May 5, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Loyola University Maryland jumped out to a 6-0 lead midway through the first half and the No. 9/8 Greyhounds held off a late Syracuse University run to defeat the No. 15/15 Orange, 12-11, in the BIG EAST Conference Semifinals on Thursday night at Georgetown's Multi-Sport Field.
The Greyhounds will face Notre Dame, a 15-13 winner over Georgetown in the second semifinal, in the BIG EAST Championship Game on Saturday, May 7, at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
Five Loyola players scored in the first 16 minutes of action, and Grace Gavin tallied her second of the game with 10:37 to play in the first half, staking the Greyhounds (15-2 overall) to a 6-0 lead.
Loyola would need every one of those goals, as Syracuse scored five of the game's last six goals. The Greyhounds won the final draw control, and although the teams traded turnovers, Loyola ran out the final 72 seconds for the win.
The Greyhounds took advantage of Syracuse's inability to clear the ball early in the game, as their first three goals all came off failed attempts to move the ball to the Orange's offensive end.
Marlee Paton put the Greyhounds on the board 1:46 into the game, scoring on a free-position shot. After Mary Heneberry caused an Orange turnover, Cara Filippelli took an Abby Rehfuss pass and converted it for a goal 75 seconds later.
Syracuse won the next draw control, but Heneberry caused another turnover that led to a Gavin goa with 25:08 to play.
Rehfuss beat her defender down the left alley and scored at 21:28, and after a Kerry Stoothoff save and effective Greyhounds' clear, Heneberry scored to make it 5-0 with 14:34 left in the first half.
Another Stoothoff save led to a Gavin free-position goal with 10:37 on the clock, and Loyola was ahead, 6-0.
The Orange finally broke through with back-to-back goals from Tee Ladouceur and Sarah Holden, but Gavin cut around the crease from behind and scored with 4:12 on the clock to put Loyola back up by five, 7-2.
Michelle Tumolo made it a four-goal game at 1:44, but the Greyhounds held off any other Syracuse goals for the rest of the half.
With less than 15 seconds to play, Holden got loose behind the Loyola defense in transition and took the ball just inside the Orange's restraining line. Holden went 1-on-1 with Stoothoff, but the Loyola goalie made a save on Holden's shot with a spectacular save, preserving the 7-3 lead at the half.
Holden, however, struck with the first goal of the second half, at 22:34, to make it 7-4 Loyola.
The Greyhounds went on a three-goal run from there, however. Paton scored off a Heneberry assist, and Heneberry tallied a goal of her own at 18:24. Gavin capped the run with a free-position goal at 17:01 to make it 10-4 in the Greyhounds' favor.
Syracuse would not go away from there, as Tumolo scored on a free-position goal, and Alyssa Murray tallied a goal off a Katie Webster assist, pulling the Orange within four, 10-6, with 14:39 left in the second half.
Rehfuss broke up the run with a free-position shot from the right side, but Syracuse reeled off three in a row between 11:55 and 6:27. Webster's unassisted goal at that point, closed the gap to 11-9.
Loyola found the cage again when Meg Decker cut down the middle of the 8-meter arc and caught a hard pass from Paton. Decker crashed to the crease, stopping just outside and scoring a goal with 3:26 on the clock.
Tumolo added a goal for Syracuse at 1:26, and the Orange got the ball back immediate after a false start was whistled on the draw control.
After a Syracuse player went off with an injury, Catherline Rodriguez scored in an unsettled situation 14 seconds later, making it a one-goal game.
Decker controlled the ensuing draw for Loyola, but Syracuse forced a turnover. The Orange was unable to take the ball into its offensive zone as a pass went out of bounds. Loyola cleared the ball to its offensive end, and the Greyhounds ran out the clock.
Syracuse outshot Loyola, 27-24, but Stoothoff made seven saves in goal for the Greyhounds.