'Hounds can't keep momentum, fall to Orange

No. 7 Syracuse Women 17 No. 13 Loyola 10

April 06, 2009|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

Sunday's meeting with No. 7 Syracuse was a bellwether game for the No. 13 Loyola women's lacrosse team.

A little past midseason, this 17-10 loss to the Orange in a Big East contest at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field showed how far the Greyhounds still have to go, but it also measured how far they have come in their resurgence.

In her first season as coach, Jen Adams, a former star player at Maryland and assistant with the Terps and Denver, has guided Loyola (8-4, 1-3) to victories over three ranked teams and to its first Top 20 ranking since March 2005. Sunday, she matched coaching wits for the first time with her mentor, Gary Gait, whose Orange (9-3, 4-1) was the toughest team the Greyhounds had faced since a 19-8 loss to then-No. 4 Virginia on Feb. 21.

The Orange, a final four team last season, took a 7-0 lead. Loyola rallied to within 10-8 on a 4-0 run to start the second half but couldn't get enough traction to carry it on.

"We showed a lot of character to get back up there," Adams said. "That's taking control of the game and using that momentum swing in our favor ... but unfortunately, I think that's where we slipped a little bit. That's having a young team, and we need to work on being more mentally and physically tough and not try to protect the momentum swing but run with it."

Elizabeth Weber, Grace Gavin, Meg Taylor and Abby Rehfuss pulled the Greyhounds within 10-8 four minutes into the second half. Loyola won all four draws, prompting Gait to call a timeout to adjust. The Greyhounds won the next draw but turned the ball over twice - the second one leading to a two-on-one Orange transition goal as Katie Rowan fed Megan Mosenson.

That set off a four-goal Syracuse run, and the Orange won eight of the final nine draws. The Greyhounds got no closer than 14-10 on a goal by Rehfuss with 7:44 to go.

"The score obviously showed that we can stay with them," Loyola midfielder Cara Filippelli said. "It's just we need to pick apart their momentum and our inconsistencies and be able to capitalize on their mistakes as much as they capitalized on ours."

The game featured 60 shots between the two teams - not a big surprise considering Gait and Adams are two of the most prolific attackers to play the game.

Gait, who coached Adams while at Maryland, said he sees a big difference in Loyola this season.

"It looks like they're having fun playing," he said. "Their skill level's improved, they're more organized in the offensive end, and they just look like they think they can play with anybody, and they can."

Rehfuss led Loyola with three goals. Halley Quillinan had five goals and Rowan two goals and six assists for the Orange.

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