The Maryland women's lacrosse team got important second-half goals from Carin Peterson and a dramatic last-second save from goalie Kim Chorosiewski to defeat Penn State, 11-10, yesterday and win the NCAA championship before about 1,500 at Byrd Stadium.
The Terrapins stalled successfully the final two minutes until Wendy Heald's pass was intercepted and the Nittany Lions had one more chance.
With 10 seconds left, Penn State freshman Tami Worley drove down the field and fired a shot at Chorosiewski, who kicked the ball away and guaranteed the Terrapins' first women's lacrosse national championship since 1981. Penn State was ranked No. 1 among the 49 schools eligible for the tournament.
"I didn't even know who it was," said Chorosiewski. "She put a bounce shot, which had beaten me three times earlier. I was just trying to concentrate on stopping it with my legs."
"I've already obtained a championship in field hockey," said Peterson. "This one means more. I put more into this one, and it took more out of me."
The finish was perhaps closer than the Terrapins (15-4) wanted, after taking an 8-5 lead at halftime and a 10-7 lead with 12:41 remaining. But the Nittany Lions (16-2), whose only two losses were to Maryland, picked up their passing game and had the Terrapins stalling near the end.
"When we got it to 10-7," said Maryland Coach Sue Tyler, "I said, 'This is what I thought it would be.' Then they scored a couple of goals."
At the beginning of the second half, the Nittany Lions scored twice, 34 seconds apart -- both goals by Maggy Dunphy -- to get to within 8-7. But Peterson, a sophomore, backed in on Penn State defender Carol Taylor, turned to center and scored past goalie Cheri McMonagle to make it 9-7.
Three minutes later, at 12:41, she took a pass from Heald behind the goal and touched in a shot.
"I was looking to isolate her," said Peterson of Taylor.
Penn State wasn't finished, though. The Nittany Lions scored to make it 10-8, and after Anysia Fedec scored Maryland's final goal, Taylor matched that at 9:53 to bring Penn State to 11-9.
In the final seven minutes, Maryland's Kaaren Ruth and Tracey Stumpf came up with key steals when Penn State was attacking. Penn State's Mary McCarthy also hit the post with a shot. But the Nittany Lions came within 11-10 with 3:52 remaining when Dunphy scored unassisted.
Maryland's stall was the story for the rest of the match.
The Terrapins put tremendous pressure on McMonagle near the end of the first half. McMonagle made some nice saves, but the Terrapins got four straight shots past her to lead, 8-5, at halftime.
The score went back and forth in the first half. Heald gave Maryland a 1-0 lead off a free position a minute into the match, then freshman Tami Worley evened it with an unassisted goal a minute later.
Fedec scored her 51st goal of the season and Worley her second of the game to make it 2-2. Two minutes later, Fedec received a pass close to the goal, lost control of the ball, but scored with her back to the goal to give the Terrapins a 3-2 lead. Her goal tied the Maryland season record for goals (52) -- held by Sue Abrams -- and points (77) -- held by Kay Ruffino and Judy Dougherty.
Eighteen seconds later, Fedec broke the records from the same spot.
Penn State scored three straight goals to take a 5-4 lead. After Dunphy and Beth Stokes put in shots, Beth Thompson let off a quick under-the-waist shot that got past Chorosiewski. Thompson has scored a goal in every game she has played the last two years.
The Terrapins then blitzed the Nittany Lions with four goals from Peterson, Ruth, Wendy Beer and Jennifer Hussey.