HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Kristin Sommar broke out of a scoring slump in a big way yesterday, netting a career-high seven goals to lead No. 1 Maryland's women's lacrosse team past No. 4 James Madison, 24-15, at JMU Lacrosse Field.
The senior All-America midfielder had scored 12 goals in the Terrapins' first nine games, but yesterday she scored more than any other Terp had in a single game all season.
Several of Sommar's goal were critical ones in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. She had three in a 7-2 Terps run to end the first half, and scored the momentum-busting game-winner for a 16-14 lead with 12: 45 left in the game.
Before Sommar's game-winner, the Dukes (7-2) had scored five straight times to pull within 15-14. But after Tori Wellington's knockdown at the far end, Sommar slipped through the last 12 yards and beat two defenders for the goal.
"She really stepped it up, and this is where Sommar is at her best," said Terps coach Cindy Timchal. "She struggled a little bit this year and she's really been working out of it. We feel comfortable because we have a lot of scoring threats, but she happened to be the one today."
After Sommar scored the 16th goal, the Dukes never got closer. The five-time defending national champion Terps (9-1) finished off the game with seven straight goals in the final 9: 01.
During those last nine minutes, the Terps controlled the ball -- something they hadn't done as much earlier in the game. For a team used to dominating opponents off the draw, the Terps won 20 of 41 draws yesterday. In the final seven-goal spurt, however, they won five of nine draws and forced quick turnovers after three others.
"Maryland's an explosive team," said Dukes coach Jen Ulehla, a former Terp All-American. "You've got to have possession. When we dominated the game was when we had possession of the ball, and that's key off the draw. When we had the ball and we moved it, we were able to score."
As a team that likes to strike in transition, the Dukes used their draw control and an aggressive offense to stick with the Terps. They went hard to goal, forcing fouls and converting six free-position shots.
The Dukes' first three goals by Amy Brew, Julie Martinez and Jess Marion came on free positions. The Terps took a 3-1 lead when Jen Adams scored the first of her five goals, but the Dukes rallied to tie at 4, 5 and 6.
Martinez gave the Dukes their last lead, on a feed from McNevin Malloy with 12: 27 left in the half. Timchal then called a timeout.
The Terps responded by winning the next five draws and scoring the next five goals to take an 11-7 lead on Quinn Carney's 8-yard shot.
Maryland's 24 goals were the most scored on James Madison, which has beaten the Terps once in 28 meetings. The Terps, however, had allowed 15 goals in regulation one other time since 1981.
"It rattled our cages a little bit," said All-America defender Tonia Porras, "but we came back and tied. After halftime, we came out strong on both the offensive and the defensive end. This shows us that even if we get a little rattled, we can stick with it."
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