Women's Lacrosse Shines In Exhibition Over England, 14-9

Feb. 24, 2011

BALTIMORE, Md. - The Loyola University Maryland women's lacrosse team faced off against the England national team in exhibition action at the Ridley Athletic Complex on Thursday night and topped the opponents from across the Atlantic, 14-9.

"I'm proud of the effort our team put forward," said Head Coach Jen Adams. "I thought they came out hard against an English side that's fast and aggressive. They have international experience and a lot of older women who have been playing for a long time."

Loyola took advantage of a break in its regular season schedule by hosting England, who plays area schools like Georgetown, Maryland and Towson this week during a visit to America.

A pair of freshmen enjoyed a successful evening as Marlee Paton and Taryn VanThof tied for the team lead with three goals each. Eight different players scored for the Greyhounds on the night. Joanna Dalton and Meg Decker each added two, and Grace Gavin, Abby Rehfuss, Caroline Hager and Alison Habicht all added one apiece.

"Tonight was an opportunity for a lot of the team to get in and work together and build chemistry with some of the younger players," Adams said. "It's good for them to get playing time together."

The Greyhounds raced to a fast start by tallying the game's first goal nearly two minutes into the game. Meg Decker sprinted down the field and fired a shot past England goalkeeper Sally Keogh to put Loyola ahead, 1-0, with 28:05 into the game.

Abby Rehfuss connected with Joanna Dalton two minutes later as Dalton quickly converted a Rehfuss cross to give Loyola a 2-0 advantage.

Two freshmen propelled the Greyhounds to a 4-0 opening lead five minutes into the game. Taryn VanThof scored off of a rebound 4:45 after the opening draw and Marlee Paton notched her first of the night with a shot from in close with 19:56 remaining before the halftime break.

England cut the lead in half with goals from Ruby Smith and Sophie Brett to draw closer, 4-2. Loyola answered nearly three minutes later, however, as VanThof scored from a Grace Gavin pass with 15:28 left in the first, making the score 5-2.

Kerry Stoothoff made several fantastic saves to hold Loyola's lead, including two in a row after VanThof's goal. The junior co-captain stopped a point-blank chance before keeping out a free position shot from Sophie Brett a few minutes later, ensuring the score remained 5-2.

Kirsten Lafferty brought England to within two 3:27 before halftime, but Marlee Paton and Abby Rehfuss each scored to give the Greyhounds a 7-3 lead entering the break.

The Greyhounds picked up right where they left off to begin the second half. Stoothoff made a stellar save to keep England off of the scoreboard and Joanna Dalton picked up her second goal a little over four minutes into the period, extending Loyola's lead, 8-3.

Paton converted a free position shot before Grace Gavin scored low on a falling shot to her right a minute later, beefing up Loyola's advantage to 10-3.

An Emily Gray goal gave England its fourth, but Caroline Hager answered with a score followed by Taryn VanThof's third goal of the night from a Gavin assist at 10:10. Loyola led, 12-4.

England's offense began to click as the visiting side scored four goals in a row over the next five minutes. Sophie Brett led off the run, Ruby Smith added two and Katy Bennett capped the flurry to draw England within four, 12-8, with 4:42 remaining on the clock.

England would score once in the final minute after Alison Habicht gave Loyola a 13-8 lead from a free position goal, and Meg Decker put an exclamation point on the exhibition with a low score in the waning seconds to seal the win, 14-9.

Loyola resumes regular season play when the Greyhounds head north on York Road to take on local rival Towson on Saturday, March 5. The opening draw is scheduled for 1 p.m.