No. 7 Loyola Ekes out First-Round Win over Penn in Overtime

Loyola, as it had done all game, answered Penn's goal with one of its own. Sydney Thomas scored 50 seconds after Bunting did, knotting the game at 8-8. The Quakers won the draw control, and Erin Brennan drew a free position with 2:35 to play. Loyola goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff made a stop on the eight-meter from Brennan the 'Hounds' fifth save on a Penn free position in the game. Loyola had one more chance in regulation, but Sydney Thomas' shot with seven seconds left sailed wide.

The first half was a goaltending battle, as Emily Leitner made three saves early and Loyola's Kerry Stoothoff finished with five saves in the opening period. Four of those saves for Stoothoff came on Penn free positions as she rendered the Quakers 1 for 5 on eight-meter shots in the first thirty minutes of play.

The Quakers opened the scoring just under a minute into the game when Meredith Cain one-timed in an Erin Brennan pass at 0:59. Loyola answered 1:06 later on a very similar goal when Marlee Paton one-touched in an Annie Thomas pass. The Greyhounds would go on to take a 2-1 lead when Annie Thomas scored on a pass from Sydney Thomas at the 3:15 mark.

That lead did not last long, however, as Maddie Poplawski tied the game 22 seconds later. After being fouled on the draw, Poplawski took the restart and charged around Loyola's lone defender and fired on the run to knot the game at 2-2 just 3:37 into the game. The Red and Blue retook the lead at 5:21 on an Erin Brennan free position.

Proceedings slowed down a bit before Loyola could square the game at 3-3 when Paton and Thomas again connected at the 11:05 mark. The Quakers appeared to take a 4-3 lead when Courtney Tomchik sent a shot past Stoothoff, but it was waved off for a crease violation.

Neither team would go on to score before Kara Burke provided Loyola with a 4-3 lead at 24:37 from Paton on a shot from in tight near the crease. Penn would answer and tie the game 1:18 later when Caroline Bunting dodged around a defender and beat Stoothoff short side with 4:05 left in the first half. Stoothoff kept the game tied headed to halftime with her fourth free position save of the half on Tomchik at the buzzer on a free position earned with 1.8 seconds remaining.

Bunting finished with three goals for the Quakers, while Erin Brennan capped her Penn career with two goals and an assist. Cain matched Brennan with her two goals and an assist, adding a pair of caused turnovers. Freshman Meg Markham led the defensive effort with three caused turnovers, three draw controls and four ground balls.

Maddie Poplawski led Penn with four draw controls. Emily Leitner had five saves, including one free position stop and a caused turnover as she made big plays to deny a high powered Loyola attack which was held to 10 goals for the first time since April 14 at Cornell.

Penn finishes its season with a 9-8 record and a sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship. Along the way, Penn won a sixth straight Ivy League regular season title.

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2012-05-13



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