It was a loss that admittedly will haunt Maryland women's lacrosse coach Cindy Timchal for some time. For her second-ranked Terrapins, however, last week's shocking setback to James Madison - one that loosened their grip on the nation's top ranking and ended their dream of a perfect season - already seems to be paying dividends.
For the second straight game, host Maryland blitzed an overmatched opponent, scoring the first seven goals against No. 19 Johns Hopkins before cruising to a 19-4 win in its final tune-up before the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The Terrapins have now outscored opponents 40-10 the past two games.
"I think that right after the game we said, `We can't win them all. Let's turn this into something that drives us harder and pushes us right into the ACCs,' " Timchal said. "That [loss] will haunt me for a long time. Maybe that was just a wake-up call for us."
Kelly Coppedge scored a career-high seven goals - including six in the first half - as the Terrapins took an 11-2 lead by halftime, then withstood a brief spurt by the Blue Jays to extend the lead throughout the second half. Sonia Judd, Annie Collins and Delia Cox added three goals each.
"After coming off the loss, we were really upset," Coppedge said. "We just wanted to show everyone that we're a better team than that. We wanted to come out quick and set the tempo so that they weren't able to get in the game at all."
It was a job well done.
Maryland (13-1) jumped on top 19 seconds into the game, as Judd hit Coppedge with a long pass off the opening draw, and junior from Annapolis did the rest.
The Terrapins outshot Hopkins 42-22 for the game, continually creating and capitalizing on fast-break opportunities. Meanwhile, they managed to keep the Blue Jays without an offensive possession for the first 7:30, without a shot for the first 11:05 and without a goal until Kate Barcomb scored off a pass from Erin Riordan with 7:21 left in the first half.
"They transitioned beautifully, they handled the ball very well and we couldn't pick up a ground ball to save our life," Hopkins coach Janine Tucker said. "We have a lot of young kids out there, and Maryland is a very seasoned team, and that showed. It felt like it was snowballing, but you've just got to keep pushing your kids to not give up."
After scoring consecutive goals late in the first half, whatever confidence the Blue Jays (6-4) had quickly eroded on a highlight-reel goal by Maryland. The play started when Acacia Walker forced a takeaway near midfield and sent a long lob pass to Kristie Leggio, who then immediately sent another high-arcing lob to Judd for the goal with 24 seconds left.
The Terrapins' attention will now turn to the ACC tournament in Charlottesville, Va., where the top seeds will face North Carolina in Friday's semifinals at 1 p.m. The winner will advance to play either Duke or Virginia in Sunday's final.
"We knew this was the last chance to play before ACCs, so we wanted to play well," Timchal said.
Johns Hopkins 2 2 - 4
Maryland 11 8 - 19
Goals: JHU-Barcomb, Burnett, Lipka, Pearce; M-Coppedge 7, Judd 3, Collins 3, Cox 3, Dorney, Walker, Leggio. Assists: JHU-Barcomb, Riordan, Voight; M-Leggio 3, Walker 3, Judd 2, Warren. Saves: JHU-McDonald 7, Riddick 18; M-Venechanos 5, Miles 2.