Princeton women nip Terps in OT

UM's Cox scores 6 goals

Balto. pair creates winner

College Lacrosse

April 29, 2004|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

PRINCETON, N.J. - Top-ranked Princeton and No. 4 Maryland were the top two scoring teams in Division I women's lacrosse going into last night's contest, but the Tigers had the nation's stingiest defense. That defense made all the difference.

The two-time defending national champs allowed Maryland two goals in the first half and held off a late Terrapins surge to win their 24th straight game, 8-7, in overtime before about 1,200 at Class of 1952 Stadium.

With 17.8 seconds left in extra time, Princeton's Theresa Sherry found former Bryn Mawr teammate Tara Hardiman in front of the goal. Hardiman spun around and nailed a high shot past Terps goalie Kirah Miles, who had made two terrific saves against Sherry at the beginning of overtime.

"They tried to early-double us a lot," said Hardiman, "and when Theresa got the ball, she's such a great player, they doubled her. I was open, so I just popped in there."

The teams, which combined have won every national title for the last 10 years, came into the game averaging 14 goals each. Princeton coach Chris Sailer, whose 15-0 Tigers had allowed just 6.29 goals per game, said she wasn't expecting such a low-scoring game.

"It's a good thing, because if it wasn't low scoring, Maryland would have won," said Sailer. "I was pretty surprised that you had the two highest scoring attacks in the country and it was 4-2 at the half, but the defenses were playing well."

Princeton's defense came up with the biggest play. Midway through the six minutes of overtime, Katie Norbury and Lauren Vance caught Maryland's Delia Cox in a double team. That forced a turnover and, most importantly, got the ball away from Cox, a sophomore who matched her career high with six of the Terps' seven goals last night.

The Terrapins (12-4) had done a good job all game of keeping the Tigers from finding opening players. Only two Princeton goals were assisted, both by Sherry.

"We were trying to front the cutters the entire game," said Terps defender Meg Mallon. "One got through, and it just ended up being the one that scored the goal. All around, we played tough on them the whole game."

Despite scoring the game's first goal, the Terps still were slow getting their offense going. Princeton scored three goals in a row for a 3-1 lead with 13:07 left, and the Terps never again led.

Still, they chipped away after Jamie Sundheim's goal gave the Tigers a 7-4 lead with 10:06 to go. Cox scored a couple of goals and Brooke Richards added a third to pull the Terps even at 7 with 6:12 left. Princeton goalie Sarah Kolodner made a couple of saves and Miles had one in the waning minutes of the half.

Maryland coach Cindy Timchal gave the Tigers plenty of credit for holding off the Terps attack.

"Princeton holds the ball a lot," said Timchal. "They're very disciplined offensively, so they ate up a lot of time on the clock. We needed to generate more offense, but the positive thing is we came out in the second half and we had five goals against a stifling defense."

Maryland 2 5 0 - 7

Princeton 4 3 1 - 8

Goals: M-Cox 6, Richards; P-Biles 2, Hardiman 2, Sherry, Goldberg, Pillion, Sundheim. Assists: P-Sherry 2. Saves: M-Miles 8; P-Kolodner 10

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