No. 1 Loyola women stay perfect, 15-3

8-0 Greyhounds dismantle No. 10 James Madison

College Lacrosse

March 29, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

HARRISONBURG, Va. - Loyola and James Madison staged fiercely competitive games during their years as Colonial Athletic Association rivals, but the No. 1 Greyhounds' defense made sure that didn't happen last night.

Veteran defenders Marianne Gioffre, Tara Singleton, Kristi Korrow and Kourtney Porcella tightened their grip on the arc, allowing the No. 10 Dukes little room to work as the Greyhounds remained unbeaten with a 15-3 women's lacrosse victory at James Madison's Bridgeforth Stadium.

The Greyhounds (8-0) forced 22 turnovers, and goalies Kim Lawton and Cindy Nicolaus combined for 10 saves against a team averaging 12.2 goals a game. The Dukes (6-2) had not been held to three goals since 1996.

The Greyhounds, who won their sixth CAA championship last season, are no longer in the conference, but both teams expected a hotly contested matchup that never materialized. The two teams have won nine of the 11 CAA tournament titles.

The Greyhounds ran up a 5-0 lead, and the Dukes never got closer than four. After Lisa Staedt scored back-to-back goals to open the second half and pull the Dukes to 8-3, the Greyhounds reeled off the game's last seven goals. Loyola outshot the Dukes 39-24 and had a 47-24 edge in ground balls.

Loyola focused on containing the Dukes' top two scorers, Staedt and Gail Decker, who had 19 goals each coming into the game. Staedt scored all of James Madison's goals last night, and Decker never found the net.

"We knew they would be dangerous, especially in that eight meters," said Korrow, "so we knew we had to cover them very well. We knew they were going to one-on-one a lot and we knew we had to stand our ground."

That strategy didn't surprise first-year Dukes coach Kellie Young, but she didn't expect the other Dukes to be shut out.

"Up until this point, our off ballplayers have been able to step in, get themselves open and get some shots off, but Loyola's defense is the first to stop that as well," said Young. "They did a really nice job of collapsing to the center and knowing where we were going to go and our players just weren't able to change their game plan."

The Greyhounds are allowing an average of 5.4 goals a game and have not given up more than eight in a game. Lawton and Nicolaus, who share playing time every game, started the day with .571 and .672 save percentages, respectively.

Lawton shared credit for those stats with her defensive teammates.

"They usually try to force [opposing attackers] down to the sides and give them one angle to shoot at, try to keep them out of the center and give me shots that I should be able to save," said Lawton, who made a terrific block in the low left corner one second before halftime.

With the defense shutting down James Madison for the first 12:42, the Greyhounds' offense began shredding the Dukes' defense right away. Sydney Greene scored the first of her five goals just three minutes into the game, racing to goal off a nice pass from Tara Singleton. In just 10 minutes, the Greyhounds led 5-0.

When Staedt, the 2002 CAA Player of the Year, cut the deficit to 8-3 with 19:09 to go, Suzanne Eyler answered with two quick goals and fed Greene for another to start the final seven-goal spurt.

Loyola 8 7 - 15

James Madison 1 2 - 3

Goals: L-Green 5, Eyler 4, Shacklock 2, Walker, Shuck, Korrow, McNew; JM-Staedt 3. Assists: L-Eyler 2, Shuck 2, Porcella, Korrow, Tyrrell: JM-Brownridge. Saves: L- Lawton 6, Ci. Nicolaus 4; JM-Altig 12, King 2.

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