If there's a secret to winning the draw, Maryland's Dana Dobbie knows it better than anyone else.
By season's end, the senior midfielder likely will hold every NCAA career and single-season record for winning draws. She already owns the career mark of 305, a record she set March 1. Georgetown's Gloria Lozano needed 74 games to set the previous mark of 223, but Dobbie surpassed that in just 48 games.
Dobbie's ability to control so many draws -- 97 this season alone -- gives the No. 2 Terrapins a huge advantage in possession time and momentum. It has been a key part of their drive to a 14-1 season and the top seed heading into tomorrow's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals at Virginia.
At 5 feet 10, Dobbie certainly has an advantage with her height, reach and strength, but she doesn't believe winning the draw has anything to do with overpowering her opponent.
"A lot of people kind of rely on their power and strength," she said, "but really, it's just about quickness and being able to react quickly off the whistle. It really doesn't matter what your opponent's doing. If you can react first off the whistle, you'll be able to control the ball more."
Dobbie has spent a lot of time anticipating whistles. She handled faceoffs for the boys lacrosse teams she played on back home in Ontario, Canada, and she also took faceoffs in ice hockey. She's worked hard on her own to develop the anticipation, quickness and also the wrist strength to snag the ball out of the air.
She said the tricks of the draw are becoming more important in the game and that she wouldn't be surprised to see it become a more specialized position.
"I think people are really seeing the importance of how the momentum changes whether you're winning the draw control or losing the draw, but it's something that's not really taught. You go to camps and you don't really learn how to take the draw control,"
Dobbie, who single-handedly won more draws in two games last week than the opposition, needs just 17 more to break the single-season record of 113 set in 2006 by Georgetown's Coco Stanwick (Notre Dame Prep). She averages 6.47 draw controls this season, outpacing the NCAA record of 6.29 set by Towson's Hillary Fratzke two years ago.
Catanese sneaks up
One of the most prolific scorers in school history, the Long Island native already ranks fourth in goals with 123 and sixth in points with 140.
"I would say she's just sneaky," said Mountaineers coach Denise Wescott. "She can be face-guarded and double teamed and she keeps working. It's work ethic. She keeps moving to flash for the ball and I don't know of any other of our attackers that work that hard off the ball to get open."
As she leads the Mountaineers (9-8) into the NEC tournament, where they will meet Quinnipiac in tomorrow's semifinals, Catanese averages 3.53 goals and 3.94 points -- both tops in the conference.
Navy sails to record
The Midshipmen (13-3) set a record for the most wins by a first-year Division I program, eclipsing the old mark of 12 set by North Carolina in 1996.
More importantly, however, they go into tomorrow's tournament semifinal at top-seeded American with some wind in their sails. The Midshipmen defeated American, 13-12, on April 1, but American earned the top seed for the tournament while Navy ended up fourth. katherine.