- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2003

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Virginia coach Julie Myers has spent eight seasons chasing the school’s third women’s lacrosse national championship. Three times before this season her Cavaliers reached the title game (1996, ‘98 and ‘99), only to lose.

And in yesterday’s championship game the Cavaliers didn’t trail for the first 64 minutes and 31 seconds of play. Then Princeton’s Theresa Sherry made one spectacular individual play that left Myers still looking for her first title as a head coach.

Sherry dodged past a pair of defenders and beat Virginia goaltender Andrea Pfeiffer for the game-winning goal with 1:29 remaining in overtime to lift Princeton to an 8-7 victory and its second straight national championship in front of 1,630 at the Carrier Dome.

“[Sherry]’s very quick,” Virginia defender Tiffany Schummer said. “I was on her, I had help and we had the goalie in the cage and she snuck one through. It was just a great play.”

Princeton (15-4) ended any chance of Virginia (17-4) tying the game when midfielder Alex Fiore scooped up the draw and the Tigers ran out the clock.

The game began with an uptempo pace that favored Virginia. The Cavaliers stormed to a 3-0 lead behind the playmaking of midfielder Lauren Aumiller. The nation’s leading scorer connected with attacker Cary Chasney in front of the net twice in a 60-second span for the Cavaliers’ first two goals. Aumiller found midfielder Morgan Thalenberg 84 seconds later for another score and Virginia appeared to be running away from the Tigers.

Sherry responded by winning the next two draws and finished both possessions with goals, cutting Virginia’s lead to one. Despite the Cavaliers’ quick start, Princeton was able to slow down the game.

Ironically, Princeton sent the game into overtime when it scored the game’s only transition goal. Virginia was trying to stall when Fiore knocked the ball from Aumiller’s stick and went the other way. Two passes later, Princeton attacker Whitney Miller raced toward the net and fired a shot over Pfeiffer’s right shoulder to knot the game at 7.

“Last year our season ended in an overtime scenario and it was because we weren’t a good stalling team,” said Myers of a 14-13 loss to North Carolina in the 2002 quarterfinals. “So from September we’ve been working on our stall. Three minutes against a great team in a championship game I think is pretty hard to hold the ball for, but that was our goal.”

Virginia had two chances to win in the waning moments of regulation. Twice attacker Amy Appelt tried to beat defender Rachel Becker on an isolation play, and twice Becker, the tournament’s most valuable player, kept her from scoring the game-winner.

“[Appelt] has a really quick first step and a quick change of direction, so I just tried to keep in front of her and not let her get a shot off.”

Notes — Virginia’s Caitlin Banks, Schummer and Laurie Kenis joined Maryland’s Kelly Coppedge and Alexis Venechanos on the all-tournament team. … Aumiller’s four assists was the second-highest total in a championship game. Former Terrapins Jen Adams and Quinn Carney hold the record with five. … Virginia’s last national title was in 1993, an 8-6 overtime win over Princeton. Myers was an assistant coach on that team and a player on the Cavaliers only other title team (1991). … The Tigers are the second team in tournament history to repeat as champions. Maryland is the other team with seven straight titles from 1995 to 2001.

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