May 5, 2012
SYRACUSE - Behind the play of tournament MVP and senior goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff, the No. 12 Loyola University Maryland women's lacrosse team knocked off No. 2 Syracuse, 13-7, Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome to claim its second-straight BIG EAST title. The win snaps Syracuse's 15-game win streak and secures the Greyhounds the BIG EAST's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Freshman Kara Burke - a BIG EAST All-Tournament Team honoree - led the Greyhounds (13-5, 7-1 BIG EAST) with a career-high four goals and one assist, while senior Kellye Gallagher, senior Ana Heneberry, junior Joanna Dalton, sophomore Marlee Paton and freshman Annie Thomas joined Burke on the all-tournament team.
Paton contributed three goals and one assist for Loyola, while Annie Thomas had two goals and three assists. Dalton contributed two goals and one assist, and junior Kathleen Barranco and freshman Sydney Thomas had one goal each. Freshman Hannah Schmitt rounded out the attack with two assists.
For Syracuse (16-3, 8-0), Alyssa Murray and Michelle Tumolo had two goals each.
Loyola's freshmen led the way through the opening half, scoring the first six Greyhound goals. Sydney Thomas sent an underhanded shovel shot from Dalton past Syracuse keeper Alyssa Constantino at the 29:03 mark to get the game going. Annie Thomas then snuck around the crease and sent a shot into the back of the net while the Greyhounds were playing a man down.
The Orange also capitalized on the mismatch though, scoring their first goal on a free position shot at 26:42.
Burke answered for Loyola, sending a pass from Annie Thomas into the goal at 25:33, but it didn't quiet the Orange as Becca Block won the ensuing draw control and stuck a shot into the back of the net eight seconds later.
The next 11-and-a-half minutes were scoreless between the two squads, as Stoothoff turned back a shot while playing a man down and Constantino picked up back-to-back saves for the Orange. It would be the Orange that would find a way to score first though, getting their equalizer at the 13:56 mark.
That would be all that Loyola's defense would allow the rest of the half though, as Burke sparked a four-goal run to close out the half. She assisted Annie Thomas as 11:06 before firing back-to-back goals into the net at 5:32 and 1:32. Dalton capped the run by scoring her first goal of the day with just 36 seconds left before the half.
Syracuse recorded the first goal of the second half, but the Greyhounds rattled off another six-straight goals for a 13-4 advantage at the 8:08 mark. Barranco scored first for Loyola just 26 seconds after the Orange and then Paton scored at 26:51 to mark her 24th-straight game with a goal.
Dalton made it three-straight goals for Loyola at the 24:44 mark, before back-to-back scores from Paton gave the Greyhounds a 12-4 lead with 18:36 to play. Burke tacked on her fourth with 8:08 on the clock, but the Orange strung together three-straight scores to close out the game with a 13-7 final score.
Defensively, Gallagher led the way with a game-high six ground balls, while she also caused two turnovers. Paton also had two caused turnovers and two ground balls, while Heneberry scooped up three loose balls and caused one turnover.
On the draw, Dalton won six draw controls, while junior Ashley Moulton won two.
In goal, Stoothoff finished with 11 saves to mark her 20th career double-digit save game. Her fourth save of the game also marked her 500th career save, as she became just the fifth Greyhound to reach the milestone.
Loyola is the first team to have both their men's and women's teams earn automatic bids to their respective NCAA Championships this year. Both teams will find out who they will face, and when, in the tournament on Sunday at 9 p.m.