There was an inflection of pride in the voice of Georgetown women's lacrosse coach Kim Simons when she started speaking about her team's defense.
She had watched her team shut down Maryland's usually potent attack for more than 17 minutes in the second half and beat the third-ranked Terrapins, 14-10, for only the second time in Georgetown history. The victory came before 790 fans in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals yesterday in College Park.
"That's a good day," Simons said. "Our defense was incredible all over the field. We came in here trying to focus on not giving up easy goals because we know they can capitalize on you if you get a little overanxious. . . . [We were] trying to do everything possible to make it tough for them."
The win puts the sixth-ranked Hoyas into the final four for the third time in four seasons; they will play Virginia in Friday's second national semifinal at Princeton.
Freshman Coco Stanwick scored three times to lead Georgetown (13-4), but it was the defense -- along with some careless turnovers from Maryland -- that helped the Hoyas turn a 6-5 halftime lead into a 12-7 advantage with 8 minutes 56 seconds left.
Georgetown avenged a 13-8 loss to Maryland this season and exacted a bit of revenge against the program that had knocked the Hoyas out of the NCAA tournament three times since 1999.
"I think the first time we played against Maryland [this season], we put a lot of pressure on ourselves because it was Maryland, and we knew we didn't have good history going into it," said Georgetown midfielder and Big East defensive player of the year Michi Ellers. "This game was more about us; we didn't care who we were playing."
Maryland senior Kelly Coppedge scored the final of her team-leading three goals with 25:48 to play to draw Maryland to 8-7.
Coppedge also had one assist, giving her a four-point afternoon in which she became only the 18th player in Division I history to finish with 300 points.
"It's definitely bittersweet. I'd rather not have that 300th point if it meant moving on," said Coppedge, whose Terrapins miss out on the national semifinals for the second time in 15 seasons.
"It's an honor to be up there in statistics, but I just hope the best for the rest of this team that they can do it next year."
It was going to have to be next year because when Georgetown's Catherine Elby scored off one of Maryland's 17 turnovers with 8:56 remaining, it marked the Hoyas' fourth straight score and pushed the lead back to five.
After the long scoreless drought during which Coppedge sat out two minutes because of a yellow card, Maryland started to make one final push by scoring twice in the following 20 seconds to get to 12-9 with 8:25 to play.
The Hoyas, however, began to work the ball around patiently in the closing minutes, finally sealing it for good on Sarah Oliphant's goal with 2:06 left.
* VIRGINIA 15, NORTHWESTERN 11: Amy Appelt scored four goals, and Morgan Thalenberg added three goals to lead the second-seeded Cavaliers (17-3) in a first-round game in Charlottesville.
* VANDERBILT 10, JAMES MADISON 4: Senior attack Lauren Peck (Broadneck High) scored three goals and assisted on two others for the Commodores in a first-round game in Harrisonburg, Va.
* PRINCETON 6, DARTMOUTH 5: The top-seeded Tigers triumphed thanks to reserve Jamie Sundheim's third goal of the season to rally in double overtime at home.