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WOMEN'S LACROSSE IN REVIEW
The 2001 women's lacrosse season produced many positives for UMBC. The team just wishes the story had a better ending. The Retrievers earned a national ranking of 19 after a 13-11 win over George Mason. After falling to three straight ranked teams, then suffering its first ever blemish in NEC play at Monmouth, UMBC reeled off six straight wins, including its first win over Towson since 1996. The Retriever offense boomed, averaging 17.6 goals per game in their final eight regular season games. For the fourth consecutive year, UMBC met Monmouth for the NEC title. UMBC had won the first three times, twice at home and last season at Wagner. But this game would be played at MU, which had handed UMBC its first-ever NEC defeat, 10-9, earlier in the season. The Hawks played inspired lacrosse and defeated UMBC, 14-9, to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The performance and leadership of eight seniors carried UMBC through the 2001 season. Renee Tirocchi led the offense, leading the NEC with 47 goals and moving into seventh place on the school's all-time scoring list. Defenders Kim Brown (UMBC Female Outstanding Senior Athlete of the Year), Michelle Clancy, Molly Buzdygon and goalie Amy Jagoda held NEC opponents to 4.7 goals per game and attackers Amanda Eldridge, Katie Pickett, and Angie Fox had their best offensive seasons in their final year. Although UMBC will miss those seniors, juniors Jamie Gerhart (25 goals) and Ashley Staines (26 goals) and medical red-shirt senior Loree Miller will return to lead the squad as they attempt to recapture the league title in 2002.