Judd takes charge for UM women

Senior's five goals, poise stave off No. 10 UNC, 10-8

March 03, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK - Maryland's Sonia Judd sparked the offense with timely passing and shooting yesterday. She also won several key draws and stopped two North Carolina rallies with clutch goals.

In short, the Australian senior controlled the game. Judd finished with five goals and three assists to help sixth-ranked Maryland fight off No. 10 North Carolina for a 10-8 victory in an Atlantic Coast Conference women's lacrosse game before 1,479 at the Artificial Turf Facility.

Maryland (2-0, 1-0 ACC) was winless in its three conference games last year, but Judd personally ensured that wouldn't happen again this season. She helped Maryland jump to a 5-0 lead just 8:02 into the game, then scored four of the Terps' five second-half goals as North Carolina (1-1, 0-1) kept battling.

Judd's eight points were a career high, and she has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) so far. The 5-foot-7 attack/midfielder finished with 53 points in 21 games last year.

"I have been a player that has been a little inconsistent and a little streaky," said Judd, whose five goals yesterday came on just seven shots. "I want to focus on being a consistent leader."

Maryland coach Cindy Timchal knows her team is still very young - only three seniors started yesterday - and was thrilled that Judd came through. Judd helped Maryland win 11 of the 19 draws and often keep possession for long stretches.

"Sonia had just an awesome game," Timchal said. "It's just great to see a senior step up. She stepped up huge."

Judd had a goal and two assists as the Terps raced to the 5-0 lead. Kelly Coppedge scored twice as Maryland appeared ready to break the game open early. But North Carolina then slowed the fast-paced Terps and began to set the pace, cutting the lead to 5-3 at halftime.

That's when Judd took over.

She made a perfect feed to Acacia Walker (Annapolis), who scored at the five-minute mark of the second half. Judd then scored twice, 56 seconds apart, to stretch the Maryland lead to 8-3 with 20:45 left.

Gina Allen (Hereford) and Allison Higgins (Roland Park) scored for North Carolina just 37 seconds apart to make it 8-5 with 17:03 remaining. Judd answered with two more goals as Maryland took a 10-5 lead.

But North Carolina kept controlling the pace and stopping Maryland's transition game. The Tar Heels also scored the game's final three goals, slicing the Terps' lead to 10-8 with 6:53 left. But Maryland then was able to get the ball back and run out much of the clock after that.

Maryland goalie Alexis Venechanos (nine saves) made several key stops in first half as North Carolina, which beat the Terps twice last season, awakened its offense.

"We knew this was going to be tough, and they always play us tough," Timchal said. "It's huge; it's really huge."

North Carolina 3 5 - 8

Maryland 5 5 - 10

Goals: UNC-Higgins 2, Ames 2, Allen, Barnes, Dieringer, Fortino; M-Judd 5, Coppedge 2, Walker, Collins, Leggio. Assists: UNC-McCarthy 3, Young 2; M-Judd 3, Coppedge 2, Walker. Saves: UNC-Garofalo 7; M-Venechanos 9.

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