Towson women show progress but come up short vs. Loyola

Tigers drop 9-8 decision to No. 1 Greyhounds after rallying from 9-5 deficit

College Lacrosse

March 20, 2003|By Tommy Ventre | Tommy Ventre,SUN STAFF

If nothing else, last night's game against top-ranked Loyola was a chance for the Towson women's lacrosse team to see how far it had come.

The Tigers entered the contest with a 3-1 record, their best start since 1998 and a refreshing change for a program that finished 7-9 just a year ago.

But the undefeated Greyhounds would provide the team's first real test, and the way the Tigers handled it would likely set the tone for the rest of the spring.

In the end, the Tigers left Towson Stadium after the game on the short end of a 9-8 score, but by all other measures, they passed the test.

"We're a team that's constantly progressing, day in and day out," Towson coach Linda Ohrin said.

"We didn't win tonight, but we are progressing. We're a very fine team, and we have an exciting season in front of us."

Ohrin's squad almost pulled off the unthinkable, quietly staying within striking distance all evening long before coming alive late in the second half to close a 9-5 deficit to a one-goal margin with two minutes to play.

The Greyhounds (5-0) had extended a 7-5 halftime lead on goals by Kourtney Porcella and Stephanie Walker in the first two minutes of the second half, seemingly putting the game out of reach.

But Towson (3-2), which had stayed close in the first half by winning draw controls and maintaining possession, returned to that formula and began to rally.

Stephanie Howell scored twice in a six-minute span to cut the deficit to 9-7, and Kelly Fitzgerald scored with 1:44 to play to cap the 3-0 run and leave the Tigers just a possession away from forcing overtime.

That possession never came, though, as Loyola ran out the clock after Kristi Korrow corralled the ensuing draw.

"I expected Towson to come out hard and strong, and they did," Korrow said.

"We knew we needed to win that draw control. We knew we needed to put everything into that, and we pulled together nicely."

Korrow led a strong effort by the Loyola defense, which came in allowing six goals per game and was able to hold the Tigers well below their 13.5 goals-per-game average.

Much of the Greyhounds' attention focused on Towson freshman Becky Trumbo, the Tigers' leading scorer with 16 goals and five assists before last night.

She played well last night, but found the net just once.

"I think we're one of the top defensive teams in the country, and I think we've earned that," Loyola coach Diane Geppi-Aikens said.

"We've got two great goalies and we've got some very experienced leaders in front of them, so that's been keeping us going."

Loyola 7 2 - 9

Towson 5 3 - 8

Goals: L-Eyler 4, Walker 2, Shuck, Borrone, Porcella; T- Giancola 2, Dwyer 2, Howell 2, Trumbo, Fitzgerald. Assists: L-Shuck 2, Walker, Eyler; T-Giancola 2, Dwyer, Trumbo. Saves: L-Lawton 3; T-O'Connell 8.

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