February 19, 1999
In keeping with recent tradition, the 1999 Maryland Terrapins' women's lacrosse team devised a team motto that typifies the team's long-standing goal: to reach the NCAA Final Four and contend for another national championship. It sets the tone for the squad to continue its amazing success of the '90s. The team enters the 1999 season with the most wins in the nation in this decade (142) and the highest winning percentage (.922) since 1990. Even with the recent success of the Maryland women's lacrosse program, the 1999 season looks again to be a special one. After leading the Maryland Terrapins to four consecutive national championships, and nine straight postseason appearances, including the 1998 title, head coach Cindy Timchal and the Maryland coaching staff are preparing what could be one of the most lethal teams in recent history. Maryland welcomes back seven starters and 16 letterwinners from a 1998 squad that posted an 18-3 record and captured the school's fourth straight national title. Gone from that team is three-time All-America midfielder Sascha Newmarch and two-time All-America attack Cathy Nelson. The 1998 National Midfielder of the Year, Newmarch finished a stellar career as the Terps' fourth-leading all-time scorer with 223 points. Nelson finished right behind her with 217 career points and was named MVP of the 1998 NCAA Championship tournament. Despite losing All-Americans Newmarch and Nelson, Timchal is confident this year's team will be even more powerful offensively. Junior Alex Kahoe, who earned All-America honors last season, will continue to hold the reins as the Terrapins' confident commander. Kahoe, a co-captain this year, has been the backbone of the Terrapin defense the past two seasons, and enters her junior season as one of the top players in the NCAA ranks. A two-year starter, Kahoe continues to leave her assault in the Maryland record books, as she established a new school record last year for saves with 269, surpassing the old school record of 233 which she set her freshman year. An NCAA all-tournament team selection in 1998, Kahoe totaled a career-high 21 saves against Virginia in the NCAA championship game, five shy of the tournament record.
Kahoe will be joined by All-American Christie Jenkins. Jenkins, a midfielder from Media, Pa., will key the Terrapin attacking midfield position after recording 30 goals and nine assists last year. A co-captain, she brings to the squad intensity and determination, and has developed into a versatile player for the Terrapins. Jenkins will also be expected to provide a solid defensive game. She finished third on the team last season in caused turnovers with 33. Along with Jenkins, junior Kristin Sommar will undoubtedly be one of the most dangerous players in the nation. Her playmaking, passing and field savvy are admirable to many. A 1998 first team All-American, Sommar will be a target for opposing teams intent on disrupting Maryland's offense. Last season, Sommar started in all 21 games, tallying 14 goals and 14 assists. The Pennsylvania native has the ability to be part of the attack with the ability to score, and, at the same time, she is one of the Terps' top defensive anchors who will be marking the other team's top offensive threat.
On the other defensive wing is junior Tonia Porras whose tenacious defensive style combined with her quickness allows her to mark some of the nation's top attackers. An ACC all-tournament team selection a year ago, Porras has been a model of hard-nosed tenacity the past two years. Juniors Danielle Markette, Tracie Millon and Kerri Mulligan round out a talented junior class.
Markette, another talented defensive specialist, looks to see added playing time after two solid years of experience behind a strong corps of talented upperclassmen.
Millon saw action in eight games as a sophomore and gained valuable experience. She tallied a goal against Vanderbilt and added an assist against William & Mary.
Mulligan, a 5-6 attack, made an immediate impact last season after redshirting as a freshman, playing in all 21 games. Mulligan has the ability to be an impact player this season through both her on-field actions and off-field leadership skills. Mulligan totaled two points last season after scoring two goals.
Timchal's corps of talented juniors will be assisted by a talented group of underclassmen. In fact, Timchal says this year's strength lies in the team's depth and experience.
Jen Adams, a fierce offensive competitor from Brighton, Australia, returns as the Terps' top returning scorer from 1998 (27g-17a-44 pts.). Adams, a 1998 ACC all-tournament team selection, was a breathtaking playmaker up front for the Terrapins last season. Joining Adams in the attack for Maryland are sophomores Quinn Carney, the Terps' second leading returning scorer of a year ago with 41 points, Allison Comito, Meghan McNamara and Victoria Wellington. Carney, a member of the 1999 U.S. Developmental Squad, will look to convert Adams' brilliant passes into many goals this season. The 5-6 New Jersey native was one of only three freshmen to start every game, and returns as the Terps' second-leading scorer behind Adams, scoring 27 goals and 17 assists.
Meredith Egan returns after earning the starting nod as a freshman. The 5-11 sophomore midfielder held down the starting role and proved to be a solid contributor for the Terrapins. She established herself as one of the top freshmen in the country last season after registering 22 goals and adding 10 assists.
Comito returns as the Terps' sixth-leading scorer from a year ago. The New York native appeared in 20 games, scoring 19 points. She had a career performance against Old Dominion, scoring three goals and adding two assists in the Terps' 18-1 win against the Monarchs. McNamara, an aggressive offensive-minded player, is perhaps one of the most promising underclassmen on this year's squad. The 5-4 New York native played in 11 games, scoring five goals and charting one assist. The 6-1 Wellington brings an added dimension to the game because of her height. She appeared in 17 games last season, scoring six goals and adding one assist, including a hat trick against Towson. All five of these underclassmen will have to step up their levels of play on the offensive end to account for the loss of departing seniors Sascha Newmarch and Cathy Nelson, who rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in all-time points scored. Sophomore midfielder Courtney Martinez joins Tonia Porras on the other defensive wing. Martinez, a local product from Towson, Md., has great speed, which helps the Terps in transitional play and in fast-break situations. After an injury forced her to redshirt her freshman year, Martinez showed flashes of brilliance, seeing action in 18 games last year. She collected 17 groundballs and had four caused turnovers. Sophomore defenders Meg Carrington and Tara Foran, and midfielder Kristin Crawford round out a talented sophomore class. Foran, a St. Mary's of Annapolis graduate, is expected to be an impact player on the defense.
All three should see more playing time in 1999 after gaining valuable experience during their freshman campaign. Timchal added to her talent-laden team with the addition of freshmen midfielders Courtney Hobbs, Meghan Kelly, Annie Morris and Wendy VanNorden. All should challenge for significant playing time and fill the void that was created by departing senior Sascha Newmarch. Freshman goalkeeper Kim Blouin, a local product from Annapolis, Md., looks to gain valuable experience playing behind junior All-American goalkeeper Alex Kahoe.
At attack, freshman Debbie Wheat will see playing time and will combine with Jen Adams and Quinn Carney to form one of the most lethal offenses in the country.
The Terrapins open the 1999 season at Penn State before returning home to host ACC rivals Duke and North Carolina, and Syracuse. The Terps then take their talents on the road for a five-game tour, which begins with an NCAA championship rematch at Virginia and concludes at national powerhouse Temple.
The 1999 ACC Tournament begins on April 24 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Terps conclude their regular-season schedule at home against Princeton and Loyola, respectively, before the NCAA Tournament begins. The NCAA Final Four moves up the road this year to Johns Hopkins on May 14 and May 16.