Dartmouth came into last night's game with the nation's top-ranked attack, but the unit couldn't keep pace with its counterpart as No. 1 Virginia scored three straight goals early in the second half to take control and gain a 10-7 victory at UMBC Stadium in the women's NCAA Division I semifinals.
Virginia (17-2), which has won 12 straight, will face three-time defending champion Maryland tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the championship game at UMBC Stadium.
Despite a slow start, the pesky Big Green (13-3) stayed with Virginia and seemingly managed to tie the game at 6-6 when sophomore attackman Kate Graw scored with 21: 14 left in the game. But Graw's goal was disallowed after she was called for a dangerous follow through on the shot.
Virginia then scored the next three goals, two of them by freshman midfielder Lacey Aumiller. Defender Stephy Samaras scored off the transition with 19: 36 remaining to put Virginia ahead 7-5. The Cavaliers won the draw and Aumiller scored 10 seconds later on a pass from Kara Ariza.
Aumiller, who finished with four goals, scored her third with 11: 50 remaining to put Virginia ahead 9-5, and Dartmouth was TTC finished for the rest of the night.
"Lacey has been shooting pretty well in practice," Virginia coach Julie Myers said of Aumiller, a first-team All-Metro player for Notre Dame Prep last year. "She started slowly because she had mononucleosis early this year, but she has been doing pretty well as a sub and did a terrific job tonight."
Said Aumiller: "It's pretty nice being here in front of friends and family. I was just lucky to be in there and step it up. It would be real nice to win this in front of the hometown crowd."
Dartmouth had little luck and the violation was just one of a number of things that went wrong for it last night. The Big Green found itself trailing 5-1 with 13: 55 left in the first half, and its offense could not match Virginia's speed or consistency. Dartmouth had come into last night's game averaging 14.8 points, but the Cavaliers had the nation's stingiest defense, allowing only 5.67.
"It was a judgment call by the official," Dartmouth coach Amy Patton said of the follow through violation. "It was a tough one for us, a momentum-breaker."
The seven goals scored by Dartmouth tied its lowest output of the season. But Virginia's offense had just as much of an effect as its defense.
Ariza and teammate Jessica Hull scored in the first two minutes of the game, and when senior midfielder Peggy Boutilier beat Weze Shorts for a goal just outside the crease, Virginia was ahead 3-0 with 27: 16 left in the first half.
Pub Date: 5/16/98