No. 7 Penn State women overwhelm Loyola, 10-5

Lions lead 5-0 at halftime

Tortorelli has 14 saves

April 03, 2005|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

A year ago, Penn State's Lee Tortorelli ranked as the top goalkeeper in Division I women's lacrosse. Yesterday, Loyola was reminded why.

Tortorelli stopped nine of 11 first-half shots and shut out Loyola through the first half to set the tone for the No. 7 Nittany Lions' 10-5 victory in a steady downpour at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.

The senior from Havertown, Pa., finished with 14 saves, but her first-half performance frustrated the Greyhounds and had an effect on their shooting the rest of the game as Loyola hit only five of 30 shots.

"Tort has a lot of respect throughout the country and people know they have to take good shots," said Penn State coach Suzanne Isidor. "Loyola's got some good shooters and they were definitely aiming for those corners and going wide. The ones they put on cage, she was getting a piece of. To have a goalie like her, I can't say enough about what it does for our team."

The Lions (7-3) have knocked off two No. 1 teams this season, Virginia and Princeton in mid-March, but they have been up and down. Rising as high as No. 2, Penn State followed each of those upsets with a loss to an unranked team. Through it all, however, Tortorelli has allowed only an average of 8.68 goals per game.

While the Greyhounds certainly gave credit to Tortorelli, who made a handful of athletic point-blank saves in the early going, attacker Kate McHarg said her team didn't adjust its shots to account for the soaked artificial turf and all the puddles.

"We went in knowing the ground was wet and thinking if we shot from the outside, we'd get a lot of skid on the turf. When we didn't, we had to change it up. We probably should have done that a little bit earlier," said the sophomore from Australia, who took half of the Greyhounds' shots.

Kate Filippelli finally broke through 34 seconds into the second half on a feed from Maura Kenny. McHarg then added the first of her four goals 31 seconds later as the Greyhounds cut the lead to 5-2 and finally had some momentum.

McHarg answered Jessi Lieb's goal with 24:35 to go, keeping the Greyhounds within three goals. But Loyola missed the cage on its next six shots and then Tortorelli made three saves and an interception as the Lions boosted their lead to 9-3 with 6:06 remaining.

The Greyhounds, who were coming off a strong 15-3 win over George Mason on Wednesday, fell to 3-6. They dropped out of the Top 20 last week and remain in danger of missing out on an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament with only one win over a ranked opponent, No. 15 Delaware.

Greyhounds coach Kerri O'Day said it's too soon to worry about that, with six of the Greyhounds' final seven games against ranked opponents, including No. 2 Virginia, No. 5 Duke and No. 9 Maryland.

"Our strength of schedule is so strong, we're going game by game and we still have a lot of tough opponents," said the second-year coach. "If we grab a couple of those wins, hopefully, the outcome will be positive."

Penn State 5 5 - 10

Loyola 0 5 - 5

Goals: PS-Lieb 3, Chambers 3, Burke 2, Havrilla, Townsend; L-McHarg 4, Filippelli. Assists: PS-Lieb; L-Kenny. Saves: PS-Tortorelli 14; L-Lawton 4, Ci.Nicolaus 5.

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