UM women hit high gear, top Hopkins

8-0 first-half run sparks Maryland to 13-8 victory

College Lacrosse

April 14, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

As the regular season winds down, the Maryland women's lacrosse team is speeding things up.

The No. 13 Terrapins went to their transition game yesterday to fuel a 13-8 win over No. 17 Johns Hopkins before 800 fans at Homewood Field.

Time after time, the Terps (8-6) used their quick-strike attack to find open players in the middle of the arc for high-percentage shots. They made their break with an 8-0 run in the first half, scoring six of the goals in 8 1/2 minutes.

"We're just pushing the transition a lot harder than we have been," senior attacker Meredith Egan said. "That's been our game for a long time and we kind of lost it at the beginning of the season, trying to settle things down so much. The past three losses we were trying to settle it more, but when we push it, that's when we really shine."

Nine Terps goals were assisted - four by Kelly Coppedge - as Egan and Courtney Hobbs scored four each.

The 5-foot-11 Egan gave the Blue Jays a lot of trouble, using her height to create defensive mismatches and score three times within three minutes during the first-half run. Twice, she reeled in high passes and shot over Blue Jays goalie Jen McDonald. On her other goal of the stretch, she raced through the arc to nail a shot over McDonald's left shoulder.

"One of our shorter defenders would unfortunately get matched up against Meredith and they did a nice job of taking advantage of that," Blue Jays coach Janine Tucker said. "We had [5-10 Kate Barcomb], who height-wise matched her very well, and she got caught on someone else and you can't slide off Courtney Hobbs to pick up Meredith Egan very quickly."

Egan finished off the first-half blitz by heading to the goal down the right side and passing back to Hobbs in the middle for an 8-1 edge with 1:34 to go.

The Terps' eight-goal run proved critical, because the Blue Jays (7-5) would outscore them 7-5 the rest of the way.

Jamie Larrimore and Erin Wellner scored in the final 37 seconds of the first half to pull within 8-3 and Wellner fed Liz Holland for the opening goal of the second half.

Larrimore, who led the Jays with three goals, made a nice move inside to pull Johns Hopkins within 10-7 later in the second half, but the Terps reeled off three straight goals before Larrimore ended the game with a spinner at the 1:26 mark.

For the Terps, the sense of urgency in their revitalized transition game mirrors the importance of the victory - the 200th of coach Cindy Timchal's 12-year tenure at Maryland. After three straight losses between March 31 and April 6, the seven-time defending national champs are hovering on the brink of not making the NCAA tournament.

They ended that skid Wednesday by clobbering William & Mary, 21-11, with the most goals they've scored all season. Yesterday, despite the closest margin of victory in the four-game series with Hopkins (the Terps won 20-5 last year), they dominated ground balls, 36-20, and outshot the Blue Jays, 31-22.

"We didn't really talk about it, because that just puts a lot of pressure on the team," Timchal said, "but ... to have this victory is huge for us and it's a great stepping stone to go into the ACC tournament next weekend."

Maryland 8 5 - 13

Johns Hopkins 3 5 - 8

Goals: M-Egan 4, Hobbs 4, Judd 3, Leggio, Robinson; JH-Larrimore 3, Burnett, Holland, Pearce, Peterson, Wellner. Assists: M-Coppedge 4, Hobbs 2, Egan, Judd, Shank; JH-Wellner 3. Saves: M-Venechanos 6; JH-McDonald 8.

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