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Women's lacrosse to face No. 20 Tribe

The No. 3 Virginia women's lacrosse team faces a tough in-state challenge today when No. 20 William & Mary, coming off a tight overtime defeat, looks for redemption in Charlottesville. The contest is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at University Hall Turf Field.

Last week Virginia (5-1) had two convincing victories against UMBC and No. 13 Penn State but lost to top-ranked Maryland. Last Tuesday's 17-8 defeat in College Park was all the more painful considering the Cavaliers held a 6-5 halftime lead before getting swamped after the break. The Terps, propelled by Jen Adams (four goals, five assists) and Christie Jenkins (four goals, one assist), stormed out after halftime to take control of the game by scoring eight consecutive goals. Midfielder Mills Hook led the Cavs' effort with three goals and an assist.

Last Friday's victory at State College, Pa., was powered by seven consecutive Cavalier goals in the first half. Penn State (1-3) scored the first three goals of the contest, only to have Virginia take a 7-3 lead that they wouldn't relinquish. Hook was again the leading scorer with three goals, and Jenn Webb notched three scores for the Nittany Lions.

The Tribe (1-3) has had a difficult time this season, suffering three losses to ranked teams: No. 11 George Mason, No. 6 Georgetown and No. 13 Penn State. William & Mary is coming off a 13-12 overtime heartbreaker against the Nittany Lions, which involved nine ties and five lead changes.

"We're very excited" about playing Virginia, said Tribe coach Tara Kelly, a 1993 Virginia graduate. "William & Mary against Virginia is usually a great game. It's an in-state game and usually ends up being close."

Virginia coach Julie Myers said her team has been performing at a high level and showing few weaknesses in their attack.

"We've played good lacrosse, with the exception of the second half against Maryland," Myers said. "We're a really deep team in all areas of the field. Everyone contributes in all spots. We don't have one aspect where we're weak. We're deeper and stronger than I thought we'd be at every position.

She said that the Tribe is looking to be giant-killers today against the Cavs.

William & Mary "will come in here with absolutely nothing to lose, trying to knock off a top-five team," she added. "They have great speed in the midfield."

Kelly, an All-American lacrosse player at Virginia, brings with her an aggressive, risk-taking approach in her first year coaching at William & Mary. Her young squad includes 10 freshmen and relies on the skills of junior forward Tara Hannaford, who scored 28 goals last season, and sophomore midfielder Meghan Schneider, last year's Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year.


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