COLLEGE PARK — — Maryland senior Sarah Mollison is starting to realize that any day of college lacrosse could be her last. She made sure that Saturday was not that day.
The Australian scored four goals and assisted on four others as the top-seeded Terrapins defeated the visiting Navy Midshipmen, 19-6, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in College Park.
The Terps (19-1) advance to the quarterfinals, where they will host Princeton next Saturday at 12 noon. The Tigers defeated James Madison, 11-10, in Harrisonsburg, Va. .
Maryland, as is their forte, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game, and the Mids never recovered. Kristy Black scored the first goal just 1:03 into the game — with Mollison assisting — and then scored another on a fast break nine seconds later. Just 33 seconds later, senior Laura Merrifield beat Mids goalie Michelle Verbeeck in the upper right corner. Mollison's first goal, on a quick pass from Beth Glaros, ran the lead to 4-0 with 26:45 to play in the half.
"It was exciting to see what we did [early]," said Terps coach Cathy Reese. "We had two weeks off, and that kind of gave us something to refocus on."
After Navy's Aimee Gennaro scored with 25:32 left in the first half to cut the margin to 4-1, the Terps scored eight of the next nine goals to put the game out of reach, 12-2, at halftime. The last 4:07 of the half was played with a running clock.
The game marked the return to Maryland of Navy (15-6) coach Cindy Timchal. Timchal served as the Terps head coach before moving to Navy after the 2007 season, and lead the Terps to eight National Championships.
"Our goal early was not to give up a fast break goal, and that's exactly what happened," said Timchal. "Mollison created havoc off of our defense. She's a spectacular player, another one of a special group of Australians who have played here."
Timchal said playing Maryland was a great learning experience, but a daunting task at the same time.
"We welcome the opportunity to play a great program like Maryland," said Timchal, who has taken the Mids to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament in the program's fourth season. "We have a young team, and they have something like 40 years more experience than we do."
Mollison refused to take credit for her big day, instead giving credit to her teammates.
"All season, we've tried to come together and play a full 60 minutes," Mollison said. "We worked hard for each other today."
Navy senior Caitlin Mandrin Hill summed up the game, and the Terps, very well in the post game news conference.
"We wanted to come out strong, but that just didn't happen," she said. "[Maryland] is going to be National champions again, so at least we lost to the best."
(at College Park)
Maryland 19, Navy 6
Goals: N – Young 3, Gennaro 2, DePompeo; M – Mollison 4, Black 3, Merrifield 3, Phillips 3, Schwarzmann 2, Aust 2, Trentzsch, Jones. Assists: N – Mandrin Hill 2; M – Mollison 4, Schwarzmann 3, Dawson 2, Black, Glaros. Saves: N – Verbeeck, 5; M – Dipper, 10.