March 25, 2012

Loyola Hits Reset Button, Sinks Georgetown in Overtime

by Clare Lochary | LaxMagazine.com | Live Blog Replay

Marlee Paton (right) scored three goals and was one of seven different goal-scorers for Loyola in a 15-14 overtime win at Georgetown on Saturday.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

Loyola freshman attacker Annie Thomas got the game-winner on a left-handed crease roll with 37 seconds remaining in overtime in a 15-14 win over Georgetown. The wet and wild game, played in driving rain, featured 10 ties and five lead changes.

It came down to the final possession, when Georgetown junior midfielder Kelsi Bozel controlled the final draw and got a one-on-one look at the goal. Bozel shot high and was stopped by Loyola senior goalie Kerry Stoothoff.

"It was so exciting, and as a freshman, nerve-wracking. But anyone on our team could have put it down," said Annie Thomas, who finished with two goals and two assists.

Fellow rookie Sydney Thomas led Loyola (5-3) with a career-high four goals, indicating that the No. 16 Greyhounds' young offense may be finding its footing. Although the No. 13 Hoyas scored twice in less than two minutes at the end of regulation to force overtime, Loyola found a way to win.

"It feels great. We wanted to hit the reset button for the Big East conference play, and it was a huge win at the right time," said Loyola head coach Jen Adams.

The Greyhounds entered Saturday coming off a 11-6 loss to James Madison, while Georgetown was on a two-game win streak with victories over North Carolina and Penn.

The confident Hoyas opened scoring just 53 seconds into the game on an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder Kelyn Freedman (two goals). Loyola responded 10 seconds later on a fast break goal from freshman Hannah Schmitt (three goals, one assist). That sequence set the pace for the rest of the game. The two teams traded goals throughout the half, with neither leading by more than two. The points rained down throughout the first period. By the break, the score was 9-9.

"I'm not really used to it, looking up at the scoreboard and seeing nine at halftime. It's kind of frightening," said Stoothoff. "But our offense was producing and our 'D' stepped it up in the second half."

The pace slowed slightly in the second half -- until the final six minutes. Senior defender Kellye Gallagher had a masterful caused turnover when she intercepted a pass one-handed, a possession that led to a Sydney Thomas goal at 5:55, tying the game at 12.

The Greyhounds scored two more goals in rapid succession, giving themselves a 14-12 lead with 5:19 to play. Loyola appeared to have the game well in hand but the Hoyas rallied to force overtime. Despite poor visibility, Stoothoff finished with 11 saves, two in overtime and none bigger than the final one.

"It was do or die. You have to make that save. It's a must-save," said Stoothoff.

Sophia Thomas (four goals) and Caroline Tarzian (four goals, one assist) led the scoring for the Hoyas (4-4), and goalie Barb Black made seven saves.

"Kerry's one of those keepers. She comes up with a big save when you need it, and it's fitting that she could make that save. She's a big time player," said Adams.

With Stoothoff anchoring a seasoned defense, and seven different players scoring on offense – Marlee Paton added three goals -- the Greyhounds are in good spirits as they forge ahead in conference play.

"We wanted to start fresh with the Big East," said Annie Thomas. "I feel like we got our confidence back."


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