March 8, 2011
BALTIMORE - Meg Decker scored three goals and had seven draw controls, and Grace Gavin tallied three goals and an assist, as the Loyola University Maryland women's lacrosse team overcame a 5-1 deficit to defeat visiting Penn State, 10-7, on Tuesday night at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Loyola improves to 3-0 with the win, the best start for the Greyhounds since 2004. Penn State falls to 1-4.
The Greyhounds outscored the Nittany Lions 9-3 in the second half to rally for the victory. Penn State answered a 6-0 second half Loyola run with two to tie the game 7-7 with 15:52 remaining in the game, but three straight Greyhounds goals sealed the result.
Loyola narrowly outshot Penn State, 22 to 19, and collected 21 ground balls to Penn State's 16.
Kellye Gallagher tied a three-day old career high with five ground balls to lead the team in that category. Decker controlled seven draws in the win, one away from her career high.
After Penn State's Laura Lesnick scored 1:13 into the second half to give the Nittany Lions a 5-1 advantage, Loyola reeled off six goals in a 4-minute, 38-second span to take a 7-5 lead.
Caroline Hager started the scoring when she was camped on the right side of the crease, took a Gavin pass and scored with 25:58 left in regulation.
Decker then dodged down the right alley and Hager fed her a pass from `X' for Loyola's second goal in 37 seconds. Gavin pulled Loyola within a goal as she dodged from goal-line extended on the left side and scored unassisted.
Decker tied the game at 5-5 with 22:29 on the clock, as she got free on the right side for her second score in less than three minutes.
Helen McCutcheon was fouled and converted on her free-position shot from the left side of the 8-meter arc, giving Loyola its first lead of the game, 6-5, with 22:12 to play. Marlee Paton tacked on another goal, taking a pass from Mary Heneberry and scoring with 21:20 on the clock.
Jen Steadman snapped the run for Penn State, scoring with 16:33 left to pull the Nittany Lions back withina goal, 7-6.
Lesnick tied it up for Penn State just 41 ticks later as she rolled from left to right in front of the cage and took a Mackenzie Cyr pass from the right side to set up her shot.
Gavin put the Greyhounds in the lead, 8-7, with 12:54 left in regulation as she again took the ball goal-line extended on the left, dodged a defender and beat the goalkeeper with her shot.
Decker's third goal of the half put Loyola back up by two, 1:28 later as she beat her defender one-on-one around the crease and scored.
Paton tacked on an insurance goal with 69 seconds remaining off a Cara Filippelli pass to give Loyola a 10-7 lead that the Greyhounds held for the win.
The game told a tale of two halves, as Loyola scored only one in the first and trailed 4-1 at the halftime break.
Lesnick put the Nittany Lions on the board early, scoring 89 seconds after the opening whistle.
Gavin answered a little over eight minutes later with an impressive individual effort to even the score at 1-1. Gavin cut through the defense and fired a shot past goalkeeper Dana Cahill, bringing the game back to even.
Penn State would keep Loyola out of the net for the rest of the half, however, and add three goals of its own in the process. Lesnick notched her second between two Mary Dean goals and the visitors took a 4-1 lead into halftime
Loyola returns to action on Friday when the team hosts Cornell at the Ridley Athletic Complex in an afternoon contest. The first draw is slated for 1 p.m.