UM women rip Loyola, reach final


EWING, N.J. - Maryland's blistering attack proved too hot for the hottest goalie in the country, Loyola's Tricia Dabrowski, to handle last night.

Dabrowski could make only six saves as the No. 1 Terrapins got one good look after another en route to a 17-7 victory in the NCAA National Collegiate women's lacrosse semifinal at the College of New Jersey's Lions Stadium.

The Terps (20-1) will go after their sixth straight national championship against No. 2 Princeton, a 15-9 winner over No. 3 James Madison in the other semifinal, at 3:10 p.m. tomorrow. Maryland's NCAA tournament winning streak now stands at 15 going into the rematch of the 1995 final.

Last night, the Terps pressured Dabrowski right from the start as Quinn Carney fed Allison Comito in the first 36 seconds. Dabrowski, who came into the game with the nation's best goals-against average (6.44) and save percentage (.645), faced relentless pressure from a Terps attack averaging 15.9 goals a game.

Although the No. 5 Greyhounds (16-5) tied the score at 3 midway through the half, the Terps' offense went into cruise control, scoring six straight goals.

Eight Terps goals were assisted and their quick, pinpoint passing near the goal proved nearly impossible for the Greyhounds' defense to stop."Coming into the national championship, we're all focused and we have a connection that was really evident today," said Terps attacker Jen Adams, who finished with five goals and two assists. "We went all out on the field. We always knew that we were there beside each other. It was never going to be that you were standing alone out there."

Carney, who tied a tournament record with five assists in last year's national championship game, had four assists last night and finished with five points. Comito added four goals and one assist.

Earlier in the season, the Terps defeated the Greyhounds, 12-4. Until last night, that had been the most lopsided loss of the regular season for Loyola, which earned an automatic bid to the tournament by upsetting James Madison for the Colonial Athletic Association tournament crown.

Loyola coach Diane Geppi-Aikens said that she knew the Terps would score and that her team needed to increase its offensive output to have any chance of pulling off the upset."We didn't come in thinking we were going to stop Maryland's great players," said Geppi-Aikens. "I told my team coming into this game the ballgame was going to be won at the draw control and on our offensive end of the field. I think we showed that at the beginning of the game, but this game's about possession. We turned the ball over a bit, we didn't stick the ball in the back of the net and we didn't come up with the draw controls."

Maryland had significant advantages in draw controls (19-6) and shots (30-21), which didn't let the Greyhounds keep it close for long.

After the Terps took a 3-1 lead, the Greyhounds gained some momentum, sparked by Dabrowski's first save. The sophomore goalie snared a tough shot by Comito with 20:30 left.

Her teammates responded by scoring two straight goals - Stephanie Sweet on a free position and Stacey Morlang working against a double team - to tie at 3 with 16:25 left. But the tide quickly turned 3 1/2 minutes later.

Dabrowski picked up a yellow card after her dash to make an interception ended in a collision with Terps attacker Meg McNamara. On the open net free position shot, McNamara gave the Terps a 4-3 lead.

Although the Greyhounds held off the Terps while backup keeper Kate Plantholt replaced Dabrowski for the two-minute foul, the Terps soon picked up the pace. Kristin Sommar scored a one-on-one goal to spark a five-goal Maryland run to end the first half. Comito's sidearm shot against a double team gave the Terps a 9-3 edge at the half.

Maryland then ran its lead to 15-5 with a 6-1 run to open the second half. The Terps scored eight goals in the half on their first nine shots and Adams scored three straight."Trish did have some great saves today," said Geppi-Aikens, "but Maryland has the best shooters in the country and they did a nice job of burning us a little. We didn't have any doubles and they came right in on her."

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