NEWTON, Mass. - A strong first-half performance by the No. 13 Loyola University Maryland women's lacrosse team saw the Greyhounds knock off Bryant, 21-3, in the first round of the NCAA Championships Friday afternoon at Boston College's Newton Lacrosse Complex.
With the win, Loyola (16-4) extended its win streak to 15-straight games, tying a program best, while it's also the fifth-consecutive year the Greyhounds have won their first game in the NCAA tournament.
Senior Kara Burke led nine Greyhounds in scoring, tying a personal-best six goals and eight points. Junior Maddy Blakeman tacked on three goals, while seniors Molly Hulseman, Hannah Schmitt, Annie Thomas, redshirt sophomore Katrina Geiger and freshman Frankie Kamely all added two goals. Seniors Elizabeth Barranco and Taryn VanThof rounded out the goal scorers with one goal each, while freshman Margaret Filippelli had two assists and senior Sydney Thomas had one.
For Bryant (14-5), Meaghan Brennan, Emily Columbus and Morgan LaBarbera had one goal each.
The Greyhounds dominated the first half, with VanThof and Schmitt combining for the game's first three goals by the 22:34 mark.
Bryant netted its first goal at 20:30, before a string of seven Greyhound goals in less than five minutes put Loyola ahead 10-1 with 15:22 to play in the half.
The Bulldogs' second goal came at 13:09, before Blakeman netted back-to-back goals to keep Bryant from scoring consecutive goals.
Burke and Geiger closed out the half with one goal each, giving Loyola a 14-2 halftime advantage. With 14 first-half goals, Loyola bettered its previous high for goals in a half in NCAA Tournament play, as the Greyhounds outscored West Chester, 12-6, in the first half of the 1998 NCAA Championships.
Bryant opened the scoring in the second half at the 22-minute mark, but that was the lone goal the Bulldogs would score, as the Greyhounds closed out the game with a seven-unanswered goals.
In goal, junior Molly Wolf stopped 11 shots, including eight in the second half, and added three caused turnovers and five ground balls.
VanThof finished the game with a season-high 12 draw controls, while Geiger tied a career-high with five draws.
Loyola will return to action on Sunday when it faces fifth-seeded Boston College at 1 p.m.