Blast Champions: (back row, l to r) Amy Abdalla, Taylor VanThof, Maddy Blakeman; (front row, l to r) Taylor Caldwell, Hannah Savage, Kristen Yanchoris, McKenna Edwards
BALTIMORE - Team Blast scored with 20 seconds remaining in the championship game of the Loyola women's lacrosse team's annual Indoor Lacrosse Championship to cap off its come-from-behind victory over Team Crush, 11-10, and win this year's title at the Fitness and Aquatics Center Tuesday.
After putting together an undefeated indoor season that featured wins over Sniper, 21-20, Crush, 21-18, and Sonic, 19-14, Blast used a 14-12 win over Sniper in the semifinal round to advance to the championship game.
"We came into the game as the only undefeated team and because of that, nobody wanted us to win," senior captain Maddy Blakeman said. "We had a rough start to the game, but we played aggressive through the last two quarters to come out with the championship ring. Go Blast!"
Blakeman started the game by sandwiching two goals around one from freshman Taylor VanThof to give the Blast a 3-0 lead. Senior Shannon Aikens responded with back-to-back scores for Crush, which sparked a 7-0 run that extended into the second quarter.
Junior Amy Abdalla halted the streak for Blast, scoring on an open net, before two more goals gave Crush a 9-4 halftime advantage.
Behind five saves from junior Taylor Caldwell, Blast shutout Crush through the third quarter and used two goals from Blakeman and one from both Abdalla and sophomore Hannah Savage to pull within one, 9-8, heading into the final quarter.
Freshman Kristen Yanchoris added a fifth-straight goal for the Blast to tie the game, 9-9, midway through the fourth quarter.
Crush used a goal from Olivia Blakeman to regain its lead and freshman goalkeeper Kady Glynn made back-to-back saves to hold on to Crush's advantage, but VanThof bounced a shot between Glynn's legs to knot the game for a third time with two minutes to go.
With just under one minute to play, Olivia Blakeman had a game-winning opportunity stopped by Caldwell. At the other end, Maddy Blakeman assisted Abdalla's goal and Blast ran out the clock for the victory.
"Indoor is always one of the most fun times of the year because everyone gets so competitive and it really tests our skills," Caldwell said, after finishing with 17 saves, including 10 in the second half comeback. "Being a goalie, I was able to play with each of the teams and see how they came together to push each other out of their comfort zones.
"Through the past couple of games, I played with Blast. It was their ability to perform under pressure and play as a positively motivated team that allowed us to come out on top as champions."
In the bronze medal game, Sniper beat Sonic, 24-20, to finish in third place. Senior Maddy Lesher was feeling it late in the game, scoring three-straight goals in the third quarter to give Sniper a 20-13 edge. She added two more in the fourth quarter to finish the game with a team-best nine goals.
Both goalies, Glynn, playing for Sonic, and senior Molly Wolf, playing for Sniper, got in on the scoring action, with Wolf finishing with four goals and Glynn contributing two.
The tournament wrapped up Loyola's fall competition. The Greyhounds will now break for exams and the holidays before beginning their spring season at Florida on Saturday, Feb. 6.