Va. bursts Loyola's 14-0 bubble, 10-9

Cavs' 3 goals in last :68 stun No. 1 'Hounds women

College Lacrosse

April 30, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The No. 1-ranked Loyola women's lacrosse team had No. 3 Virginia reeling and on the verge of defeat yesterday at Curley Field.

Suzanne Eyler (North Harford) scored her third goal with less than seven minutes remaining to give the Greyhounds a three-goal lead en route to what appeared to be the equalization of their 15-0 start in 1994, the best in school history.

But the Cavaliers were having none of that, scoring the last four goals - including three in the final 68 seconds - to pull out a near-miraculous 10-9 victory before 1,234 amazed spectators.

Cary Chasney (Notre Dame Prep) fired home the winner with five seconds to play in regulation off a feed from Lauren Aumiller (also Notre Dame) to culminate the dramatic rally by the nation's highest-scoring team.

"I was just the lucky one who had the ball at that point," said Chasney, a sophomore. "In other games we haven't been able to come back like that. But we knew we needed this one. It was the last one going into the [NCAA] tournament."

Another sophomore, Ashleigh Haas, played a big role in the comeback by taking the final two draws for Virginia (14-4), which was averaging 13.44 goals a game but was generally stymied by a stingy Loyola defense until the telltale burst.

"We like to keep it exciting," Haas said. "I'm in there to do whatever I can to help everybody on attack. They keep playing hard."

Loyola tops the nation against scoring and its defense acquitted itself very well. With the three-goal lead, the Greyhounds attempted to grind down the clock and hold onto the ball.

"We were in like the 85 percent mode. If the shot wasn't there, we weren't supposed to take one," Loyola coach Diane Geppi-Aikens said. "Unfortunately, we had some bad passes, and possession is the key to the game. You have to get those draw controls."

Less than a minute after the Greyhounds went up 9-6, Amy Appelt scored her fourth goal for Virginia despite taking a shot in the nose,

Loyola passed up one shot on a free possession but turned the ball over, and Aumiller cashed in at 58:52 to trim the difference to one. Twenty-four seconds later - after another Virginia win on the draw - the Cavaliers' leading scorer hit from her knees after an assist from Appelt.

That set up the exciting conclusion in which Virginia beat the Greyhounds for the fourth straight time.

"It's a good thing we have 60 minutes," Virginia coach Julie Myers said. "Loyola is a great team that has had an unbelievable season. I think they'll stay at the top based on their record."

It may require a Loyola victory at Maryland on Saturday in the regular-season finale to keep the team at the top entering next week's NCAA playoffs.

"They regionalize the tournament," said Geppi-Aikens. "So, this game is not the end of the season. Saturday's game is huge because it may determine whether we're home or away for the NCAAs. I don't think we're playing to get in this time."

Virginia 3 7 - 10

Loyola 5 4 - 9

Goals: V-Appelt 4, Chasney 3, Aumiller 2, Banks, Baitlin; L-Eyler 3, Shacklock 3, Walker, Tyrelll, Schuerholz. Assists: V-Appelt, Aumiller, Chasney; L-Shuck 3. Saves: V-Pfeiffer 9; L-Lawton 3, Nicolaus 5. A-1,234

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