UM women top Virginia, clinch title

8-7 win by No. 1 finishes 3-0 ACC regular season

College Lacrosse

March 14, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Less than two weeks into the women's lacrosse season, No. 1 Maryland has already wrapped up its first title, but No. 9 Virginia didn't make it easy.

With opportunistic goals and a strong defensive showing in the waning moments, the Terrapins held off the upset-minded Cavaliers, 8-7, last night at Klocker Stadium to clinch the ACC regular-season championship.

Courtney Hobbs' goal on a feed from Jen Adams with 12:48 left in the game turned out to be the decider as the Terps defense held off several late Cavaliers threats. The closest call came after Lauri Kenis picked off a Terps pass with 1:27 left and Lauren Aumiller barely missed an open shot on the crease.

Having downed No. 4 Duke, 18-11, and No. 8 North Carolina, 8-7, at home in the first two games of the season, the Terps (4-0, 3-0 ACC) will be seeded first when they play their next ACC game at the conference tournament beginning April 20 in Orlando, Fla. The six-time defending national champions are looking for their fourth title in the five-year history of the ACC tournament.

Even Terps coach Cindy Timchal admitted last night that her team seemed to feel the pressure to successfully polish off the ACC regular season.

"It's been a tough opening to our season," said Timchal, whose team notched its 14th straight victory over Virginia, including three of the last five national championships.

"We're happy to move on and learn from this experience. It's not that we relax, but now we have an opportunity to go back and not feel the pressure of these ACC matches and refocus ourselves."

Last night, the Cavaliers (3-2, 0-1) did just about everything right while Maryland struggled on offense. The Terps won only six of 17 draws, which stalled their often lethal transition attack.

By winning the draws, the Cavaliers were able to hold the ball for long periods of time, work their spread offense and get plenty of good looks at the goal. Virginia outshot the Terps, 22-20.

The Cavaliers used up almost five minutes setting up their first goal, a feed from Mills Hook to Molly Cangemi coming around the crease.

"We remember coming down here two years ago," said Terps midfielder Quinn Carney, "and the first four minutes of the game, they just passed it around. We know that a lot of teams are going to have that mentality with us this year - the less we have it the less dangerous we are."

Carney, who finished with three goals and two assists, answered Cangemi's goal three minutes later. She added a second goal when the ball popped off Cavaliers goalie Liz McCarthy's stick as the keeper stopped Courtney Hobbs' shot.

Although the Terps never again trailed, the Cavaliers tied the game at 2 and 4 before Maryland took the lead for good on two early second-half goals. Carney netted a free-position shot and then fed Allison Comito on transition for a 6-4 lead with 22:28 left in the game.

The Cavaliers cut the lead to one three times, lastly on Jamie Haas' free-position goal with 7:55 left. Then Maryland applied heavy defensive pressure and Virginia started rushing its attack.

"Probably the only thing we didn't do well was poor time management at the very, very end," said Virginia coach Julie Myers.

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