May 23, 2004
The Virginia Cavaliers’ women’s lacrosse team raced out to a 5-1 halftime lead on the strength of eight saves by tournament MVP Andrea Pfeiffer and two goals and an assist from Tyler Leachman, and outscored the two-time defending national champion and previously undefeated Princeton Tigers (19-1) 5-3 in the second half to win the 2004 NCAA women’s lacrosse title. Virginia’s title, the first in women’s lacrosse since Virginia defeated Princeton 8-6 in extra time in 1993, gave the Hoos a 10-game winning streak and made them two-for-two in championship games in 2004, adding the NCAA title to the ACC title.
Princeton jumped on top first with a quickstick goal by Elizabeth Pillion from Jamie Sundheim 4:14 into the game. Then the vaunted Cavalier defense took over, and did not allow a goal for the remainder of the half as Pfeiffer made nine saves in the first period.
One of those saves started the first goal as Jess Wasilewski picked up the loose ball and started a transition that saw Leachman fouled on the way to the cage. After a media timeout, Leachman buried the ball in the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 18:50 into the contest. Molly Urlock won the ensuing draw control and in the set attack Amy Appelt scored the first of her game-high four goals with a take from the top, putting the Cavaliers on top 2-1 just 38 seconds after Leachman had tied the game. Nikki Lieb won the next draw and Caitlin Banks took the ball behind the cage before dumping it in to a cutting Leachman, who scored 48 seconds after Appelt to put Virginia on top 3-1, forcing the Tigers to take a timeout.
On the restart, Princeton won the draw but a shot from the top was altered by Elizabeth Pinney and Pfeiffer made the save. She cleared the ball to Kim Connors, who raced upfield and found Leachman, who passed the ball off to Banks. Banks eluded a pair of defenders and scored, putting the Cavaliers up 4-1 with 4:27 to play in the half. Morgan Thalenberg won the ensuing draw and in the settled attack, a Virginia take was blocked by Princeton but Banks was there to scoop up the loose ball. Virginia reset the offense, and Appelt was fouled on the way to the cage. She scored on the 8-meter, putting Virginia up 5-1, the score the teams took into halftime.
In the second half, the Tigers gained possession and Kathleen Miller scored from the wing off an assist from Pillion to put the Tigers back on the board, ending a scoreless stretch of 26:45.
Virginia answered with another Pfeiffer save, and she advanced the ball up slowly before making a short clear to Connors. Connors raced upfield and dumped the ball off to Lieb, who raced in from the restraining line and scored, putting Virginia back on top by four with 18:40 to play. Lindsey Biles answered for the Tigers with a take from the top three minutes later.
Amy Appelt attempts a shot during the first half.
Again it was Pfeiffer who started the scoring as she came out behind the cage and knocked down a pass and picked up the loose ball. Virginia took it upfield where Appelt took the ball behind and drew a double team before dumping it back into the arc to Banks, who scored three minutes after Biles to push the margin back to four at 7-3 with 13:01 to play. Another Pfeiffer save started the Cavalier possession that was taken upfield where Banks challenged from the top and scored, giving the Cavaliers an 8-3 lead with 10:02 to go.
Pfeiffer made another point-blank save with just under six minutes to play and at the other end, Appelt took from the top and scored her third goal of the game, giving her 89 for the season and setting a new ACC record for goals in a single season. A Theresa Sherry draw control gave the ball to Princeton, and Pillion scored her second goal of the game to stop the Cavalier run, making the score 9-4 with 3:46 to play.
Appelt won the ensuing draw and the Cavaliers worked a stall, that was completed as Appelt scored on an empty net off a feed from Connors with 27 seconds left in the game, making the final score 10-4.
The Cavaliers close the 2004 season with a 10-game winning streak that includes both the ACC and NCAA titles.
Appelt finishes the 2004 season with 90 goals and 121 points, making her only the third player in Division I history to record 90 or more goals in a single season, and only the fourth player in Division I history to notch more than 120 points in a single campaign.
Pfeiffer’s 20 saves is a career-high in her final game in a Virginia uniform. She alsoset the NCAA Tournament record for save percentage in a game with .826.
Julie Myers becomes the first person in women’s lacrosse history at the Division I level to win a title as both a player and a head coach.
Linescore 1 2 FVirginia 5 5 10Princeton 1 3 4
Scoring summary:7:29 P Pillion (Sundheim) 0-118:50 V Leachman (8m) 1-119:28 V Appelt 2-120:16 V Leachman (Banks) 3-125:33 V Banks (Leachman) 4-128:15 V Appelt (8m) 5-134:14 P Miller (Pillion) 5-241:20 V Lieb (Connors) 6-244:02 P Biles 6-346:59 V Banks (Appelt) 7-349:58 V Banks 8-355:17 V Appelt 9-356:14 P Pillion 9-459:33 V Appelt (Connors) 10-4
Goals: V: Appelt 4, Banks 3, Leachman 2, Lieb 1 P: Pillion 2, Biles, Miller
Assists: V: Connors 2, Appelt 1, leachman 1, banks 1 P: Pillion 1, Sundheim 1
Keepers: V: Pfeiffer (60 mins, 20 saves, 4 GA) P: Sarah Kolodner (60 mins, 8 saves, 10 GA)
Draws: V 8, P 8Shots: V 24, P 35Ground balls : V 22, P 22Caused turnovers: V 4, P 8Turnovers: V 14, P 10Clearing: V 14-18, P 1-138-meter attempts: V 2, P 38-meter shots: V 2, P 3