Cavaliers eke out close victory against Loyola Md.
The No. 8 Virginia women’s lacrosse team earned a gritty 10-9 win against No. 6 Loyola (Md.) in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon in Baltimore. In a game of constantly shifting momentum, the Cavaliers ensured the last such swing was in their direction.
The Greyhounds, the two-time defending Big East champions, forced Virginia into comeback mode for much of the first half. Loyola held leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 5-3 in the minutes before intermission. Virginia battled back each time, tying the game on goals by a rotating cast of attackers — senior co-captain Caroline McTiernan, junior Dana Boyle and sophomore Casey Bocklet — before cutting the first-half deficit to 5-4 on a goal by junior attack Ashlee Warner with 4:28 to play.
The Cavaliers built on Warner’s half-ending tally to change the course of the game after the break. Bocklet, who transferred from No. 1 Northwestern after the 2012 season, began the Virginia run with two quick goals, the first off an assist from Warner. Virginia stretched the 6-5 lead to an 8-5 advantage within the first five minutes of the second half when sophomore midfielder Courtney Swan scored off another Warner pass and promptly reciprocated, finding Warner for the final goal in the 4-0 Cavalier run to start the half.
The Greyhounds countered with two scores of their own, both by redshirt sophomore midfielder Taryn VanThof. Virginia sophomore midfielder Morgan Stephens ended the Loyola run, scoring with 15:20 to play for a 9-7 Cavalier edge. The Greyhounds charged again in the tilt’s last eight minutes, capitalizing on a Swan penalty for two goals in the span of 10 seconds. Loyola junior midfielder Marlee Paton, bottled up to that point, orchestrated the comeback. The first-team All-American scored with Swan on the sideline before assisting on sophomore midfielder Sydney Thomas’ even-strength equalizer at the 7:16 mark.
With 5:29 on the clock, Boyle, on a pass from Bocklet, employed a head-fake and shot past freshman goalie Molly Wolf. Her second point of the game proved decisive.
Senior goaltender Kim Kolarik made six saves for the Cavaliers, who continue their season 5 p.m. Wednesday at Richmond.
—compiled by Matthew Morris