May 3, 2012
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The second-seeded and 12th-ranked Loyola University Maryland women’s lacrosse team rallied to knock off third-seeded and sixth-ranked Notre Dame, 11-9, Thursday evening in the semifinals of the 2012 BIG EAST Championships at the Carrier Dome.
The Greyhounds (12-5, 7-1 BIG EAST) scored six of the game’s nine second-half goals to erase a one-goal halftime deficit en route to the victory.
"I’m extremely impressed by the fight that we had today after going into halftime down one," head coach Jen Adams said. "Notre Dame is a phenomenal team and you have to give them a whole lot of credit. They made our job very tough today. I’m very proud of our girls to be able to gut it out and stick it out against a very tough and athletic Notre Dame side. We were able to find the right opportunities in the second half and limit them and their high-powered offense. I think we showed some true character and I’m very proud of the effort we put in today."
Sophomore Marlee Paton led the way with a game-high six points on four goals and two assists, while junior Joanna Dalton tied a career-high four goals. Junior Kathleen Barranco, in addition to freshmen Kara Burke and Hannah Schmitt, also tacked on goal each for Loyola.
For Notre Dame (13-4, 6-2), Jenny Granger had two goals and two assists, while Maggie Tamasitis added two goals and one assist. Five other Irish had one goal each.
The Greyhounds traded goals with the Fighting Irish throughout the first half, with Notre Dame getting on the board first at the 29-minute mark. Paton quickly knotted the score though, firing a shot into the back of the net just 19 seconds later.
Notre Dame regained the lead with a goal at 25:35, but Dalton had an answer for the Greyhounds, scoring on an assist from Paton at 24:10. It wouldn’t be enough to quiet the Irish though, as they tallied back-to-back goals to take a 4-2 lead with 12:33 on the clock.
Dalton ripped a shot from about 10 yards out to bring Loyola within one at 8:48 and the Greyhounds had an opportunity to it at four when senior Kellye Gallagher forced a turnover and sent it ahead to a wide-open Annie Thomas, but a turnover sent the ball back to Notre Dame’s end, where Granger scored her second of the day to give the Irish a 5-3 lead.
Schmitt scored the game’s next goal, dodging her way through the defense and sticking a shot into the top right corner at 4:14, but Notre Dame notched its sixth goal with 3:08 to play.
The Fighting Irish looked to extend its lead to three right before the half, but senior goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff saved their shot and Annie Thomas found Barranco open in front of the goal with five ticks left to bring the Greyhounds within one, 6-5, at the break.
Burke scored her sixth goal of the season at 26:43 to tie the game at six, before Paton gave Loyola its first lead of the day at 22:14, scoring a man-up goal, assisted by Sydney Thomas.
Notre Dame marked its first goal of the second half at 21:36 to tie the game for a fourth time, before Paton and Sydney Thomas connected for Loyola’s second-straight goal at 19:32.
The Irish found its equalizer 30 seconds later, before the Greyhounds scattered three goals within the next 11 minutes to earn an 11-8 advantage at the 7:45 mark. Dalton started the streak with a free position goal, before ripping a shot on a feed from Schmitt at 14:15. Paton then took a pass from Schmitt and spun around a defender before finding the back of the net at 7:45.
Notre Dame halted the streak at 4:42 when the Irish caused a turnover in transition and scored on an unsettled possession. The Fighting Irish looked to add a second goal, but Stoothoff turned back two shots to keep Notre Dame off the board.
Stoothoff then came up with another huge save in the final minute of the game to finish with eight saves and preserve the 11-9 victory for the Greyhounds.
Defensively, senior Ana Heneberry, Gallagher and Paton all had three caused turnovers, while Stoothoff had a game-high six ground balls and Heneberry scooped up three.
Dalton and Sydney Thomas each won three draw controls for the Greyhounds.
Loyola will return to action on Saturday when it faces the winner of the No. 1 seed Syracuse vs. No. 4 seed Georgetown game in the title game of the BIG EAST Championships. Opening draw is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.