Vanderbilt bounces Loyola women

Commodores' rally sinks 'Hounds in NCAAs, 5-4

May 14, 2004|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

The women's lacrosse postseason ended with unexpected quickness for Loyola yesterday, and the circumstances surrounding visiting Vanderbilt's 5-4 first-round, upset victory at Geppi-Aikens Field were anything but typical.

The fourth-seeded Greyhounds, who were appearing in their 13th NCAA Division I tournament, barely had the ball throughout a first half owned by both defenses. Yet, Loyola (14-4) took an unusual, 1-0 halftime lead, then seemed to create crucial breathing room by adding two goals to start the second half.

But the 11th-seeded Commodores, making only their second tournament appearance, never panicked. Not after missing their first 17 shots. Not after going scoreless for the game's first 42 minutes.

Vanderbilt (11-5) won its first NCAA tournament game in school history by using excellent ball control, smart shooting, Loyola-like defense and the hot goalkeeping of junior Ashley Bastinelli (Friends School).

"We weren't intimidated because we were playing Loyola, and I don't think they got the shots they wanted to take," Bastinelli said. "Our defense really picked it up."

The Commodores won it by storming back with a game-ending, 5-1 run that featured three goals by senior midfielder Jessica Roguski (Liberty), two scores by sophomore attackman Kate Hickman and four team assists, two of which came from senior midfielder Michelle Allen (Liberty).

Hickman took a perfect, behind-the-net feed from Allen and pushed a point-blank shot past Loyola sophomore goalie Cindy Nicolaus with 5:37 left to give Vanderbilt a 5-4 lead. The Commodores then stalled effectively after controlling the ensuing draw.

Loyola's last gasp came with 1:03 left when freshman midfielder Cari West's six-yard shot was smothered by Bastinelli for her 13th save, her 10th of the second half. And the Greyhounds, held to their lowest goal output of the year, were done.

Loyola's first-year coach, Kerri Johnson, did not second-guess her decision to stick with a two-goalie system, even after starter Kim Lawton had shut out the Commodores with a six-save effort in the first half. Lawton and Nicolaus each played a full half in every game this season.

"It didn't come down to our goalkeepers making mistakes. It came down to the types of shots we were taking. Vanderbilt outshot us," Johnson said. "If we would have had better shot selection, I think it would have turned out differently."

It didn't help that Loyola was missing senior midfielder Jaclyn Borrone, who suffered a broken wrist during Saturday's 14-11 victory over Syracuse.

Loyola, which was led by junior midfielder Talia Shacklock (two goals), looked to be in good shape after Shacklock opened the second half by scoring twice unassisted to give the Greyhounds a 3-0 lead with 18:25 left in the game.

But Loyola suddenly cracked by surrendering three goals over the next six minutes, then lost the lead when Roguski beat two defenders to give Vanderbilt a 4-3 lead with 9:46 remaining.

Vanderbilt 0 5 -- 5

Loyola 1 3 -- 4

Goals: V--Roduski 3, Hickman 2; L--Shacklock 2, Greene, Walker. Assists: V--Allen 2, Devlin, Peck. Saves: V--Bastinelli 13; L--Lawton 6, Nicolaus 5. A: 350.

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