April 16, 1997
Timchal Keeps Level Approach for No. 100
by Rupen R. Fofaria
Cindy Timchal has coached the Terrapin women's lacrosse team to many milestones. Today she will chase her own.
The Terps' seven-year head coach goes for her 100th Terrapin victory in a 1 p.m. game at Georgetown. To Timchal, it is not a hunt for her 100th victory. In fact, she doesn't even keep count.
"That doesn't mean it doesn't have any meaning, but (today) we just want to go out and play Georgetown," Timchal said. "If we win, I guess it would be special."
If it seems like she shrugs it off, it's because she does. Timchal is used to reaching milestones. More importantly, she is used to passing them and leaving them in the past.
"I don't dwell on records or things like the media likes," Timchal said. "That way it's difficult to concentrate on the past, or even look ahead."
That, of course, leaves only the present. Timchal stands third on the sport's all-time career victory percentage list and is fourth in career wins. She is also the only person to coach her team to back-to-back national championships, which she did in 1995 and 1996.
Timchal's accomplishments rank among the top of her profession. She has accumulated them in a very short amount of time. Since her arrival to campus in 1991, she has turned the women's lacrosse program into the winningest of the decade and has tallied 99 victories in only seven years.
"It comes a little slower than in some other sports with more games in a season, like basketball," she said. "It doesn't happen overnight."
"She's just an all-around good coach because she knows the team really well," redshirt freshman goalie Alex Kahoe said. "She knows when to push us and when to let us rest. She knows the team on the field and off it. When we go on road trips and other times, she talks to us a lot. She keeps good communication with us. She just knows what we need as a team."
To her players, that's what is most noticeable. Timchal is two people to them, but she is both at once. On the one hand, she is the coach. She barks out commands, yells her suggestions and snaps with criticism. On the other sidee, she is caring, fun and approachable. In fact, some feel close enough to call her mom.
"I remember one time last year when we all went out to dinner," Kahoe said. "It was Mother's Day and everyone was like, 'Happy Mother's Day, Cindy!' And whenever we go out, it's like (assistant coach Gary Gait), Cindy and their 40 or so children."
A third straight national championship, the 100th victory or a record for the most consecutive victories doesn't affect Timchal.
"For me, it's not a focus on, 'Well, I might not be here next year' or 'Gosh, what do I have left to accomplish?'" Timchal said. "To me, this team has not won the national championship. This 1997 team has not been champions, and they're hungry for it. So that's what I'm focusing on.