UMBC women nip Towson with :01 left

Traber's goal is winner, as Retrievers score twice in last 1:01, prevail 12-11

April 18, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

For a game to be won on the final possession is not new when UMBC and Towson University get together in women's lacrosse.

A game-winning goal with one second left, though? That's indeed special.

UMBC junior midfielder Lauren Traber provided it yesterday, a shovel shot with her back to the goal after a defender appeared to have her sealed off. The goal, her first of the game but 18th this season, gave the Retrievers a character-building, 12-11 win over the Tigers in 90-degree-plus heat at UMBC Stadium.

"I brought it around, and the girl was on my side, so I flipped it backward, and it found the net," said Traber. "I think it was a total team effort. When someone was feeling the heat or tired, the rest of the team was there for them, and that's really big. The whole team stepped up today."

The Retrievers, with the help of a three-goal performance from senior midfielder Jamie Gerhart, won for the seventh straight time to improve to 8-4 on the season.

More importantly, they go into tomorrow's pivotal Northeast Conference game against visiting Monmouth, a battle for first place among conference unbeatens, on a continued high note. Last season, Monmouth handed the Retrievers their first conference loss after three straight 5-0 regular seasons and beat them a second time in the conference tournament.

"Towson is always a big game for us, an emotional game for us, and it's definitely a great win, going into Monmouth," said UMBC coach Monica Yeakel. "We need that emotion ... and that's what we've really been focusing on in the latter part of the season, playing with added emotion. I think we did that today."

The score was tied nine times, the last at 11-11, when UMBC's Beth Milani was able to spin and score with her left hand with 1:01 left. The Tigers, who had taken control of 19 of the 23 previous draws, couldn't win the one they needed most. UMBC's Stephanie Allen picked up the ground ball off the ensuing draw, giving the Retrievers the final chance, and Traber made the most of it one minute later.

"We just weren't smart with it," said Towson coach Linda Ohrin, whose Tigers fell to 6-8 this season. "We didn't have the fire in the end, and that really made the difference. UMBC came up with the critical draw when they needed to and were able to capitalize on it. It's always a dogfight, and it's a tough loss. But they were a good team and took advantage of our mistakes."

Shannon Gallup scored twice and added an assist with Allen and Jen Dragoni adding two goals each for the Retrievers. The Tigers, who had eight different goal scorers in the first half, went on to get two goals and an assist apiece from Kristyn Krastel and Abigail Giancola.

Gerhart, who has a team-high 25 goals for the Retrievers this season, added to Yeakel's sentiment on emotion being the difference yesterday.

"That showed how much heart we had," she said. "Today, we stuck it out for 60 minutes, and everyone did their part. We didn't have any lapses. It's pretty exciting, and it's really, really important to win these kind of games."

Towson 8 3 - 11

UMBC 8 4 - 12

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