Terps women get assist from heat, top Virginia

Maryland's 15-12 upset earns final spot vs. UNC

College Lacrosse

April 20, 2002|By Evan Markfield | Evan Markfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DURHAM, N.C. - The timing of the Maryland women's lacrosse team's first conference win of the year came as no surprise to Virginia.

Working from the unfamiliar role of fourth seed, the Terrapins once again proved they can be dangerous in the postseason, beating top seed Virginia, 15-12, yesterday at Koskinen Stadium in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals.

"They've won seven national championships," Virginia midfielder Tiffany Schummer said. "They know how to play come tournament time."

The Terrapins will face North Carolina in tomorrow's final. The Tar Heels defeated Duke, 12-8, in the second semifinal after a lengthy lightning delay in the middle of the first half.

Maryland (9-6) had lost all three of its regular-season ACC games, including a 17-16 home loss to the Cavaliers on March 12.

But this time the No. 12 Terrapins controlled the tempo, slowing No. 3 Virginia's high-powered offense, which came in leading the nation with an average of 15.2 goals a game.

That slowdown, however, was not deliberate, but a byproduct of adapting to the 80-plus-degree, humid weather.

"We didn't really plan to slow it down," coach Cindy Timchal, whose Terps limited the Cavs to three first-half goals, said.

"It was hot. It was a test of survival. We weren't trying to take time off the clock as much as we were trying to get a little rest."

Whatever the cause, it helped the Terps build a big advantage with five unanswered goals to close the first half.

The Cavaliers pulled to 8-6 by scoring three goals in four minutes to start the second half, but that was as close as they would get.

Maryland put the top two Virginia scorers - Lauren Aumiller and Amy Appelt - on lockdown, holding each to a single goal.

Aumiller, a Notre Dame Prep alum who leads the nation in scoring with 55 goals, was held scoreless for the first 54 minutes of the game. Maryland attacker Meredith Egan used her size advantage to overmatch Aumiller on the defensive end.

Egan was no slouch on offense, either, leading the Terrapins with four goals. Senior attacker Courtney Hobbs also had four goals, including the eventual game-winner with 8:56 to go in the game.

Sophomore attacker Annie Collins added three goals for the Terps. Freshman Cary Chasney led Virginia with four goals.

Both teams fired a lot of shots, with Maryland holding a 38-34 edge, and both goalkeepers often had to make point-blank saves. Virginia goalie Andrea Pfeiffer had 14 stops, compared to 11 for Maryland's Alexis Venechanos.

Venechanos also got some help from the cage as Virginia's usually precise shooters hit the pipes a number of times.

Even if those shots had found the net, Virginia likely would have been done in by its inability to pick up the pace.

With Maryland holding the ball and leading by four with about seven minutes to go, Virginia's defense remained on its heels, accepting the tempo the Terps had dictated since the opening whistle.

"We started the game playing safe," Virginia coach Julie Myers said. "We didn't play as aggressive as we normally do. We sort of fell into their rhythm. That set the tone for the game right from the beginning."

In the other semifinal, North Carolina (12-2) fell behind early, but got five goals from Kellie Thompson to top the Blue Devils (7-6), who were led by Kelly Dirks' three goals.

Maryland 8 7 - 15

Virginia 3 9 - 12

Goals: M-Egan 4, Hobbs 4, Collins 3, Coppedge 2, Judd 2; V-Chasney 4, Banks 3, Cangemi 2, Appelt, Aumiller, Thalenberg. Assists: M-Walker 4, Coppedge; V-Cangemi 2, Banks, Chasney Saves: M-Venechanos 11; V-Pfeiffer 14.

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