Terps women unable to get over hill vs. Va.

Maryland's big rally falls short in 17-16 loss

March 13, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Nine years of frustration came pouring out of Virginia's women's lacrosse team last night at Maryland as the Cavaliers built a nine-goal lead that was just enough to spark them to a 17-16 win over the Terrapins.

The No. 8 Cavaliers took a 14-5 lead two minutes into the second half at Ludwig Field before the No. 6 Terps rallied with several multiple-goal spurts. Meredith Egan, Kelly Coppedge and Annie Collins put together the last series of goals in the final 3:34, but the Terps could not convert their final possession.

When Coppedge fed Collins in the middle of the arc, the Terps pulled to 17-16 with 34 seconds to go.

Maryland won the final draw and Courtney Hobbs drove to the goal, but Virginia's defense forced her behind the crease. Hobbs lost the ball, but recovered in time to feed Egan for a last-second effort, but the Cavaliers cut off Egan's angle to the goal.

The Terps are hoping their abrupt turnaround could indicate the direction of this season, in which the seven-time defending national champions are 1-3 and have lost all three Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season games.

"We realized at halftime that we came out in the first half to beat Virginia, and that was wrong. We came out in the second half to play for ourselves and play better than we ever have before and to play for each other, to win for us," said Terps sophomore Coppedge, who scored a career-high five goals.

The comeback came with improvement on every front. The Terps passed better through the midfield, took better shots and tightened a defense that had given the Cavaliers open shots and free positions on some of their 13 fouls.

Lauren Aumiller, a former All-Metro Player of the Year from Notre Dame Prep, led the Cavaliers with six goals and an assist. She scored two in an initial 6-0 run. The Terps didn't get on the board until Hobbs nailed a free position with 13:25 left in the first half.

The Cavs (3-1, 1-0 ACC) had not beaten Maryland since 1993. Since then, the Terps, who lead the series 26-8, had won 15 straight.

For the Terps, the loss sent the seven-time defending national champs to last place in the ACC, having already lost on the road at Duke and North Carolina.

"There's a lot of pressure on this team to maybe fulfill the expectations of all the other [Maryland] teams, and that's OK," said coach Cindy Timchal. "We really try to displace that pressure, but it's really hard, because they feel they should be stepping on the field and winning. It's definitely a gut-check for us, but we're going to come back stronger than ever."

Virginia 12 5 -- 17

Maryland 4 12 -- 16

Goals: V--Aumiller 6, Banks 4, Cangemi 3, Chasney 3, Thalenberg, Appelt, Sambus; M--Coppedge 5, Hobbs 4, Egan 2, Collins 2, Leggio, Sommers, Walker. Assists: V--Appelt 6, Chasney 2, Cangemi, Aumiller, Sambus; M--Coppedge, Hobbs, Leggio. Saves: V--Pheiffer 16; M-- Venechanos 8, Gorman 1.

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