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Hounds continue reign over Patriot League

By: Taber Lucchese

Loyola women's lax

Loyola continued on its all-time undefeated conquest of the Patriot League, winning their third-consecutive League Championship in their 12-8 victory over Navy. The Hounds clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament as a result of Sunday afternoon’s win.

Loyola dominated the first 30 minutes on both ends of the field, leading Navy 9-3 at halftime. Unlike their semifinals game against Lehigh, in which Frankie Kamely netted a career-high seven goals, the Hounds displayed a wide array of shooters with looks from eight different girls just in the first half.

Kamely and Cami Whiteford gained an early lead for Loyola, first with Whiteford’s unassisted goal off a fast break followed by a weak-side flip shot on a free position by Kamely. Navy scored consecutive goals by Julia Collins and Andie O’Sullivan to tie it by 21:29, but not until Loyola went on a six-goal scoring streak.

Less than a minute after O’Sullivan’s goal, Kamely drove it from the top of the 12-meter fan to net her second of the game. Hannah Savage, Emily Clark, Sabrina Tabasso, and Hannah Powers all contributed one goal each over the following 15 minutes, ending with Taylor VanThof’s top shelf man-up goal at 2:38.

With 12 seconds left in the half, Maddy Blakeman notched her only goal of the day off a free position. Despite only scoring once, the senior attackman ended the day with three assists.

“She’s a tough player. She uses her presence very very well,” Loyola Coach Jen Adams said. “We bumped her back from the midfield to offense this year and left her with a tough task, which was leading a young offense to try to be very successful again.”

Loyola goalkeeper Molly Wolf had an impressive 10-save game, keeping Loyola’s defense afloat during Navy’s second half comeback.

“To have 19 saves in two games under this kind of pressure, it just speaks to the kind of player that she is and the person that she is,” Adams said.

Wolf was awarded the Tournament MVP for her excellence in goal Sunday afternoon, but humbly accredited her performance to the hard work of her teammates.

“I can’t do my job unless everyone else on the field is doing theirs,” Wolf said. “I don’t deserve it, my whole team deserves it. It’s nice that I got the honor, but I want to give them all the credit for how well I played because I can’t do my job without them.”

As their lead increased, Loyola’s sloppiness got out of hand, allowing Navy to cut the goal deficit to two points, after controlling possession lengthily during the second half. At 11:45, Wolf made a huge stop while playing man-down, but Navy attacker Katie Gallagher retaliated with a side-arm shot on a free position followed up by an EMO-goal by Meg O’Donnell to put the Mids at 10-8 with six minutes left in regulation.

“We came out really sharp and stuck with the game plan,” defender Maddy Lesher said. “Navy’s a tough side, we knew they were going to come out and battle in the second half, which they did.”

With 1:54 left on the clock, Kamely hit a bounce shot from Blakeman to break Navy’s three-goal scoring streak, followed up with a goal by Margaret Filipelli with two men up to seal Loyola’s win at 12-8.

“The Patriot League Title is the perfect way to leave Loyola, leave our mark on the program, and come out with a big win,” Blakeman said. “Now we get to look forward to sitting up in the film room tonight for Selection Show Sunday and see where we get to go for the NCAA Tournament.”

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Taber Lucchese

Staff Writer
A washed up high school athlete studying in the heartland of college lacrosse and living vicariously through her D1 friends. Growing up in a lacrosse-obsessed family in New York's hotbed, Taber received her first stick as a toddler, an all-pink plastic beauty with the Powerpuff Girls printed on the shaft. Soon after, she was criticized for her lack of a pocket by her male teammates, who all no doubt play college lacrosse today. After over a decade of shooting space and tight pockets, Taber picked up field hockey in high school to finally prove that she could be better at a sport than her D1-committed younger sister. Shockingly she was wrong, and now has accepted the fact that club sports are her destiny. Taber is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science with concentrations in Journalism and Italian Studies. Don't worry, she's not sure what she's doing either, but she's confident that she knows more about sports than you do.

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