April 12, 2012

WOMEN’S LACROSSE | Out to Even the Series, Red Hosts Big East Powerhouse Loyola-Maryland

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After dropping an Ivy contest to No. 6 Dartmouth, 12-10, last weekend, the No. 15 women’s lacrosse team will be tested again on Saturday against No. 11 Loyola-Maryland.

The Greyhounds (8-3, 4-0 Big East) are undefeated in a tough Big East division that sports powerhouses like No. 13 Georgetown and No. 6 Notre Dame. Loyola defeated the Irish, 17-11, earlier in the season, a team to which the Red (7-3, 3-2 Ivy League) fell during its spring break trip to Florida.

Loyola’s powerful offense will pose a definite threat to the Red’s efforts to get back in the win column after its conference loss last weekend. The Greyhounds average 12.27 goals per game and only allow 9.64. Leading the attack is Marlee Paton, who has 27 goals and 20 assists on the season. Helping her out on the offensive end is Annie Thomas, who has tallied 21 goals and 16 assists.

The Red has a chance to even the overall series with Loyola, which has the advantage at 3-2 going into Saturday’s matchup. The first two times the teams met during the season, the Red was victorious, but the Greyhounds have taken the last three straight contests. Last season, senior attack Jessi Steinberg’s four goals and two assists were not enough, as the team fell, 14-8.

Steinberg, who leads the team with 33 goals and 15 assists and fellow senior attack Olivia Knotts will have to play important offensive roles against the tough Greyhound defense. Knotts has scored 27 goals and handed out 13 assists on the season.

The matchup will be a hometown rivalry for a few members of the team, who live within just half an hour of Loyola’s Baltimore, MD campus.

As the squad continues to perform well on the field, it has been doing big things off the field as well. At the team’s “Pink” games last Saturday, the Red raised more than 2,000 dollars towards breast cancer awareness. Supported as well by the men’s lacrosse team, the two squads collected donations and sold T-shirts. The players also wore pink jerseys during the game.

After facing off against Loyola this weekend, the Red will host Syracuse at home for a mid-week, non-conference matchup on Tuesday.