Terps look to reclaim supremacy

No. 2 Maryland braces for showdown with No. 1 Northwestern

Women's lacrosse Notebook

April 12, 2007|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun reporter

Maryland's women's lacrosse team has beaten one No. 1 team this season and the Terrapins will go after a second Monday.

The Terps head to Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between two programs that have won nine of the past 12 national championships.

It has been awhile since the Terps swept seven straight titles from 1995 to 2001, but Northwestern is fresh off its second NCAA Division I crown in a row.

This season, the Terps seem rejuvenated, going 12-1 in their best start since 2003 -- the last time they reached the final four.

A strong cast of veterans got a boost from Dana Dobbie, a Canadian World Cup player and a junior transfer from Ohio University, who leads the Terps in scoring with 39 goals and 10 assists, as well as all-around stellar freshman Caitlyn McFadden (Notre Dame Prep).

The coaching staff also brings new energy, with former Terps All-Americans Cathy Reese and Jen Adams taking over this season.

On March 24, the Terps beat then-No. 1 North Carolina, 8-6, and now take aim at the Wildcats (9-1), who haven't lost since falling in their season opener to North Carolina, 9-8.

"I don't think there are any secrets for us," said Reese, the Terps' head coach. "Finishing our opportunities and being smart is the whole key, not forcing it when it's not there. When Northwestern has the ball, they're a strong team and they can score. We want to limit their opportunities and maximize ours."

Speed also will be a factor against the fast Wildcats. Reese is looking to midfielders McFadden, Kelly Kasper (Century), Katie Doolittle and defenders Becky Clipp (Catonsville) and Katie Pumphrey (Severna Park) to counterbalance with their speed.

"I think it's going to be a very fast-paced game. Neither team tends to slow the game down much. The hope is for us to use our speed in the same way they do," said Reese, whose team is first preparing to host Loyola tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Ludwig Field.

Tigers on the upswing

Towson has struggled with shooting efficiency much of this season, with half of its six losses coming by one goal.

The Tigers turned that around Sunday, scoring on 58 percent of their shots en route to a 19-13 win at George Mason. That was a vast improvement over the 35.6 percent the Tigers had been shooting.

"I feel we've been outplaying teams but unless you put the ball away, it doesn't really matter," Tigers coach Missy Doherty said. "We outshot Delaware 40-32 [and lost, 16-15]. We couldn't buy a goal. That's a huge momentum swing for the other team, getting that big save."

Sunday, Meggie McNamara scored five of her six goals in the second half as the Tigers (4-6) rallied from two down with 12 second-half goals.

With only one senior starter, Shannon Witzel, the Tigers were making mistakes of inexperience early on, Doherty said. She sees signs that the George Mason game might be a turning point as the Tigers embark on a two-week stretch of Colonial Athletic Association games.

"I think we're in great position now," Doherty said. "We got a lot of confidence from the George Mason game and we have a really great weekend coming up with Old Dominion [tomorrow] and William and Mary [Sunday] at home. It's going to be a telling weekend for us."

Rookie impact

Duquesne freshman Meghan Frederick (Dulaney) was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week after a four-goal performance in a 15-5 win over Canisius. Frederick ranks second on the team in goals with 19 and points with 25.

Sarah Cates (Mount Hebron) and Janna Faulkner (Centennial) also have been A-10 rookies of the week this season for Duquesne.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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