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Vanderbilt Tops Loyola, 5-4, in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament
May 13, 2004
Baltimore, MD - In a defensive battle that featured an unusual 1-0 halftime score, Vanderbilt upset No. 4 seed Loyola with a 5-4 final score in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. Loyola's 1-0 halftime lead set an NCAA women's lacrosse tournament record for fewest goals in a half by both teams and tied the record for fewest goals in a half by one team.
"I'm incredibly proud of our team," Vanderbilt head coach Cathy Sweezey said. "Loyola is a great team with so much tradition. Today's win shows how much character our team has."
The defense played tenacious throughout and held each other scoreless for nearly the entire first half until Loyola leading scorer Sydney Greene scored on an eight-meter free position 14:37 into the game. Neither team would score again in the first half en route to an NCAA record 1-0 Loyola lead.
Talia Shacklock got the Loyola attack into a rhythm in the second half with near duplicate goals at 40:40 and 41:35 when she worked herself around the cage, finding herself open on both plays for a 3-0 lead. The Commodores finally got themselves on the board at 42:10 when Kelly Devlin hit Kate Hickman from behind the net as Hickman charged the cage for a 3-1 score.
Vanderbilt's Jess Roduski scored three consecutive goals in just under three minutes to take the first Commodore lead 4-3 at 50:14. Roduski's first goal was assisted by Lauren Peck and the second by Michelle Allen while the third was unassisted. Stephanie Walker tied things up 4-4 when she drove towards the cage, beating the Vanderbilt defense at 51:27. Hickman would add the game winner with 5:37 remaining when Allen dished the ball to Hickman from behind the cage.
Vanderbilt did their best to stall and hold possession for the remainder of the game before Loyola sophomore Kristin McKay made a huge steal, but the offense was unable to capitalize on the play.
"I'm very proud of my team," said Loyola head coach Kerri Johnson. "They played their hearts our and laid everything they had on the line. Vanderbilt played a great game and ended it with one more goal than us."
In statistical terms, the game was extremely even. Vanderbilt led in shots 25-21 and saves 13-11 while Loyola led in groundballs 16-15, draw controls 7-4 and caused turnovers 8-5.
Vanderbilt's Roduski led the game with three goals while Shacklock led the Greyhounds with two.
Ashley Bastinelli recorded 13 saves for the Commodores while starting keeper Kim Lawton stopped six shots and held Vanderbilt scoreless in the first half. Cindy Nicolaus made five saves in the second.
The Greyhounds end their season 14-4 and with their 13th tournament appearance. The Commodores will advance to the second round with an 11-5 record and face the winner of the James Madison-Johns Hopkins game on Sunday, May 16th.