Loyola University Maryland’s women’s lacrosse team returns to Ridley Athletic Complex for a 7 o’clock tilt on Tuesday, April 19, against Georgetown. The Greyhounds are Hoyas are the only remaining unbeaten teams in BIG EAST Conference action this season.
The Greyhounds then travel to New Jersey for their sixth BIG EAST game of the season. Loyola will play in Piscataway on Saturday at 1 o’clock against host Rutgers.
In The Polls
Loyola checks in at the No. 6 spot in the IWLCA coaches poll released on Monday while holding steady at No. 3 in the deBeers/Inside Lacrosse media rankings. Georgetown moves up the coaches poll with a No. 16 rank, and the Hoyas are ranked 17th in the media poll.
Fast Conference Start
Loyola is off to a 4-0 start in BIG EAST play, its best-ever start in league play. The Greyhounds’ previous best beginning to conference action was 2-0 last year.
Georgetown and Loyola will meet for the 13th time in series history on Tuesday night. The Hoyas hold a slim 6-5 advantage in the previous meetings after winning the regular-season game between the two (13-12, OT) and a BIG EAST Championships match-up (11-9) last season.
In last year’s regular-season game, Loyola took an 11-4 lead with 17:24 remaining in regulation, but Georgetown rallied to take a 12-11 lead with 20 seconds to go. The Greyhounds, however, tied things up at 12-12 with 4.2 ticks left on a Helen McCutcheon goal, sending the game to overtime. Abby Kaestner scored the game-winner for the Hoyas with 1:06 left in the first overtime.
Rutgers lead the all-time series with Loyola 3-2, although the Greyhounds won last year’s meeting, 18-6. The game was the first-ever women’s contest at Ridley Athletic Complex and the first night game played by any Loyola team at the venue. The Greyhounds ran out to a 9-0 lead 20 minutes into the first half and never looked back.
Scouting the Hoyas
Georgetown moved to 7-5 overall and 5-0 in the BIG EAST last Saturday with a 12-8 victory over Syracuse in Washington, D.C. The Orange took an 8-5 lead less than five minutes into the second half, but Georgetown held it scoreless for the remainder of the game while scoring seven of its own goals.
Dina Jackson and Mary Beth Brophy both scored three times against Syracuse, and Jackson had two assists.
Jordy Kirr leads the team in assists (22) and points (42) and is second on the Hoyas with 20 goals. Sophia Thomas is tops on the team with 28 goals, and Jackson is third with 19.
Barb Black has started seven games, and played over 500 minutes, in goal, recording a 9.71 goals against average along with a .357 saves percentage. As a team, the Hoyas are scoring 13.17 goals per game and allowing 11.58.
Scarlet Knight K-Notes
Rutgers improved to 8-5 overall and 2-3 in the league after defeating Cincinnati, 12-9, on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights have scored an average of 10.31 goals per game this season and allowed 8.69.
Marlena Welsh tops the team in goals (28), assists (10) and points (38) through 13 games, while Lindsey Watts and Ali Steinber have scored 24 and 23 goals, respectively.
Lilly Kalata has started every game in goal for Rutgers and has an 8.37 goals against average, the second-best mark in the BIG EAST behind Loyola’s Kerry Stoothoff.
The 200 Club
Grace Gavin entered an exclusive group on Sunday, April 10, in the Greyhounds win at Villanova. The senior attacker scored three goals including the 200th of her career. Gavin joins Janet Eisenhut ‘83 and Stacey Morlang ‘02 as the only players in Loyola history to score 200 or more goals. Eisenhut is the school record-holder with 223, while Morlang tallied 221.
Heneberry Heats Up
Mary Heneberry entered Loyola’s game against Louisville with eight goals, and she nearly doubled that total against the Cardinals and at Villanova. The senior scored five times, one off her career-high, against Louisville and twice more versus the Wildcats.
Heneberry is now tied for fourth on the team with 15 goals. Her goals against Louisville came quickly in the first half as she scored four of the game’s first seven, and she later added her fifth to tie things at 10-10 after Louisville had taken its only lead of the contest.
Against Louisville, Heneberry also had three caused turnovers and three ground balls, all leading directly to goals.
Paton Piles On Goal
Freshman Marlee Paton scored four goals in back-to-back wins over Louisville and Villanova, matching her career-high set earlier this year against Virginia and at UMBC.
Paton has scored 27 goals in 12 games this year, the most by a Loyola freshman since Grace Gavin and Abby Rehfuss scored 38 and 35, respectively, in 2008.
Tough From The Eight
Loyola held Louisville and Villanova to a combined 2-of-11 from the 8-meter arc in its last two games. The Cardinals converted on just 1-of-7.
This season, Greyhounds opponents are just 13-of-51 on free-position shots.
Another Honors Sweep
Loyola players swept the weekly BIG EAST Conference honors for the second week in a row and third time this season on April 4. Kellye Gallagher was named Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career, and Grace Gavin earned Offensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this year.
Gallagher had nine ground balls – four at Cincinnati and five at Notre Dame – in a pair of Loyola wins last week. She also caused two turnovers at Cincinnati and had a pair of draw controls against the Fighting Irish.
Gavin was the offensive award winner for the second week in a row and fourth time during her career. She scored four goals in both Loyola wins and also had three assists at Notre Dame.
Loyola has now won nine BIG EAST weekly awards this season – five defensive and four offensive. The Greyhounds are the only BIG EAST team to sweep the awards through seven weeks of honors.
Climbing The Charts
Earlier this season, Loyola’s Grace Gavin moved into the top five of Loyola’s all-time lists in goals and points scored, and she continued her climb up the assists chart. She recorded three assists against Notre Dame to move into fourth-place all-time at Loyola with 68, surpassing Stacey Morlang (1999-2002) who had 67. Next up for Gavin, who now has 69, is Erika Mawhorr (1991-1994) who tallied 77.
Gavin is third on Loyola’s points and goals scored lists with 271 and 203, respectively. She is 13 points away from tying Janet Eisenhut (1980-1983) for second place in points and 18 shy of Morlang’s second-place goal total.
Stepping Up Scoring
Over a three-game stretch from March 27-April 3, Abby Rehfuss more than doubled her goal output for the 2011 season. She scored six against Denver, four at Cincinnati and three versus Notre Dame.
After scoring 11 goals in the Greyhounds’ first seven games, her 13 goals in those games and had one each against Louisville and Cincinnati to raise her season total to 26.
Rehfuss is now 13th all-time at Loyola with 161 career points, tied for 16th with 116 goals and tied for 13th in assists (45).
The senior midfielder tallied her 100th career goal on a free-position shot with 17:49 left in the UMBC game, making her the 21st player in program history to score 100 or more goals.
Off And Running
Loyola’s 12-0 start is its best since the 2003 Final Four team raced out to 14 straight victories en route to a 17-2 final record. That team ended the regular season ranked No. 1. The 12-game winning streak is also the longest since the 2003 team won 14 in a row.
It is the 12th time in program history that the Greyhounds have won 10 or more in a row.
Not To Be Forgotten
Loyola’s offense has been putting up big numbers this season, but its defense has been just as highly ranked nationally. The Greyhounds are allowing a BIG EAST best 7.83 goals per game.
Kerry Stoothoff is tops in the conference and eighth nationally with a 7.87 goals against average, and Kellye Gallagher is eighth in Division I in caused turnovers and 20th in ground balls per game.
Pair Of Sixes
Grace Gavin and Abby Rehfuss each scored six goals on March 27 as the Greyhounds defeated Denver, 20-10. Gavin tallied four in the first half and two in the second, while Rehfuss scored all six of hers in the second 30 minutes.
Rehfuss’ six goals came in two quick flurries. She scored the first three goals of the second half in a stretch of 1-minute, 49-seconds, and she then tallied three in a row over 2:32 midway through the half.
The last time two Loyola players each scored six goals in a game was on April 23, 2005, when Sydney Greene and Kate McHarg accomplished the feat against Stanford. The Greyhounds’ assist leader in that game was Rachel Shuck with two. Shuck was on the Denver sidelines Sunday where she is an assistant coach for the Pioneers.
Drawing A 10
Meg Decker set a career-high with 10 draw controls in the Greyhounds’ victory over Denver, equalling the total the entire Pioneers’ team put up.
The senior leads the Greyhounds and is second in the BIG EAST with 35 draw controls, an average of 4.38 per game, this season.
Since NCAA rule for counting draw controls changed in 2001, no Loyola player hag recorded more than eight in a game. Former Loyola All-American Kate McHarg did that twice.
Grace Gavin has been the Greyhounds’ leading goal and point scorer in eight of 12 games this year, and she has led the team in assists on seven occasions. Through 12 contests in 2011, the senior has scored 44 goals and has 14 assists for 58 points.
Gavin has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola last 53 games, dating back to March 30, 2008, at Penn State. She has one or more point in each contest since the only time she was shutout in her collegiate career, February 26, 2008, at UMBC, a stretch of 59 games. She has scored a point in 64-of-65 career games.
Leaders of the Pack
Midfielder Cara Filippelli, midfielder Abby Rehfuss and goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff serve as captains for Loyola this year. Filippelli (2010 Second-Team All-BIG EAST, 23 goals and 28 assists) and Rehfuss (2010 Second-Team All-BIG EAST, 23 goals and seven assists) return as captains for the second year, while Stoothoff (9.47 goals-against-average and .497 save percentage) makes her debut as a captain.
Big Respect in the BIG EAST
BIG EAST coaches predicted Loyola to finish fourth in the conference in the annual preseason conference poll. The Greyhounds went 5-3 in BIG EAST play last year en route to a fourth-place finish. Georgetown took top honors, followed by Syracuse and Notre Dame.
Grace Gavin, Cara Filippelli and Abby Rehfuss were named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team on January 25. Gavin was a unanimous selection, as well as taking BIG EAST Preseason Attack Player of the Year honors. The announcement marked Gavin’s third straight year on the team, Filippelli’s second and Rehfuss’ first.
Party at Our Place
Loyola will host the 2013 BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Championship at the Ridley Athletic Complex on May 2 and 4, 2013. The event will mark the first BIG EAST postseason event Loyola has hosted. In nine years, BIG EAST teams have made 23 appearances in the NCAA tournament and six teams have made it to the final four.
Three teams (Syracuse, Notre Dame and Georgetown) have appeared in the tournament for three years straight.
Plotting the Course
Loyola wraps up the regular season with a pair of BIG EAST home games. It hosts Syracuse at 7 o’clock on Friday, April 29, and Connecticut on Sunday, May 1, at 1 o’clock.