The Loyola women's lacrosse team danced in the middle of Curley Field yesterday, after upsetting No. 1 Harvard, 10-9, in overtime, on defender Kelly McGuigan's daring 35-yard -- through a maze of Crimson players for the winning goal.
But neither the fifth-ranked Greyhounds nor coach Diane Aikens made the often-heard collegiate sports claim of "We're No. 1."
Aikens said: "I'm not claiming to be No. 1. I don't believe in doing that until you have the NCAA championship trophy in your hands. All I want is for us to be one of the six teams invited to the NCAA tournament."
This is the same kind of focus Aikens gave her team in the first eight minutes of the game yesterday, when Harvard (8-1) bolted to a 4-0 lead and appeared ready to show why it is No. 1.
"I wasn't worried," said Aikens. "We had scouted Harvard and knew they go on a lot of spurts. I told my players to expect those spurts and never say die. I try to teach my players not to let the score influence too much the way they play the game."
The Greyhounds (9-1) followed those instructions perfectly and came back to take a 7-6 lead at halftime, behind three goals by Colleen Anderson and two by Tara Kramer.
That set the stage for a tense second-half duel, during which Kramer twice scored to tie the game.
Kramer, who finished with four goals and one assist, forced two three-minute overtime periods with a goal with 1:55 left in regulation off a set situation after a Harvard foul.
Kramer darted right at Crimson goalie Sarah Leary and scored to even it at 9.
Loyola got off three more shots in regulation, but couldn't get the winner, and a shot by Harvard's Buffy Hansen with five seconds left in regulation was saved by Greyhounds goalie Linda Ohrin.
Then came McGuigan's big-time goal 36 seconds into the first three-minute overtime.
"They didn't expect me to have the ball, because I'm a defender," said McGuigan. "But I picked up a ground ball near midfield, and everyone was so spread out that I could make a run for the goal. It seemed like I was by everybody before they realized it. Now I'm on cloud nine."
Harvard looked as if it had tied the game at 10 with 55 seconds left in the first overtime, but Emily Buxton's goal was disallowed by the officials, who ruled she was in the crease after a 20-yard run to the net.
Harvard coach Carole Kleinfelder said she couldn't tell if Buxton was in the crease and she didn't think the officials were in the right position to make the call.
"I couldn't see from my angle on the sidelines and the official who made the call was not parallel to the play where you had to be," said Kleinfelder. "I'm a little surprised the call was made at that point in the game, but give Loyola credit. They took advantage of every mistake we made."
Loyola did a good job of killing the clock to protect the lead in the second three-minute overtime, and Ohrin staved off Harvard's final chance with a save of a shot by Liz Berkery with 55 seconds left.