Princeton women take title

Tigers clinch 2nd crown with 12-7 win over Hoyas

MVP Simone has 3 goals

College Lacrosse

May 20, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Princeton's Lauren Simone described yesterday's national championship as "the perfect end to a perfect season."

The second NCAA Division I women's lacrosse crown in Princeton history also marked a perfect ending to a great career for Simone, as well as the perfect NCAA championship debut for Tigers freshmen Lindsey Biles and Sarah Kolodner.

The tournament Most Valuable Player, Simone scored three goals, including the game-winner during a second-half run, to lead the Tigers over Georgetown, 12-7, in the final before 3,400 at Loyola College's Curley Field.

Biles, a Severn graduate who finished with three goals, had a goal and an assist in the 5-0 second-half run that sparked the Tigers' victory. Kolodner then made five of her nine saves -- three against Hoyas top scorer Erin Elbe -- in the next minute and a half to preserve the lead.

With the 2002 title, coach Chris Sailer's Tigers (19-1) put their second bookend on Maryland's title run. Princeton won its only other title in 1994, the year before Maryland's seven-year reign began.

The Tigers polished off a 19-game winning streak yesterday by avenging their season-opening 15-13 overtime loss to the Hoyas (17-2) on March 3.

"It's exciting our season got to come full circle like this," said Simone. "I'll take the loss in the home opener rather than today."

Georgetown, in its second straight title game disappointment, controlled most of the possession early, winning the first six draws and patiently plotting its attack while the Tigers struck quickly. All that changed in the second half.

The Tigers started dominating the draws and broke out of a 5-5 tie with five straight goals.

"We controlled the tempo in the first half and we let it get away from us in the second half," said Georgetown coach Kim Simons. "We lost the first four draws and we let them score a few goals, kind of uncontested goals. Then they got control of the tempo and from there, it was us trying to claw our way back in."

Biles started the Tigers' roll, threading a small opening to Mimi Hammerberg's stick as she cut through the arc. Hammerberg snared it and leaped for a high shot and a 6-5 lead with 23:16 left in the game.

Less than a minute later, Whitney Miller fed Biles with a lob pass into the middle of the arc for a 7-5 lead.

In both cases, the feeder drew double coverage and found a teammate with an opening to the goal.

"We had a lot of that today," said Biles, "because they were quick to double. In the beginning, that opened up a lot on the side because if you were quicker than the slides, then you could shoot across wide-open. But toward the end of the game, they started to play you a little more out and that left an opening for the one-on-ones."

After the Tigers took the 7-5 lead, the Hoyas started rushing their attack, shooting a couple times right at Kolodner. That helped the Tigers add three more goals -- Simone's game-winner, Charlotte Kenworthy's golfed-in ground ball and Miller's goal off a feed from Hammerberg in transition.

With 14:07 left, the Tigers led 10-5.

Kolodner then made her big stand. She deflected three straight Elbe shots, including one point-blank when Elbe grabbed a rebound, and then stopped good shots from Melissa Ellers and Gloria Lozano.

Wick Stanwick, who finished with four goals, finally broke through for the Hoyas, finding a tough angle, and Anouk Peters added a free-position goal, but goals from Kenworthy and Elizabeth Pillion in the final two minutes negated both of those scores.

The Tigers' defense, led by Rachael Becker, Jess Nelson and Katie Norbury and Kolodner shut out the Hoyas for 18 minutes, while the attack made its five-goal move. The unit finished an impressive four-game tournament run by allowing only 17 goals -- a 4.25 average.

Princeton 4 8 -- 12

Georgetown 4 3 -- 7

Goals: P--Simone 3, Biles 3, Kenworthy 2, Pillion 2, Hammerberg, Miller; G--Stanwick 4, Peters, Ahearn, E.Elbe. Assists: P--Sherry 3, Simone, Biles, Hammerberg, Miller, Nelson; G--E.Elbe. Saves: P--Kolodner 9; G--Vicchio 5.

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