Loyola women fall to late goal, 10-9

Lozano lifts Georgetown into final for first time

'Hounds led 8-4 at half

May 19, 2001|By James Giza | James Giza,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Loyola had it all within its grasp.

The offense was clicking. The defense was at its usual suffocating best. The Greyhounds' first trip to the NCAA women's lacrosse title game since 1997 seemed imminent, if only they could duplicate in the second half against semifinal opponent Georgetown what they had done in the first.

It took the biggest come-from-behind win in the history of the tournament and a heart-stopping finish last night at Homewood Field to put the Hoyas in tomorrow's final.

Georgetown midfielder Gloria Lozano hit the game-winning shot with seven seconds remaining to lead the third-seeded Hoyas to a 10-9 win in front of 3,138, serving seventh-seeded Loyola its second consecutive loss in the national final four.

Georgetown, making its first appearance in the national semifinals after two straight quarterfinal defeats, can add another first for the program: an appearance in the NCAA title game. The Hoyas (17-2) will face off against top-ranked and undefeated Maryland tomorrow.

"I'm not going to say I don't think we played well or that we made mistakes after mistakes," said Loyola coach Diane Geppi-Aikens, whose team was forced into 11 turnovers. "I'm going to say Georgetown caused us to turn the ball over. They got a little bit of wind in their sails."

The Greyhounds (15-5) led 8-4 at halftime, thanks to attacker Stacey Morlang's three goals and an inspired defensive effort that left the normally high-powered Hoyas offense looking uncharacteristically flat.

But things began to change at the outset of the second half.

Sheehan Stanwick, Georgetown's leading scorer and one of five finalists for national player of the year, got on the board with her fifth shot of the game, scoring the opening goal of the second half to pull the Hoyas within 8-5.

On Georgetown's next possession, she did it again, and the Hoyas trailed 8-6 with 26:32 left in the game.

Midfielder Sarah Oglesby beat Loyola's Jen Albright on the left side of the cage, dodged to the middle and whipped a shot high past Loyola goalie Tricia Dabrowski with 24:43 to go.

Loyola attacker Lauren Peck converted a feed from Krissy Warnock in front of the goal with 20:17 left, but Stanwick struck again. After both teams went through long scoreless periods, Stanwick leapt in the air on a free position shot and slammed it home to close within a goal with 11:16 remaining.

Georgetown's Erin Elbe followed with a score with 10:21 to go to tie the game, 9-9, for the first time since the score was 1-1 four minutes into the first half.

"We knew we had to get the tempo of the game back because Loyola is a team that feeds on their aggression and their scrappy play," Georgetown coach Kim Simons said. "They took it to us in the beginning of that game. To get control, we had to take that back from them."

Said Morlang, who finished with three goals and an assist but was scoreless after halftime: "We had to keep the intensity up. We didn't take care of the ball and they took advantage of all our missed opportunities and they did a good job of sticking the ball when they needed to."

The Greyhounds squandered a possession with just under a minute to go when midfielder Susan Tyrrell didn't see a pass coming her way.

The Hoyas took advantage. With time nearly expired, Lozano took a pass from Oglesby on the right side and slung the ball into the left side of the net to clinch the victory.

Loyola 8 1 - 9 Georgetown 4 6 - 10

Goals: L-Morlang 3, Eyler 2, Santacroce, Warnock, Testrake, Peck; G-S. Stanwick 3, W. Stanwick 2, Elbe 2, Ahearn, Oglesby, Lozano. Assists: L-Santacroce 2, Morlang, Peck, Warnock; G-S. Stanwick. Saves: L-Dabrowski 3; G-Holden 6.

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