In evenly matched ACC, little separates top seeds

Duke gets top spot in tournament after 3-way tie

Terps 4th

College Lacrosse

Women's notebook

April 27, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

Competition in Atlantic Coast Conference women's lacrosse has always been close, but it could not be much closer than this season.

The regular season ended in a three-way tie for first place. Duke, Virginia and North Carolina all finished 4-1. The seedings for the tournament, which begins today at M&T Bank Stadium, were decided by goal differential.

Duke, the No. 1 team in the nation and the defending ACC champ, earned the top seed with a plus-1 goal differential over Virginia. North Carolina was third at minus-1. None of the games among these three was decided by more than two goals.

Maryland, which finished 2-3 in the conference, got the fourth seed. But the Terrapins aren't far behind the first three. They lost by two goals to Duke and North Carolina and fell to Virginia, 14-9.

Along with Duke, which took over the top spot by knocking off defending national champion Northwestern, the next three are ranked in the top five this week - No. 4 Virginia, No. 5 Maryland and No. 6 North Carolina.

"Those teams are so close it's ridiculous," Maryland coach Cindy Timchal said. "Everybody's got to show up and really play hard. At this point, it doesn't matter what has happened in the past."

Boston College, in its first season in the ACC drew the fifth seed at 1-4 in the conference, having beaten 0-5 Virginia Tech, 13-8.

Familiar foe

After Maryland's 13-11 win over Boston College on Saturday, Timchal said the Terps would have to get better before they met the Eagles again in today's ACC tournament first-round matchup.

After all, she reasoned, the Eagles would use the time to improve after coming so close in their first-ever meeting ever with the Terps (11-5).

"We felt like we gave up too many goals," Timchal said. "Defensively we need to be stronger against this team and offensively, we didn't execute as well as we should have."

The Terps have been inconsistent this season, especially with a young defense. After graduating two strong field players and losing another to injury, the Terps have been rebuilding in the back with Becky Clipp (Catonsville), Lauren Cohen and Martha Raver (Mount de Sales). Still, they have given up only 8.88 goals a game.

They also have a new starting keeper this season in sophomore St. Mary's graduate Allie Buote, who has an 8.78 goals-against average and a .480 save percentage.

"We threw her in there with not an experienced defense and she has done well," Timchal said.

"I think we're improving every time we go out there. We had to fill some gaps and when you look at our losses if we had scored one more goal each half or stopped one more, we could have won those close games that we lost."

No resting on laurels

Winning the Tewaaraton Trophy can be the perfect finishing touch for the best player in the women's college game, but Duke's Katie Chrest wasn't quite finished when she picked up the award after leading the Blue Devils to the final four last season as a junior.

Chrest, the 2002 All-Metro Player of the Year at Maryvale, averages an ACC-leading 3.07 goals a game. She has 46 goals and 12 assists this season and also leads the team in draw controls with 31.

Another All-Metro Player of the Year is also having a banner season for the Blue Devils (14-1). Mount Hebron graduate Kristen Waagbo is second on their season goal-scoring list with 38 and has a team-leading 25 assists.

Rolling up the goals

North Carolina has 17 players on its roster from the Baltimore area and five of them are the top scorers, combining for 104 goals.

Mount Hebron graduates Stephanie Scurachio (26 goals, 11 assists) and Melissa McCarthy (23, 13) lead the way followed by McDonogh's Christina Juras (20, 11), St. Mary's Brooke Dieringer (19, 5) and Hereford's Jess Allen (16, 2). katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

ACC tournaments

What: Atlantic Coast Conference men's and women's lacrosse tournaments

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

Tickets: Prices include men's and women's games for that date. Weekend pass $25, students $20; first round only $7, students $5; semifinals only $15, students $12; finals only $10, students $8

Parking: $8 or $10 per vehicle

WOMEN'S SCHEDULE Today's first round

No. 3 seed North Carolina vs. No. 6 Va. Tech, 2:30 p.m.

No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 5 Boston College, 5 p.m. Tomorrow's semifinals

N. Carolina-Va. Tech winner vs. No. 2 Virginia, 3 p.m.

Maryland-BC winner vs. No. 1 Duke, 5:30 p.m. Sunday's final

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

MEN'S SCHEDULE Tomorrow's semifinal

No. 2 seed Maryland vs. No. 3 N. Carolina, 8 p.m. Sunday's final

Maryland-N. Carolina winner vs. No. 1 Virginia, 3:30 p.m.

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