No. 7 Loyola women slip past Towson, 12-11

Late free-position goal by Morlang is difference

April 14, 1999|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Loyola's defense had trouble keeping Towson's shooters off the eight-meter line last night, but in the end, the No. 7 Greyhounds women beat the Tigers at their own game.

Stacey Morlang hit what turned out to be the deciding goal on a free-position shot with 3: 25 left to slip the Greyhounds (8-2) past the unranked Tigers, 12-11, at Minnegan Stadium for their seventh straight victory.

The Tigers (3-8) took nine free-position shots and scored on five of them. The Greyhounds, who took only four, scored on two.

Greyhounds coach Diane Aikens said she expected the Tigers' offensive strategy, but she didn't expect her team's reaction to their plan.

"They took it right to us and we fouled," said Aikens. "We knew they were going to isolate, take it one-on-one and try to draw the foul, but my kids didn't double-team, they didn't pay attention. Once the fouls started flowing, that's when Towson got their goals."

Four of the last five Tigers goals were scored on free-position shots. Jen Sturm gave Towson an 8-7 lead with 20: 05 remaining. Her goal capped a five-minute, five-goal spurt for the Tigers, who got three straight goals from Jess Weissman in the run.

But the Greyhounds, who led by as many as four goals in the first half, answered with a four-goal run. Suzanne Eyler started the run and Megan Santacroce, who scored a career-high four goals, finished it with back-to-back goals for an 11-8 lead with 7: 03 left.

The Tigers rallied behind two free-position goals from Amie Rose, who also had a career-high four goals, but when Rose took a shot at tying the game, Loyola's Chelsea Morley came up with the ball behind the goal. At the other end, Morlang was fouled. The freshman then skipped a low drive past Tigers keeper Jacquie Sica (10 saves) for the game-winner.

Amy Buck cut the deficit to 12-11 with 2: 20 to go on a left-handed spinner. The Greyhounds won the next draw and tried to stall away the final minutes, but they turned the ball over with 31 seconds left. Sturm raced to goal, but lost the ball when Therese Naab checked it away about 12 meters out with six seconds left.

The Tigers, who have lost six straight, dominated the ground balls and draws and played outstanding defense against Loyola's set offense.

"Our defense has been saving us all year," said Towson coach Linda Ohrin, who played for Aikens at Loyola. "It might not show in the scores and in our record, but I commend each and every one of them."

In the first half, the Tigers stuck close by controlling eight of 10 draws and by playing a quick double-teaming defense led by Rose, Sue Korcek, Jaime Neave, Krista Bowerman, Molly Branning and Bridget Harthausen. After Nicki Popolano tied the game at 1-1 with 26: 13 left, the Tigers denied the Greyhounds for 13 minutes.

Once Kory Miller gave Loyola a 2-1 lead with 12: 38 left, Danielle Battersby, Maria DiTommaso and Santacroce followed in the next six minutes.

Rose got two back for the Tigers before Kathleen O'Shea put the Greyhounds up 6-3 at the half.

Pub Date: 4/14/99

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