No. 2 Syracuse Holds off Late Comback by No. 14 Loyola

Loyola (10-5, 6-1 Big East) trailed 13-7 with 16:50 to play, but the Greyhounds held Syracuse (14-2, 7-0) scoreless for the remainder of the game and rattled off five-straight scores to pull within one, 13-12, with 8:13 to play. Loyola was unable to find its equalizer though, as Syracuse held on for the win and earned the top seed in next week's Big East Tournament.

With the loss, the Greyhounds claim the No. 2 seed in the conference championship and will face third-seeded Notre Dame in the first round on Thursday.

Loyola's defense came up huge to open the game, as Stoothoff turned back Syracuse's first two attempts, including making a point-blank save while the Greyhounds played a man down.

Stoothoff's play allowed the Greyhounds to get on the board first as freshman Annie Thomas found junior Kathleen Barranco for a man-down score at 25:09.

Another two saves from Stoothoff gave Loyola an opportunity to make it 2-0, as Schmitt fired a shot into the top left corner at 23:17.

Syracuse countered with an offside hip shot on Stoothoff at 22:30, before knotting the score at 2-2 on a free position goal at 21:34. Another five-straight scores from the Orange gave Syracuse a 7-2 advantage with 7:04 to play, before Schmitt halted the streak, firing her second goal into the back of the net at 5:34.

Sophomore Marlee Paton scored a man-up goal for the Greyhounds assisted by freshman Sydney Thomas at 4:07, but Syracuse scored within the minute to give the Orange an 8-4 lead with 3:11 to play.

Loyola scored its eighth goal at 1:17, when Sydney Thomas snuck a pass over the cage to Annie Thomas, bringing the score to 8-5.

That looked to be the score going into halftime, but with 16.7 seconds on the clock, Schmitt raced toward the goal from the midfield and fired a shot into the back of the net with 9 seconds to go.

Sydney Thomas won the ensuing draw control and found Schmitt, who notched her fourth goal of the game with two seconds left, bringing the Greyhounds within one, 8-7, at halftime. The back-to-back goals within seven seconds was just one second shy of Maryland's Sarah Mollison's NCAA record for consecutive-goals (six seconds) vs. Princeton in 2011.

Out of the break, Syracuse scored first, notching fivestraight to increase its lead back to six, at 13-7, with 16:50 to play.

The Greyhounds responded though, notching four-straight including two free position goals from freshman Molly Hulseman to cut the Orange's lead to two, 13-11, with nine minutes left.

The Orange called a timeout after forcing a turnover, but out of the brief break, Annie Thomas intercepted an Orange clear attempt and Schmitt notched her sixth goal of the game to bring the Greyhounds within one again, 13-12, with 8:13 on the clock.

Loyola then caused another turnover with 2:30 to play and had two opportunities to put the game into overtime, but the Greyhounds sent both shots wide. Syracuse got the loose ball after the second and ran out the clock to preserve the one-goal victory.

Offensively, Schmitt tallied six goals, while Hulseman and Paton each had two. Annie Thomas finished the game with one goal and one assist, while Sydney Thomas dished out three helpers.

Defensively, Stoothoff tied career highs with 16 saves and six ground balls, while senior Ana Heneberry had two ground balls and two caused turnovers and classmate Kellye Gallagher had three ground balls and one caused turnover.

For Syracuse, Michelle Tumolo had four goals and one assist, while Gabby Jaquith had three goals. Kailah Kempney finished the game with eight draw controls, while Becca Block had four ground balls and four draw controls

Loyola will close out its regular season on Sunday when it heads to Connecticut for a 1:00 p.m. contest.

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2012-04-27



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