The America East women's lacrosse tournament championship game changed drastically yesterday when Delaware senior midfielder Liza Shoemaker began taking the draws against Towson University at Minnegan Stadium.
The 12th-ranked Blue Hens were trailing the unranked Tigers (8-9) by one goal with 26: 47 left in the game when Shoemaker took her first draw. By the time the former Garrison Forest School standout took her final draw, Delaware (14-4) had wrapped up a 17-9 victory with nine straight goals to complete a 10-0 game-ending run.
Shoemaker not only drew lavish praise from her teammates and coach Denise Wescott, but she walked off the field with the Most Outstanding Player award in the two-day tournament.
Shoemaker not only controlled six faceoffs in the second half to jump-start the Delaware offense, but she played tight defense on Towson's leading scorer, Kathy McCafferty, limiting her to one goal.
"It's always special to come home to Towson and play," said Shoemaker. "I grew up coming here to watch Towson play, and I'm always concerned about playing them. They were a fast team today and just ran away from us for a lot of goals for a 9-7 lead."
But Shoemaker said she always believed the Blue Hens would come back and win.
"We were down by four goals to Penn State and rallied to beat them," said the two-time All-American at Delaware and two-time high school All-American at Garrison Forest.
As for the Most Outstanding Player award, Shoemaker said: "I was totally surprised. There were so many other players who could have won it."
One of those was Delaware sophomore midfielder Sarah Edwards, who scored a single-game America East tournament-record six goals against Towson.
Edwards scored three goals in the 10-0 run that left Towson a little dazed.
"I just couldn't stop all of their shots," said Towson sophomore goalkeeper Jacquie Sica, who had 14 saves and gave her team a chance to win until the second-half Delaware surge. "I hope our team can keep its enthusiasm up for next season and come back strong from this disappointment."
Towson coach Ashley Duncan said: "It's been a long year. I was proud of the way we played until our defense let them get too close to the goal and we had too many turnovers. Our defense has been a problem all year."
When Courtney Benner picked up a loose ball and stuck it in the goal, Towson had the 9-7 lead with 27: 29 left, and she had combined with Jess Weissman (three goals) for five scores.
But was the last goal of the season for the Tigers.
Pub Date: 5/04/98