Johnson makes sure 2nd time, giving Loyola 11-10 win in OT No. 2 Greyhounds end Virginia's 6-game streak

April 18, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Don't give Loyola's Kerri Johnson a second chance.

With two seconds remaining in regulation yesterday, Johnson's free-position shot deflected off the stick of Virginia goalkeeper Michelle Cusimano and bounced away to send the game into overtime.

Nearly six minutes later and with the game still tied, Johnson faced another free-position opportunity -- just a few steps from her previous shot in regulation -- and this time she didn't miss.

Making a strong charge at the goalkeeper, Johnson scored from point-blank range with 17 seconds left in the extra session to give the No. 2 Greyhounds an 11-10 triumph over the No. 4 Cavaliers at Curley Field. It was Loyola's first win over the Cavaliers in six years, ending a five-game losing streak.

"All I kept saying to myself was: you're not going to miss, you're not going to miss," Johnson said. "I knew I missed that shot that would have won the game. I just knew I was going to score the next time."

The Greyhounds extended the nation's second-longest winning streak to 12 games with three regular-season games remaining, including a showdown with top-ranked Maryland on Tuesday.

Loyola, which is 6-0 against ranked teams, also put itself in excellent position for a top-two seeding in the NCAA tournament and a bye into the national semifinals.

"We have two big games this weekend, but today certainly helped us," Loyola coach Diane Aikens said. "I think if we win Saturday [they'll play the winner of Old Dominion-James Madison in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament], we'll virtually clinch it."

Loyola (12-0) jumped out to a big lead against Virginia, pulling out to a 6-3 advantage eight minutes into the second half. The Cavaliers (9-3), whose six-game winning streak ended, stormed back with four goals in 12 minutes to take a 7-6 lead.

Michelle Meyer scored with 2: 48 left in regulation to tie the game for Loyola, but Beth Potter answered a little more than a minute later to put Virginia back ahead at 8-7.

The Cavaliers won the draw and attempted to run out the last minute. However, Johnson forced a turnover and gave Loyola possession with 45 seconds left.

Loyola didn't waste any time. Erin Wylde scored off a pass from Meyer with 21 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 8. The teams traded goals twice in the first four minutes of overtime to set up Johnson's game-winner.

"I think we're pretty confident a goal down," Johnson said. "There's a lot of heart and guts on this team."

Pub Date: 4/18/96

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