BALTIMORE, Md. - Freshman Hannah Schmitt scored the game-winning goal with three seconds left in overtime to lead the No. 6 Loyola University women’s lacrosse team past No. 12 Pennsylvania 10-9 in the first round of the NCAA Championship on May 13 at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Penn (9-8) struck first in overtime, but freshman Kara Burke converted a free position shot for Loyola (14-5) as time expired in the first half of overtime, tying the game for the ninth time at 9-9. The Quakers again won the opening draw control in the second half of overtime, but senior goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff came up with a point-blank save on Meredith Cain’s wide-open shot with 20 seconds left to keep the game even. Senior Kellye Gallagher won the ground ball and freshman Sydney Thomas ran the length of the field before setting Schmitt up for the game-winning score.
“I’m incredibly proud of the way the team played today from start to finish,” head coach Jen Adams said. “We faced a really tough Penn side who we hadn’t seen too much of. We didn’t have much crossover in scouting. We really tried to do our best this week, but they threw a lot of different stuff at us. They played a really tough style of lacrosse today that we had a lot of difficulty with, so I’m very proud that the girls were able to pull out the win. When the pressure was on, it seemed like that was when we played our best in this game.”
Sydney Thomas had the equalizer for Loyola to make it 8-8, scoring at 3:42, to force overtime.
Penn won the opening draw of overtime and scored with 21 seconds left in the first of the two three-minute halves. Dalton won the ensuing draw control for the Greyhounds though and Burke converted a free position shot to keep it even.
Schmitt then gave Loyola its first lead since the first half, scoring the game-winner with three seconds remaining.
Sophomore Marlee Paton extended her scoring streak to 25-straight games, leading all players with four goals and one assist. Burke notched her second career hat trick, contributing three goals, while Annie Thomas, Sydney Thomas and Schmitt each added one goal.
Defensively, Gallagher had a game-high five caused turnovers and five ground balls. Dalton tacked on two caused turnovers and won a game-high five draw controls.
With the win, Loyola will advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship for the second-straight year and will travel to College Park to face No. 3 seed Maryland at noon on Saturday, May 19. The game will be played at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.