- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 19, 2002

BALTIMORE It's easy to lose Georgetown women's lacrosse goalie Chandler Vicchio among all her talented teammates and not just because the senior is 5-foot-4.
Attacker Erin Elbe was the Big East Player of the Year. Elbe, midfielder Gloria Lozano and defender Melissa Biles were named to the All-Big East first team and attacker Wick Stanwick and midfielder Liz Ryan were second-team choices. And all five except Lozano are returning starters.
But coach Kim Simons knows how important Vicchio is to the 17-1 Hoyas, who have reached their second straight NCAA Division I tournament final and will face Princeton (18-1) for their first title today at 1 p.m. at Loyola College's Curley Field.
"I almost don't have words for what Chandler has done this year," Simons said. "I'm not surprised that she's a good goalie, but she has developed into one of the best. And she's so clutch. There were shots [in Friday's 12-10 overtime semifinal victory over Cornell] that if Chandler didn't do exactly what she was supposed to do they would have gone in and Cornell would have gone ahead. She's that smart and that good. Part of that might come from being the kid of a lacrosse coach. She has been prepped since birth."
Vicchio's father Rocco runs the defense for the men's team at UMBC following 19 seasons as coach at Mount St. Joseph's (Baltimore) High School.
"For whatever reason, I do better when the pressure is on," said Vicchio, who has a solid 7.63 goals-against average after making six of her 10 saves against the Big Red in the final 25:10 while allowing just three goals. "If we're playing a game where our attackers are scoring a lot of goals, sometimes I don't play quite up to their level."
The top-seeded Hoyas might have to take their game to another level to beat the second-seeded Tigers, who crushed No.3 North Carolina 16-2 in Friday's storm-delayed nightcap behind five goals from sophomore midfielder Theresa Sherry. Friday's 14-goal margin was the second-largest in the 20 year-history of the Final Four, behind only Maryland's 19-4 rout of Loyola in the 1994 semifinals. Those Terps lost the final to Princeton, whose coach was and still is Chris Sailer and whose co-captain was Simons. Now the protege faces the mentor for a shot at her first title and Georgetown's first national title by a women's team.
"It doesn't really matter who you play," said Simons, whose team handed Princeton its only loss this season, 15-13 in overtime, on March 3. "At this point you've just got to make sure your team is ready. We've got to show up and make sure that we do some things a little earlier than we did [against Cornell] if we want to win the championship."
The Hoyas have been motivated by last season's 14-13 title game loss to Maryland on a goal with eight seconds left in double-overtime.
"We've been thinking all year about what it felt like to get so close to winning the championship and not win it," Vicchio said. "I'm so psyched to have another chance."


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