Big 2nd half lifts Terps women

Win is Maryland's first in NCAAs since 2004

Maryland 13 Yale 7

College lacrosse

May 14, 2007|By Stephen Whyno | Stephen Whyno,Sun reporter

COLLEGE PARK -- For the first half of its NCAA tournament opener, the Maryland women's lacrosse team couldn't get its traditionally explosive offense churning. Then the Terrapins showcased their dominant offense.

After playing to Yale's defensive style for much of the first half, the fifth-seeded Terps scored the first three goals after halftime and pulled away to beat the Bulldogs, 13-7, yesterday at Ludwig Field.

"For us, we've really just kind of been preaching all season that it's all about Maryland, and it's about playing the way we know we can," coach Cathy Reese said. "For us, that was clearly shown in the second half of today's game."

Maryland will face fourth seed Pennsylvania in the second round at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Reese joked that no reporters wanted to know exactly what she told her team at halftime with her team holding on to a 4-2 lead. But it was a breakout goal that sparked the Terps' second-half run.

Less than a minute into the half, senior midfielder Katie Doolittle charged toward the goal and snapped the ball past goalkeeper Ellen Cameron (Roland Park). Then senior attacker Krista Pellizzi gave the Terps a four-goal lead they never dropped.

Pellizzi finished with a game-high five goals, but she acknowledged she was concerned when the offense wasn't clicking in the first half.

"It was a little worrisome because we slowed it down a lot, and the point of our offense is never to slow down," she said. "We slowed down a lot, and I think it was just a matter of picking it up a bit."

Picking it up for the Terps meant returning to explosive offensive form. While goalie Allie Buote (10 saves) and the defense played a strong game and held Yale to one of its lowest outputs of the season, the offense found a rhythm.

Reese said the differences in the second half were draw controls and tempo. The Terps won 13 of 15 draw controls in the second half, which allowed them more time with the ball and more chances to build their lead.

Bulldogs junior midfielder Lauren Taylor said the start of the second half shifted the momentum.

"Once they went on that run early in the second half, I think that put us on our heels a little bit," Taylor said. "We played more tentative than we really needed to."

Taylor, the nation's leading scorer at 3.81 goals per game, finished with four goals, but the Terps held Yale to three other goals to give Reese her first tournament win as a head coach.

The win was also the Terps' first in the NCAA tournament since 2004, but Reese said her team isn't satisfied.

"We are inviting the challenge," she said. "[We're] never satisfied enough. You got more games to play. There's more left in us."

steve.whyno@baltsun.com

Yale 2 5 - 7

Maryland 4 9 - 13

Goals: Y-Taylor 4, Myers 2, Melnicker; M-Pellizzi 5, Kasper 3, Dobbie 2, Major 2, Doolittle. Assists: Y-Warden; M-Kasper 2, McFadden 2, Dobbie. Saves: Y-Cameron 13; M-Buote 10.

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