No. 6 Women's lacrosse drops home-opener vs. No. 9 Loyola, 16-12
Schmitt's six goals, 10-2 second-half run seals Greyhound victory
On a frigid Saturday afternoon that saw gusts of wind reaching 30 miles per hour, No. 6 Virginia fell to No. 9 Loyola, 16-12. The Greyhounds exploded for 13 goals in the second half to overcome a two-goal halftime deficit.
Virginia (0-2) coach Julie Myers did not use any euphemisms to describe her thoughts on Virginia’s performance.
“It was definitely a disappointing outing for us,” Myers said. “I thought we played really slow and sloppy from start to finish. There were a couple of moments I thought maybe we’d get our rhythm going and our feet under us, and [we’d] pick up some of those [ground] balls and shoot a little bit better, but time and again we blew the opportunities.”
The game remained scoreless until Virginia broke through with a goal by junior midfielder Morgan Stephens with 22:10 remaining in the first half. Sophomore attacker Kelly Boyd added another goal for the Cavaliers just 18 seconds later, and junior Casey Bocklet then scored her first goal of the season at 15:26, giving Virginia a 3-0 lead.
Loyola (1-0) answered with a pair of goals in less than a minute to cut the Virginia lead to 3-2 with 13:17 remaining in the first half. After a goal by junior midfielder Courtney Swan at 10:44, the game remained deadlocked at 4-2 for nearly 10 minutes until 0:51 when senior defender Maddy Keeshan split a double team to notch a transition goal. Loyola answered right back 10 seconds later, and Virginia took a 5-3 lead into the half.
The game took a turn for the worse for the Cavaliers after the break. Loyola came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 13 goals in the half. Loyola outshot Virginia, 37-30, dominating possession, limiting Virginia’s offensive production and wearing out the Virginia defense.
“I think we went into the locker room at halftime and we knew we weren’t playing the best offense we could play,” Loyola coach Jen Adams said. “We had a lot of good opportunities but just not good finishes. That was the focus coming out in the second half. I think we did a much better job.”
Loyola used a 10-2 run coming out of the half to secure the win. Virginia lost the lead for good after a goal from junior attacker Hannah Schmitt — assisted by senior midfielder Marlee Paton — with 22:32 left to play.
Schmitt led the scoring charge for the Greyhounds, tallying six goals — five of which came in the second half. Paton was also critical in orchestrating the Greyhound offense, dishing out five assists in addition to her two goals. The offensive showcase displayed by Schmitt especially disappointed Myers.
“I think we kept [Schmitt] kind of quiet in the first half, but she was their playmaker the whole time,” Myers said. “She was trying to drive and feed. They were a little more congested in the first half so she didn’t have the same success, but she just started taking it on her own in the second half.”
Myers complimented the junior attacker on her agility.
“She’s a good player,” Myers said. “She’s got great speed. We did not do a good job on Hannah Schmitt or a lot of their attack for that matter.”
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Klöckner Stadium, but the snow that canceled two days of classes also forced the contest to be moved to the field hockey Turf Field, a change that Adams believes may have played to her team’s advantage.
“We love the turf,” Adams said. “Obviously the weather bumped us out of Klöckner, which I’m not so disappointed about — especially after that game. But we’re a fast team, so give us a little extra speed with some turf, and we’re turbo speed.”
While the first half was largely a defensive struggle, Loyola played a cleaner game in the second half to secure the win. Virginia gave the Greyhounds several opportunities for continued possessions throughout the game, as the Cavaliers committed 29 fouls compared to their opponents’ 19. Loyola’s ability to avoid committing such errors was a large reason for their second-half turnaround.
“I think they just cleaned it up,” Myers said. “They did the little things a lot better than we did in the second half. We talked about our fire, our energy, about keeping it simple, and when the ball is on the ground we talked about picking it up and doing the easy stuff. Loyola made the adjustment. I think we played consistently sloppy from start to finish.”
Swan, Bocklet and Keeshan each scored three goals for the Cavaliers, while senior goalkeeper Liz Colgan made 14 saves. A late 4-1 run for Virginia to end the game provided a flash of the team’s potential. The Cavaliers hope this brief showing was enough to allow the team to take a step forward in the next four games of a five-game home stretch.
“We need to take a deep breath and address this game,” Myers said. “We need to really make sure we have good practices Monday and Tuesday. We need to not only play well against Richmond, we need to win that game. But we need to feel like we’re getting better in the process. We’ve got the right players and we’re trying the right stuff, we just did not perform today.”