BALTIMORE - In its second straight overtime game at home, the Loyola women's soccer team edged Lafayette, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at the Greyhounds' Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The victory improves Loyola's record to 3-2-1, while Lafayette falls to 1-2-0. At 3-2-1, Loyola is off to its best six-game start since 1999.
Five-foot-nine sophomore midfielder Maggie Ebner headed a ball into the back of the net at 97:38 off a corner kick from junior midfielder Kelly Farrell for the game-winner. The score was Ebner's first of the season and third of her career.
The Greyhounds dominated time of possession throughout the game, outshooting the Leopards, 27-5 on the day. Despite taking half as many shots as it has through the first five games, Loyola was not able to break the game open. The Greyhounds also took 11 corner kicks to Lafayette's two.
The Leopards struck first in the game, tallying just 55 seconds into the contest when freshman Jill Dozier scored unassisted after kicking in a rebound off her own shot.
Senior midfielder Christina Gomez tied the game at one with her team-leading third of the season at 16:18. Farrell played a long pass to the right side of the field that Gomez deflected off a defender to gain advantage. After a few dribbles toward the goal, Gomez blasted a shot for the score.
Gomez' score was the 21st of her career and moves her into fifth place all-time in Loyola annals.
The score remained 1-1 for the rest of the half as Loyola held a 13-3 shot advantage. Graduate student forward Theresa Ferraina had a great opportunity to score as a shot from the top of the box was saved by a diving Lauren Smedley, Lafayette's freshman goalkeeper. Smedley collected eight saves on the day.
Loyola senior goalkeeper Brittany Henderson had just one save on the day as she was not tested often.
Loyola took the lead at 2-1 midway through the second half as a pair of freshmen hooked up for the goal. A great deep pass from freshman midfielder Lauren Norcia led fellow freshman Nichole Schiro perfectly as she got behind the defense. Schiro was then one-on-one with the goalie and punched it into the net for the first goal of her career.
But Lafayette struck back with 12:25 remaining in regulation when Dana Moyer scored the equalizer, setting up the overtime session.
Farrell, who had a pair of assists on the day, including the one on the game-winner, had a great opportunity to end the game early in overtime at 94:43, but her shot went off the crossbar and out of bounds for a goal kick.
Lafayette did not record a shot in the overtime session.
The Greyhounds are back in action Friday, September 11, when they travel to Richmond, Va., for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Tournament with the host Rams and Eastern Michigan. Loyola hosted VCU last season in the first-ever meeting between the two teams and the Rams came out victorious, 3-0. The Greyhounds have never faced the Eagles of EMU.