinn Carney fed Comito for an insurance goal, her third of the game and the Terps' fourth transition goal.

"We were moving down pretty fast," said Comito, "and my girl went to pick up Quinn. She just dumped it off to me. The goalie came out and the cage was open."

The victory moves the Terps into today's 1 p.m. title game against No. 6 North Carolina and gives Maryland a chance to avenge its only loss this season.

The Tar Heels edged Maryland, 14-13, in triple overtime, on March 5 in Chapel Hill. The only other time the Tar Heels won the regular-season meeting, two years ago, they also beat the Terps in the ACC tournament.

Carolina has had more success against the Terps than any other team recently, winning three of eight meetings in five years. None of those Terps losses came by more than two goals.

The Terps, however, won't talk about revenge. Comito and Adams both said they didn't care who won the other semifinal, they just wanted to get there themselves.

Virginia 2 4 -- 6

Maryland 5 3 -- 8

Goals: V--Haas 3, Fromal 1, Lau.Aumiller, Hook; M--Comito 3, Adams 2, Carney, Sommar, Jenkins. Assists: V--Fromal, Lau.Aumiller, Cangemi; M--Carney 2, Comito, Adams, Sommar, Jenkins. Saves: V--Segarra 9; M--Kahoe 15.

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