No. 13 Loyola Goes 4-0 in Big East Play with Win at Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville dropped a 17-8 decision to 13th-ranked Loyola (Md.) on Thursday afternoon at the U of L Lacrosse Stadium.

“It was a disappointing showing for our squad,” head coach Kellie Young said. “Our youth continues to struggle with finding consistency and Loyola took advantage of that from the first draw.”

One of the top defenses in the nation, Loyola (8-3, 4-0 Big East) displayed its offensive prowess in the first period. The Greyhounds broke open the scoreless game at the 24-minute mark, as Annie Thomas scored consecutive goals and Joanna Dalton tacked on another to lift Loyola to a 3-0 lead.

Louisville's Eleni Kozas stopped the run momentarily, netting her 10th goal of the season at the 22:05 mark.

The Greyhounds, though, continued to dictate the tempo of the game with an 8-1 run to head into halftime with an 11-2 advantage. Marlee Patton scored four of her five goals before the break, and Annie Thomas found the back of the net two more times. The Cardinals' only other goal in the half came from Hillary Bushway, as she tallied her 11th with 5:48 remaining.

Louisville (3-7, 1-2) slowed down Loyola in the second half, limiting the Greyhounds to just six goals on 10 shots. The Cardinals also won the ground ball battle (9-7) and held the advantage in draw controls (8-5) in the period.

Led by Nikki Boltja, the Cardinals scored the game's final five goals. Bushway found Boltja at the 6:36 mark, and Boltja earned her second goal of the game on a free-position shot. Bushway, Kozas and Monica Negron each scored within the final three minutes of the contest.

For the game, Janaye Dzikewich led the defense with a game-high five ground balls and a team-best three caused turnovers. Colleen O'Malley picked up four ground balls. Casey Pepperman, Negron and Kozas each had two caused turnovers.

Offensively, Boltja, Kozas and Bushway combined for six of the team's eight goals, and each recorded three points in the loss.

Collectively, Loyola outshot Louisville, 24-14, and won the ground ball (23-22) and draw control (14-13) categories.

The Cardinals return to action on Saturday, April 7, against 13th-ranked Georgetown. First draw is set for noon at the U of L Lacrosse Stadium. The first 250 fans through the gate will receive an exclusive Louisville Cardinals water bottle. Following the game, the Cardinals will host a clinic for kids of all ages.

* * * *

No. 13 Loyola matched its best start in Big East play with a 17-8 victory at Louisville Thursday afternoon. With the win, the Greyhounds improve to 8-3 overall and match last season's 4-0 start in league play.

Sophomore Marlee Paton led the attack with a career-high nine points on four goals and a personal-best five assists, while freshman Sydney Thomas also set a new career best of six points on two goals and a personal-best four assists.

Freshman Annie Thomas tied a career-high four goals and five points – all in the first half, while junior Joanna Dalton notched a personal-best four goals.

Juniors Kathleen Barranco and Joanna Dalton, in addition to freshman Julie Morse, rounded out the scoring with one goal each.

For Louisville (3-7, 1-2 Big East), Nikki Boltja, Hillary Bushway and Eleni Kozas had two goals each, while Monica Negron and Amy Poteet both had one goal.

The game looked to be a defensive battle at the start as Louisville's Danielle Pawliw turned back Loyola's first two free position shots and senior Kellye Gallagher caused two turnovers to keep the Cardinals off the board, but three goals within one minute gave Loyola a 3-0 lead by the 23:32 mark.

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