Women’s Lacrosse Hosts National Power Maryland Monday Afternoon
Jen Kasper will face her sister Kelly, a junior midfielder at Maryland, for the first time in college.
Baltimore-The UMBC women’s lacrosse team (1-0) welcomes nationally ranked Maryland (0-0) to UMBC Stadium Monday afternoon for a 3 p.m. contest. The Retrievers are coming off a convincing 23-7 victory over Howard on Saturday, while Monday’s game will mark the Terrapins’ season opener.
Last Time Out: Saturday, Feb. 17 - UMBC 23, Howard 7: The Retrievers scored seven consecutive times in the first 9:13 and opened their 2007 season with a 23-7 win over Howard University. The game was scheduled to be played at Howard, but field conditions necessitated the late change to UMBC Stadium. Midfielders Kelly Fahey and Kara Dorr each scored twice in the opening surge. After Howard’s Iram Abdullah got the Bison on the board 11:29 into the game, the Retrievers scored the next five goals to build a 12-1 advantage with 9:02 remaining in the first half. The Retrievers led 13-3 at intermission and cruised to the victory. Eleven Retrievers posted multiple points, led by Ali Levendusky, who scored two goals and added four assists. Fahey added two goals and three assists, while three Retrievers, sophomore Abbey Swift and freshmen Amanda Gable and Natalie Cullers, led the goal scoring parade with three each. Howard’s Abdullah had game-high honors with five goals. Bison goalie Bianca Lamar faced 52 UMBC shots and repelled 19. UMBC sophomore netmidner Susie Sweeney played the first half and posted six saves, allowing three Howard scores. Freshman Kate Quick made two saves and allowed four goals in the second half.
Scouting the Terps: The Terrapins, who are ranked sixth in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and eighth in the IWLCA Coaches Poll, open their season today against UMBC. First-year head coach Cathy Reese, a 1998 Maryland graduate, won seven national titles with the Terps as a player and assistant coach. Seniors Becky Clipp and Katie Doolittle and junior Kelly Kasper were selected to the 2007 Preseason Tewaaraton Watch List. Clipp and Kasper were also named preseason All-Americans by Inside Lacrosse, while senior Krista Pellizzi and junior Dana Dobbie were named to the third team. Kasper is the Terps’ leading returning scorer, as she posted 44 goals, 27 assists and 71 points last season and was named to the IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-America Second Team.
Inside the Series: UMBC has never beaten Maryland in seven meetings. The teams have not met since 2001, when the Terps won 23-2 in College Park. That year, UMBC second-year coach Courtney Connor was a fifth-year senior at Maryland. The last time the teams played in Baltimore was 1995, an 11-2 victory for the Terrapins.
Family Ties: Retriever seniors Jen Kasper and Lynnea Spinnenweber will each be playing against their sisters, as Kelly Kasper is a junior midfielder at Maryland and Amanda Spinnenweber is a freshman midfielder for the Terps.
Coaching Ties: UMBC second-year head coach Courtney Connor and Terps’ first-year head coach Cathy Reese and associate head coach Jen Adams were teammates at Maryland during the Terps’ string of seven straight national championships.
Taking on the Best: UMBC will face three teams in 2007 that are ranked in the top 20 in the preseason IWLCA Coaches’ Poll, including No. 8 Maryland (Feb. 19), No. 10 Johns Hopkins (April 11) and No. 17 Boston University (March 31). In addition, Denver (March 9) received votes. The same three schools are ranked in the Inside Lacrosse preseason media poll, with Maryland sixth, Hopkins 10th and Boston U. 16th. Denver and Loyola (Feb. 27) also received votes, as did UMBC.
UMBC Picked Third: For the fourth year in a row, the Retrievers was chosen to finish third in the America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was released Friday. UMBC received 37 points in a vote of the league’s head coaches. New Hampshire, last season’s conference runner-up, is the preseason favorite to win the conference. The Wildcats received four first-place votes and 46 points to finish just ahead of two-time defending champion Boston University, which received the other three first-place votes and 43 points. UMBC (37), Stony Brook (25), Albany (21), Vermont (15) and Binghamton (9) round out the seven-team poll. The Retrievers will look to return to the America East Championship for the fourth straight year after joining the conference in 2004. The top four teams in the league advance to the tournament, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship. Last season, UMBC (10-8, 5-1 America East) won its first-ever regular-season America East title and earned the right to host the conference championships as the top seed, but the Retrievers were upset by fourth-seeded New Hampshire, 12-5. UMBC has never made it past the semifinal round in the league tournament.
Dawg Bites: The Retrievers return five of their top six goal scorers from a year ago... With a 5-1 conference record, UMBC won a share of its first-ever America East regular season title and hosted the conference championships as the No. 1 seed... With 10 wins in 2006 (10-7), the Retrievers doubled their win total from the previous season (5-10)... UMBC loses 2006 America East All-Conference First Team midfielder Kelly Fiorani and defender Julie Libertini, in addition to Ede Carpenter... Junior attack Ali Levendusky, a 2006 America East all-conference first team selection, led the Retrievers with 41 goals and 54 points last season... Senior attack Jen Kasper and senior midfielder Kelly Fahey were members of the all-conference second team, while sophomore midfielder Kara Dorr and goalie Susie Sweeney earned America East All-Rookie Team honors last season... Head Coach Courtney Connor was named America East Coach of the Year in her first season at the Retriever helm... The Retrievers welcome a large incoming class of 12 freshmen for the 2007 season to go along with nine returning starters and 16 returning letterwinners overall... Kasper repeats as team co-captain in 2007 and is joined by classmates Fahey, Sam Sankovich and Megan Mullins... Levendusky has scored a goal in 10 straight games dating to April 1, 2006, scoring multiple points in all 10... The Retrievers received two votes in the first Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.