Carolina drops Terps women to 0-2

No. 1 Maryland falls, 13-11

team loses two in a row for first time since 1998

College Lacrosse

March 04, 2002|By Jamie Agin | Jamie Agin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Maryland women's lacrosse team's season-opening trip to the Tar Heel State couldn't have ended fast enough.

Less than 48 hours after Duke stopped the No. 1 Terrapins' 43-game winning streak, another run ended yesterday afternoon at Henry Stadium. A 13-11 defeat to No. 6 North Carolina handed Maryland its first back-to-back losses since 1998.

That year, the Terps also went winless during a season-opening trip to Duke and Carolina.

"I guess this is a real tough weekend, especially these two ACC openers," said coach Cindy Timchal of Maryland, the seven-time defending national champions.

The game between the Terps (0-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) and Tar Heels (3-0, 1-0) was one of streaky scoring.

Carolina jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first 11:32 behind two goals from attacker Lindsay Stone, but the Terps battled back.

Behind goals from Katie Robinson, Kelly Coppedge and Annie Collins, who scored on a free-position shot with three seconds left in the half, the Terps outscored Carolina 5-1 the rest of the first half, taking a 6-5 lead into the break.

Maryland's lead grew to two with an unassisted goal by Courtney Hobbs 31 seconds into the second half, but Carolina roared back to tie the score 7-7 with two goals in the next 30 seconds.

Maryland regained the lead at 8-7, but the Tar Heels then went on a 6-1 run to seal the game. Coppedge scored two late goals to account for the final 13-11 result.

Despite advantages in shots and turnovers, the Terps were hurt by their inability to win draws.

In the second half, Carolina won nine draws compared to Maryland's five, giving the Tar Heels a chance to fight back and ultimately preventing the Terps from doing so. Overall, North Carolina had a 15-11 edge in draws.

"We've been doing well before but this weekend we've really struggled in the draw," Timchal said. "And that's so critical, especially at times when we've really needed the ball, that we could not win in those situations."

In addition to losing draws, the inexperienced Terps were hurt by a failure to communicate.

"I notice that we get kind of tired and we stop talking, and that hurts us a lot," said Coppedge, who scored four goals, the only Terp with more than one. "We just don't communicate as well as we should and we've got to pick it up."

While there are many new faces in the Maryland lineup, which lost eight of 12 starters from its 2001 NCAA title team, Carolina senior midfielder Kellie Thompson (St. Mary's) said the ferocious Terps attack wasn't anything she hadn't seen before.

"I think their personnel is completely different, but their style is exactly the same," Thompson said. "A lot of teams have been timid playing against them because it's such a tradition for them to win."

Hobbs, who had a goal and two assists, didn't take the losses quite so seriously. She remained confident that the team, which is idle until next Sunday at Syracuse, will jell in time.

"We'll come together," Hobbs said. "There's so many more weeks, so many more games. You haven't seen anything yet."

Maryland 6 5 - 11

North Carolina 5 8 - 13

Goals: M-Coppedge 4, Warren, Judd, Egan, Robinson, Collins, Hobbs, Walker; NC-Stone 4, McPike 3, Thompson 3, McInnes 2, Young. Assists: M-Hobbs 2, Judd, Robinson; NC-Young 2, McInnes 2, Thompson, Stone. Saves: M-Venechanos 6; NC-Hoffman 7.

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