- The Washington Times - Monday, May 20, 2002

BALTIMORE The NCAA championship game went just fine for the Georgetown women's lacrosse team for 17 minutes yesterday at Loyola College's Curley Field. The Hoyas had scored on their first four shots and had a one-goal lead.
However, a 36-minute scoring slump followed as Princeton bulled its way to a 12-7 triumph and a second national title in eight years.
"We were pretty thankful that we came out of the first half at 4-4 because it felt like we hardly had the ball on attack," Princeton coach Chris Sailer said. "In the beginning, we were a little nervous. We could get our sticks on the ball, but we would lose it. It was a little bit like a hot potato on the draws. Once we settled down, we were winning the draws. And our defense really did a job. We got some more double teams going in the second half. That made a difference."
Princeton (19-1) lost its opener to visiting Georgetown 15-13 in overtime March 3 but never lost again this season. Senior attacker Lauren Simone said that season-opening loss allowed the Tigers to make necessary adjustments. Chief among them was realizing that freshman Sarah Kolodner should be promoted from backup to starting goalie.
"I'll take a loss in our home opener to win today," said Simone, who led all scorers yesterday with three goals and an assist and was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
The Hoyas (17-2) fell in the title game for the second straight year, having lost last May to Maryland 14-13 in double overtime. It was Maryland's seventh straight national title.
Senior goalie Chandler Vicchio the hero of Friday night's 12-10 semifinal overtime victory over Cornell kept Georgetown in yesterday's game for 37 minutes, making five saves, including four of the point-blank variety. But once the Tigers began to solve Vicchio, the Hoyas were beaten. A Princeton defense that allowed an average of just 6.7 goals this season and just 17 in four NCAA tournament triumphs overwhelmed the Georgetown attackers. Other than junior attacker Wick Stanwick, who scored on four of her six shots, the Hoyas shot a miserable 3-for-23.
"We let it get away from us in the second half, starting with the fact that we lost the first five draws, which we had dominated in the beginning [6-0]," said Georgetown coach Kim Simons, who captained Sailer's other title team in 1994 at Princeton. "We let them score a few uncontested goals, they got control of the tempo and from there we were just trying to claw our way back.
"We have some of the best shooters, but when we needed it most, we didn't place the ball the way we should have. We were pressing a little bit and rushing our shots. We got outcoached and outplayed in the second half."
It was a frustrating weekend for Georgetown senior attacker Erin Elbe. The finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation's top player came in with 56 goals in 17 games but scored just once against Cornell (albeit the game-winner) and just once again yesterday.
"We weren't running our normal offense," Elbe said. "We were a little stagnant."
And while Kolodner bounced back to stop five shots in the span of a minute late in the game, Vicchio didn't make a single save after halftime as Princeton ran off five goals in just 8:09 to turn a 5-5 deadlock into a 10-5 bulge with only 14:07 remaining.
At that point, seniors Vicchio, Elbe, Kristen Raneri, Susan Graser and Kate Ahearn knew their championship dream would remain elusive despite a 57-16 record, four NCAA bids and the first two Final Four appearances in school history.
"It kind of hurts that everything's over, but we're going away with a great experience," co-captain Raneri said. "We're going to have to look back on that."


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