Loyola women get jump on Princeton

Early 7-2 lead lifts No. 6 Greyhounds by No. 2 Tigers, 13-9

College Lacrosse

March 12, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

PRINCETON, N.J. - After Loyola's sixth-ranked women's lacrosse team lost at home to No. 4 North Carolina Thursday, coach Diane Geppi-Aikens could not have asked for a better rebound than yesterday's 13-9 upset of No. 2 Princeton.

"It's a sign of a good team when you bounce back from a loss with only one day of preparation and when you're on the road," Geppi-Aikens said after the clash of two 2000 final four teams at Princeton's Class of 1952 Stadium.

The Greyhounds (2-1) wasted no time asserting themselves.

After the Tigers' Kim Smith rolled the crease for the first goal in just 52 seconds, Greyhounds junior Stacey Morlang netted four straight goals.

By the time Megan Santacroce scored on a free-position shot with 3:11 left in the first half, the Greyhounds led 7-2.

"Coming off the loss we just had," said Morlang, "we were really prepared for this game, because of the fact that we knew we should have played better last game."

Against the Tigers' high-pressure defense, the Greyhounds moved the ball well and came off screens to score several of their goals.

Morlang, who finished with five goals, was assisted on the first four, twice by Krissy Warnock.

"We knew we had to be patient because they're really aggressive, and we had to move the ball to be able to get the openings," Greyhounds senior Jen Testrake said.

Princeton put together a short spurt late in the second half, when Theresa Sherry and Whitney Miller scored the only back-to-back goals the Tigers would get, cutting the lead to 7-4.

Suzanne Eyler then scored a momentum-busting, free-position goal 24 seconds before the half.

In the second half, Julie Shaner scored the first goal for Princeton on a free position, but the Greyhounds answered every Tigers goal the rest of the way.

Loyola remained patient with its offense and with its clears, maintaining possession and running time off the clock at every opportunity.

"Them coming up with all the draws, and then controlling the ball in their offensive area, was the key to their success," Tigers defender Dayna Federici said. "It was almost like they were stalling, and once we got the ball back, we made little errors, little mistakes in transition, and they just capitalized on all of them."

The Greyhounds, determined to take better shots than they had in Thursday's 12-10 loss to North Carolina, scored on 11 of 19 attempts. Tigers freshman goalie Meghan McInnes had a rough outing, making just three saves.

"We went in thinking, `If you're 85 percent sure you can score, then you take that shot,' " Geppi-Aikens said. "`If it's not an 85 percent shot, then you shouldn't be taking it,' because it could equate to a turnover, which means possession for them and a chance for them to score. I think my team took only two or three less-than-85 percent shots the entire 60 minutes."

Testrake provided the clincher after Smith fed Nina Carbone for a Tigers transition goal with 7:38 left in the game. The veteran attacker moved out of the arc and back in to bounce a shot past McInnes for a 12-8 lead with 5:44 left in the game.

Greyhounds goalie Tricia Dabrowski made nine saves against 23 Princeton shots, and she got plenty of help from the Loyola defense, which forced the Tigers (1-1) to alter a lot of their shots so that they fired high or wide.

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