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No. 11 Loyola drops a close one in overtime

By: Amanda Ghysel

Taryn VanThof led Loyola with three points from two goals and an assists.

Taryn VanThof led Loyola with three points from two goals and an assists.

Loyola’s women’s lacrosse fell by one goal to an unranked team for the second-straight game as the James Madison Dukes defeated the Hounds 9-8 in overtime Saturday afternoon at the Ridley Athletic Complex.

JMU got the first good looks of the game, but freshman goalie Molly Wolf came up big, making four key saves in the opening moments to keep the game scoreless.

It was Loyola sophomore Kara Burke who finally broke the scoreless tie, when classmate Taryn VanThof sent her a pass off of a free position, giving the Hounds their first of four unanswered goals in the first half.

Burke netted her second of the game just over a minute later when the goalie turned to challenge sophomore Hannah Schmitt. Instead of shooting, Schmitt slid the ball over to Burke and she buried it in the open side of the net.

Senior Joanna Dalton was responsible for Loyola’s third goal when she capitalized on a free position with 18:17 to go in the half before fellow senior Kathleen Barranco earned her first goal of the season off a pass from junior Marlee Paton.

The Hounds held the Dukes scoreless the entire first half and went into the break with a 4-0 lead. It was the first time the Greyhounds shutout a team in a half since April 3, 2009, when Loyola outscored UCONN 5-0 in the second frame in a 17-2.

However, this shutout would leave the Hounds with a different fate.

James Madison came out hot in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals in the first 3:20 to slash the Hounds’ lead to one and suddenly bring the Dukes within striking distance.

VanThof would push the lead back to two, finding the back of the net on an impressive diving play with 25:16 to go.

But JMU would answer right back with a goal from sophomore Steph Finley, who crept out from behind the goal frame and took advantage of an open net.

Loyola would score just a minute later, as Annie Thomas connected with Paton to give the Hounds a 6-4 lead.

Two more JMU goals from freshman Taylor Gress and senior Casey Ancarrow would knot the score at six with 12:09 to go.

Dalton would capitalize on a free position with 6:31 to go to give Loyola its last lead of the game. The Dukes, in dramatic fashion, would find the back of the net with 15 seconds to go, once again tying the game and forcing overtime.

It was JMU who struck first in overtime, but VanThof would answer for the Hounds, knotting the score yet again. But JMU sophomore Ali Curwin would break through the Loyola back line and bury it past Molly Wolf in the waning moments of the overtime period to earn the Dukes the victory.

Burke and Dalton notched two apiece to lead scoring for the Greyhounds, who have now fallen into a three-game losing skid, their record now reading 2-5.

But both head coach Jen Adams and her players realize that the most important games of their season are just on the horizon, as they enter into BIG EAST conference play next week with a home game against Louisville at 7 p.m. on Friday.

“These games become irrelevant,” said Paton, emphasizing that team’s rough start to the season will be a stepping stone for improvement in league play.

“This team does have a lot of heart and a lot of talent,” said Adams, speaking to the fact that three of the team’s five losses have been by a one-goal margin. “They say close games build character, so we must have a hell of a lot of character.”

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Amanda Ghysel

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