COLLEGE PARK - The Maryland women's lacrosse team makes winning seem so effortless.
The Terps laugh on the sidelines, smack sticks after scoring goals and basically shrug off blown defensive assignments or overthrown passes.
Maryland's carefree attitude is the result of winning a school-record 22 straight games, including a 16-5 rout of No. 6 Virginia yesterday at AstroTurf Field.
The Terps (5-0), who are ranked No. 1 by Lacrosse magazine and have outscored opponents by a combined score of 76-15, haven't dropped a regular-season game since a two-goal loss to the Cavaliers on March 23, 1993 a 42-game span.
Virginia (3-1) was expected to be Maryland's first test of the season after beating No. 2 Princeton on Sunday. But the Cavaliers couldn't match Maryland's depth, length-of-the-field drives and fluid passing.
"I think Virginia played well, but the score doesn't reflect that," Maryland coach Cindy Timchal said. "I think it shows the commitment put forth by our team for that effort. We're at the mountain peak right now and looking at the stars."
One of the main reasons for the Terps' star-gazing is three-time All- American Kelly Amonte, who scored four goals and had four assists yesterday. She has led Maryland in scoring in 15 of its last 22 games.
Nine seconds into yesterday's game, Amonte won the draw and fed Sarah Forbes, who quickly put the Terps ahead, 1-0. But Virginia settled down and tied the game at 2 when Kate Evans scored with 20: 51 remaining in the first half.
Amonte then engineered a game-breaking counterattack, turning that 2-2 score into a 6-2 Maryland lead in a matter of 2 1/2 minutes. She won the draws that led to the first two goals of the run and scored two goals in 20 seconds on isolation moves to build the four-goal margin.
"[Amonte is] done after this year, and at best we have to see her one more time and that's comforting," said Virginia coach Julie Myers of Amonte. "She has no weaknesses, or none that we could find in four years."
Maryland outshot the Cavaliers, 24-12, and dominated the opening draws behind Amonte, 15-8.
With 239 career points, Amonte is 12 shy of breaking the school record held by Judy Dougherty (1978-81).
Pub Date: 3/21/96