Adams 'Happier' After Loyola Women Top Penn State
Taryn VanThof set career highs with five points and eight draw controls Saturday in the Greyhounds' 13-11 victory.
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BALTIMORE – Jen Adams, a scoring savant, does not digest an ugly offensive performance well.
After Virginia blunted the normally-explosive Loyola midfield last week in a 10-9 victory over the Greyhounds, Adams, Loyola’s sixth-year coach, vowed things would change. “Mark my words,” she said. “That won’t happen again.”
The sixth-ranked Greyhounds responded resoundingly Saturday, defeating ninth-ranked Penn State 13-11 at Loyola’s Ridley Athletic Complex. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Taryn VanThof scored three goals, dished two assists and nabbed a career-high eight draw controls in a terrific all-around performance. Sophomore attacker Kara Burke added three goals off the bench and junior midfielder Marlee Paton notched two goals and two assists for Loyola.
Asked if she was happy with the offensive display, Adams replied, “Happier,” with an emphasis on “er.”
“In the Virginia game, we didn’t really show up,” Adams said. “We made a mark and made Penn State come out to play us. Consistency is still plaguing us a little bit. We had pockets of possession that really looked like the brand of Loyola lacrosse, and we had moments where we didn’t make great decisions.”
Down 7-6 at halftime, the Greyhounds scored the first four goals of the second half, including two on free positions. VanThof factored in three of the four goals, staking Loyola to a 10-7 lead on her unassisted goal with 16:36 remaining.
“We were playing such good defense in the beginning of the second half that we were making great plays but getting fouls. I just wish they could have scored on us on legitimate plays and not from the 8-meter,” Penn State coach Missy Doherty said. “It kind of takes the wind out of your sail a little bit.”
The teams combined for 55 fouls in a physical game. Loyola drew four yellow cards, including two (Molly Hulseman and Ashley Moulton) that came just 31 seconds apart late in the second half and gave Penn State a two-man advantage. The Nittany Lions capitalized with goals by sophomore attacker Maggie McCormick and sophomore midfielder Tatum Coffey.
Coffey’s goal with 8:31 remaining pulled Penn State within 12-11. She had a chance to tie it on a free position two minutes later, but her shot pinged off the crossbar.
Burke gave Loyola some breathing room, converting a feed from Paton for the insurance goal with 2:52 remaining.
But the real difference was VanThof, who missed the 2012 season with a torn ACL. The normally run-and-gun Greyhounds were content to wait until Penn State’s defenders challenged them in the midfield. When they did, the downhill-dodging VanThof made them pay.
“She’s a player that goes hard to cage. You have to be ready for her in every scenario,” Doherty said. “She took advantage of the fact that we had to come out and pressure, and we gave her better lanes to the goal.”
Doherty said she did not expect Loyola to take the air out of the ball as the Greyhounds did when they got a lead in the second half.
"I was surprised myself," Adams said. "I'm not a fan of it. I was an offensive-styled player and I like offensive-styled coaching. Our goal was to get Penn State out off the line, and at times they let us eat the clock. I'm wising up in my head coaching years and realizing sometimes to win a game you need to have a bit of balance on the game clock."