#9 Loyola Holds off #15 Syracuse in Big East

Decker controlled the ensuing draw for Loyola, but Syracuse forced a turnover. The Orange was unable to take the ball into its offensive zone as a pass went out of bounds. Loyola cleared the ball to its offensive end, and the Greyhounds ran out the clock.

Syracuse outshot Loyola, 27-24, but Stoothoff made seven saves in goal for the Greyhounds.

The Greyhounds will face the winner of the second semifinal between Georgetown and Notre Dame in the Big East Championship Game on Saturday, May 7, at 1:00 p.m. It will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. No. 15 Syracuse's comeback attempt came up a goal short in a 12-11 setback to No. 9 Loyola in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament in Washington, D.C. The Orange trailed by as many as six goals twice in the game.

The Greyounds (15-2) opened the second half on a 3-1 scoring run to take a 10-4 lead with 17:01 to play. Sophomore Michelle Tumolo (Mullica Hill, N.J.) started the Orange (10-8) comeback with a free position goal at the 14:54 mark before freshman Katie Webster (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored on an assist from freshman Alyssa Murray (West Islip, N.Y.) off a restart to cut Loyola's advantage to 10-6 with 14:30 on the clock.

Abby Rehfuss' free position goal increased its lead to 11-6, but Syracuse responded with three unanswered goals to bring the Orange to within two at 11-9 with 6:27 to play. Senior Catherine Rodriguez (Bellevue, Wash.) found the back of the net on an assist from Murray, who then scored on an assist from senior Tee Ladouceur (Slingerlands, N.Y.).

After senior goalkeeper Liz Hogan (Victor N.Y.) made a save on a Loyola free position to keep the score at 11-8, Webster netted her first goal of the game. Meg Decker halted Syracuse's scoring run with what proved to be the game-winner with 3:26 to play to give the Greyhounds a 12-9 lead.

A pair of yellow cards put the Orange down two players, but Syracuse continued its comeback effort, scoring twice in a span of 24 seconds to cut the lead to 12-11 with 1:12 remaining. Freshman Amy Cross (Oreland, Pa.) recorded assists on both goals, the first by Tumolo and the second on a hard shot from Rodriguez.

Loyola won the draw following Rodriguez's goal, but turned the ball over, giving the Orange a chance to tie the score. Syracuse couldn't take advantage of the opportunity, as an errant pass that went out of bounds gave Loyola possession with 56 seconds left to play. The Greyhounds ran out the clock to advance to the tournament final on Saturday.

"We never gave up," said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. "We didn't play really well today. I'm proud of the way we fought back. We gave ourselves a chance, but we're a young team. We made that one more mistake at the end and it cost us the opportunity to tie the game."

Loyola jumped out to an early lead, scoring six unanswered goals in the first 20 minutes of play. The Orange tallied three of the final four goals of the half to pull to within four at 7-3 at halftime. Ladouceur scored on hard shot from the right side of the net on an assist from Murray at the 7:35 mark to put Syracuse on the scoreboard before junior Sarah Holden's (Syracuse, N.Y.) goal on a low bounce shot cut the Greyhounds' lead to 6-2. After Grace Gavin scored her third goal of the game for Loyola, Tumolo took a pass from Ladouceur as she was cutting to the goal and put her shot in the back of the net to cut the lead to four.

Tumolo led the Orange with three goals, while Ladouceur had two goals and an assist. The goal was the 97th career goal for Ladouceur, who is now tied for ninth on Syracuse's career leader list with Megan Mosenson (2006-09). Holden finished with two goals, as did Rodriguez. Murray dished out a career-high four assists.

Syracuse outshot Loyola, 27-24, and held a 15-10 advantage in draw controls. Both teams picked up 11 ground balls. Hogan finished with six saves, while Kerry Stoothoff made seven saves for Loyola.

The Orange will wait to learn if it earns an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the bracket is announced on Sunday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m.

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