Virginia women hold Maryland at bay, 15-11

Cavs' offense too much in tournament semifinal

Duke rebuffs UNC, 11-9

College Lacrosse

April 30, 2005|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Virginia's women's lacrosse team got off to the start it wanted in yesterday's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament opener against Maryland.

The No. 7 Cavaliers jumped on the No. 8 Terrapins with three goals in less than 2 1/2 minutes and the defending ACC champs went on to a 15-11 victory at M&T Bank Stadium.

Virginia will meet No. 3 Duke for the title tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Maryland's defense succeeded in holding the Cavaliers' top goal scorer, Tyler Leachman, without a goal, but Virginia had so many offensive weapons that the Terps struggled to contain them all.

Cary Chasney led the Cavaliers with five goals while Amy Appelt, Kate Breslin and Nikki Lieb had three each.

In the early going, the teams set a frenetic pace, scoring 10 goals in less than 12 minutes, but that was fine with Virginia coach Julie Myers. Her defending national champions maintained at least a two-goal lead throughout.

"We set the tempo right from the beginning," said Myers. "We were able to execute fast breaks off draw controls, off of saves and defensive plays, so we were able to really run the ball. We like to push. That's part of our style ... and we've got the players who can pull it off critically well."

Several times off those draw controls, the Cavaliers (13-3) simply beat the Terps' defense to the goal with their passing. At other times, Virginia moved the ball quickly in its settled offense, creating openings in the arc.

"They didn't have a chance to `double' only because our ball movement was so crisp," said Appelt. "Everywhere we wanted to throw the ball, our teammate was there. We made them run to try to chase us and it really worked to our advantage."

Maryland defender Greta Sommers said the Terps (10-6) were trying out a new defensive plan and there were still a few glitches although Becky Clipp had seven ground balls and five caused turnovers.

"We were just getting used to [the new defense]," said Sommers. "Unfortunately, we had some miscommunications and we're working on it."

Virginia took its biggest lead into halftime at 8-4, but the Terps rallied to within 8-6 on goals from Kelly Kasper and Delia Cox in the early minutes of the second half.

Over the next seven minutes, the Terps had their best chance to make a move, but they could not take advantage when the Cavaliers' offense stalled for about 10 minutes.

Appelt fired wide on two straight shots, including a free-position attempt; Leachman missed a shot, and Terps goalie Kirah Miles made a fine save against Leachman's free-position shot.

The Terps, however, turned the ball over on all four possessions during that stretch, twice in the arc. Chasney and Lieb then scored back-to-back goals to boost the Cavaliers' lead to 10-6 with 18:51 to go.

No. 2 Duke 11, No. 9 North Carolina 9: The history between these programs dictated that the top-seeded Blue Devils would not have an easy time against their biggest rival. Half of the previous 14 meetings between the two had been decided by one goal, including the last three.

Yesterday's game was tied at 1, 2, 3 and 4 before the Blue Devils (13-3) scored three straight goals to take the lead for good. Still, the Tar Heels (12-5), who won the regular-season game, cut the margin to one twice, the last time at 9-8 on Allison Higgins' goal with 15:41 to go.

Duke goalie Megan Huether made four of her 12 saves after Higgins' goal. Back-to-back goals by Rachel Sanford and Leigh Jester boosted the Blue Devils' lead to 11-8 with 9:28 left.

Huether and the Blue Devils' defense held the Tar Heels to just five second-half goals on 19 shots. Caline McHenry finished the game with four ground balls and three caused turnovers.

"They really held off a barrage of shots," said Duke coach Kerstin Kimel. "Carolina outshot us 19-4 in the second half. It's the first time we've been outshot maybe all year."

Katie Chrest, the ACC Player of the Year, had three goals and two assists for the Blue Devils, who have never won an ACC championship.

Maryland 4 7 - 11

Virginia 8 7 - 15

Goals: M-Kasper 3, Cox 2, Doolittle 2, Pellizzi 2, Dorney, Collins; V-Chasney 5, Appelt 3, Breslin 3, Lieb 3, Lazarus. Assists: M-Richards, Dorney, Kasper, Magor, Walker; V-Leachman 3, Lazarus 2, Appelt, Breslin, Chasney, Connors. Saves: M-Miles 8; V-Miles 10.

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