EWING, N.J. - Jen Adams didn't take a shot in the first half of yesterday's National Collegiate women's lacrosse championship, but Maryland's top scorer made up for it in the second half.
The junior attacker rolled up 10 points - a tournament championship record for a game, much less a half - to lead the No. 1 Terrapins to a 16-8 victory over No. 2 Princeton for their sixth straight championship."We do have this dynasty going, but you just don't realize it in the moment," Maryland's Kristin Sommar said. "Down the road, when we tell our kids or other family members, maybe it will hit me then. Right now, words can't describe it."
The game at College of New Jersey's Lions Stadium started out as a struggle for the Terps (21-1), who trailed 4-3 at halftime.
But the struggle turned into a rout in the second half, when Maryland exploded for 13 goals to pull away from the Tigers (15-4) and set a tournament championship game record for most goals in a half.
Led by Adams' five goals and five assists, the Terps ran their lead to 10-5 by the middle of the half. A five-goal run later boosted the margin to 15-6."A small spark can start a big fire," Adams said, "and our second half was that small spark. I don't think it was anything I personally did. We all stepped up and it wasn't a matter of one person. It was what was going on around the core of the team."
The Australian Adams, who was named the tournament's most valuable player for the second straight year, had a hand in the first five goals of the half, boosting the Terps to an 8-5 lead with 20:16 remaining.
From behind the crease, Adams found Courtney Hobbs open on the left side after Quinn Carney drew the lone Tigers defender in the opposite direction, to tie the score at 4. In the next 10 minutes, she one-timed a quick pass from Carney, scored on a free position, fed Hobbs in transition and scored another free-position goal.
After Carney and Sommar scored, Princeton's Julie Shaner brought the Tigers within 10-6 with 17:07 left, but the Terps' pinpoint passing game boosted that lead to 15-6 during the next 10 minutes. Adams scored or assisted on four of those goals.
After Hilary Maddox got one back for Princeton, Adams added her final goal for a 16-7 lead with 2:04 left."Maryland showed in that second half why they've won six in a row," Princeton coach Chris Sailer said. "I thought we were playing just about as well as we could have played defensively in the first half, but obviously the second half was a totally different story."We had some trouble defending their fast breaks, picking up their second layers, and they were getting some nice fast-break goals."
Adams set records for most points in one tournament (22) and most tournament points in a career (43). Adams, who broke every Terps single-season scoring record this season, also broke a 16-year-old Division I record for most points in a season with 136, bettering the 130 mark of Delaware's Karen Emas.
Princeton, the last team to beat Maryland in a national championship final, started the game tough defensively. The Tigers also took advantage of the Terps' early uncharacteristic trouble with their short passing game in the arc.
Hobbs scored the first goal on a free position, but the Terps turned the ball over six times during the next 11 minutes.
Thanks to strong play by the Terps' defense and two Alex Kahoe saves, the Tigers weren't able to convert until the end of that stretch when Julie Shaner and Kim Smith scored for a 3-1 lead.
The Terps, who scored all of their first-half goals on free positions, caught up on back-to-back goals from Christie Jenkins and Allison Comito.
Shaner drove down the middle to score with four seconds left in the half for a 4-3 Princeton lead.
But the tide turned in the second half. In addition to Adams, Hobbs scored three of her four goals in the half, Comito scored all four of hers and Carney had four assists to boost her career tournament record to 20.
Maryland seniors Sommar, Jenkins, Kahoe, Tonia Porras and Danielle Markette end their college careers as the third straight class to graduate never having lost a national title."We have a lot of respect for our seniors out there," Adams said. "We would hate to leave it, walking off that field with any regrets."
Maryland's string of national titles is the longest active streak in exclusively team sports in all of Division I. The Terps' streak ranks third all-time behind North Carolina women's soccer (1986-94) and UCLA men's basketball (1967-73)."When people compare us to the UNC soccers and other programs like that, that gives you another perspective on things," Sommar said.
In addition to Adams, Maryland's Kahoe, Sommar, Jenkins and Porras were named to the all-tournament team along with Princeton's Simone, Shaner and Brooke Owens, Loyola's Stacey Morlang and Kristen Hagert and James Madison's Jess Marion and Alivian Coates.
Princeton 4 4 - 8
Maryland 3 13 - 16
Goals: P-Simone 3, Shaner 2, Kenworthy, Maddox, Smith; M-Adams 5, Comito 4, Hobbs 4, Carney, Jenkins, Sonnamear. Assists: P-Kenworthy 2, Becker; M-Adams 5, Carney 4, Comito. Saves: P-Field 7; M-Kahoe 5.
Maryland's title yesterday was the Terps' sixth consecutive women's lacrosse national championship and their eighth overall.
Year Opponent Score
1986 Penn State 11-10
1992 Harvard 11-10
1995 Princeton 13-5
1996 Virginia 10-5
1997 Loyola 8-7
1998 Virginia 11-5
1999 Virginia 16-6
2000 Princeton 16-8