Feb. 21, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Early on in the women's lacrosse season, Loyola University Maryland and Navy are living up to their rankings with impressive starts to the 2014 campaign.
The Greyhounds moved into the top 10 nationally, at No. 6 in the IWLCA Coaches Poll and No. 8 in the Brine Women's Media Poll, after an outstanding second half in a 16-12 win at then No. 6 Virginia on Saturday. Loyola held a 13-7 advantage in the second half, taking control with a 10-2 run to open the period and grab a 13-7 lead. Navy is at No. 19 and No. 12 in the respective rankings and has outscored opponents 54-13 in its 3-0 start.
Patriot League Notebook
THE WEEKEND AHEAD
Loyola has no break coming up on the schedule as the No. 6/8 Greyhounds play another ranked opponent when they host No. 16/17 Princeton on Saturday. Two other Patriot League squads are at home on Saturday with Colgate welcoming Hofstra and Lehigh opening its season against Mount St. Mary's, while Navy hosts Davidson on Sunday. All four of the home games will be available on the free Patriot League Network. Holy Cross (Yale), American (UMBC), Lafayette (Wagner) and Bucknell (Johns Hopkins) all go on the road Saturday. Five teams will be looking for their first victory as American is the only squad to join Loyola and Navy in the win column thus far.
TOUGH SCHEDULES TO START
LEAGUE PLAY STILL TWO WEEKS AWAY
Loyola's win at Virginia was one of six games for a Patriot League team against a ranked opponent already this season. Boston University gets a weekend off after facing a gauntlet to start the year by playing at No. 1 North Carolina last Saturday and No. 2/3 Maryland on Wednesday, falling by 18-8 finals in both games. Bucknell has also faced a pair of ranked opponents with losses to No. 13/14 Stony Brook on Saturday and No. 7/8 Penn State on Wednesday, while Holy Cross fell at No. 11/11 Massachusetts on Wednesday.
The eight-game Patriot League schedule begins on March 8 with all squads except Loyola in League action. The opening weekend of games features Boston University at American, Lafayette at four-time defending champion Navy, Bucknell at Lehigh and Colgate at Holy Cross. Preseason favorite Loyola will play its first Patriot League contest the following weekend by visiting Lafayette.
LOYOLA ENTERS PATRIOT LEAGUE ERA AS PRESEASON FAVORITE
Loyola will play its first season in Patriot League women's lacrosse as a prohibitive favorite after overtaking four-time defending champion Navy in the sport's preseason poll announced on Jan. 30 The Greyhounds captured 15 of a possible 16 first-place votes and 127 points overall to earn the top spot, with the Mids second with 113 points and three first-place votes. Loyola's fellow newcomer, Boston University, took third with 94 points followed by Holy Cross (76), American (72), Lafayette (61), Colgate (47), Lehigh (38) and Bucknell (20).
Loyola also dominated the Preseason All-Patriot League Team with five selections, including senior midfielder Marlee Paton as the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Junior attackers Hannah Schmitt and Annie Thomas, junior midfielder Taryn VanThof and sophomore defender Maddy Lesher joined Paton on the Preseason All-League squad for the Greyhounds.
Navy had a pair of juniors make the Preseason All-Patriot League squad in attacker Loren Generi and goalkeeper Annie Foky, who also was named the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Lafayette was the only other team with multiple honorees as senior midfielder Ana White and senior defender Rachel Martin made the team, while the rest of the squad consisted of American senior midfielder Emily Maher, Holy Cross senior defender Corinne Caracausa and Colgate junior defender Jenna Frost.
Each of the 12 student-athletes earned a postseason honor last season, with Generi, Maher, White, Frost and Foky as first-team All-Patriot League selections while Caracausa and Martin made the second team. Paton and VanThof earned first-team honors in the BIG EAST with Thomas, Schmitt and Lesher on the second team.
The voting for both the preseason poll and All-Patriot League Team was conducted by women's lacrosse head coaches and sports information directors, who were not permitted to vote for their own team or student-athletes.
Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Weekly Awards (Feb. 10-16)
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
HANNAH SCHMITT, LOYOLA MARYLAND Jr., A, Malvern, Pa.
Schmitt scored six goals, including the game-winner, as No. 9 Loyola pulled off a 16-12 victory at No. 6 Virginia on Saturday. She tied her career-high with the six goals and scored five in the second half as the Greyhounds tallied 13 goals after intermission. It was her 15th career hat trick and ninth game with four points or more. Schmitt had three goals in a 6-1 run that saw the Greyhounds turn a 5-2 deficit into an 8-6 lead early in the second half.
MIDFIELD PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TARYN VANTHOF, LOYOLA MARYLAND Jr., M, Livonia, N.Y.
VanThof starred on both ends in the Greyhounds' win at Virginia by scoring three goals and tallying four ground balls, six draw controls and two caused turnovers in the 16-12 victory. She led all players in draw controls while also leading the Greyhounds in ground balls. VanThof scored the first goal of the second half as Loyola opened the period with a 10-2 run to take control. VanThof notched her sixth career hat trick in the win.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MOLLY WOLF, LOYOLA MARYLAND So., GK, Baltimore, Md.
Wolf made 11 saves as the Greyhounds dominated the second half in a 16-12 win at No. 6 Virginia on Saturday. She came through with six saves in the first half to keep Loyola within 5-3 at the break, and made five after intermission to help push the Greyhounds on a 10-2 run to open the second half and take control. It was the fourth double-digit save game of her career.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
BAILEY MATHIS, LOYOLA MARYLAND Fr., D, Lake Worth, Fla.
Mathis played a key role on Loyola's defense in her collegiate debut by marking Virginia's Courtney Swan and holding one of the nation's top attackers to just four shots overall, including two which were free-position attempts. One of the shots came with just eight seconds remaining and the Greyhounds with the victory in hand.
LOREN GENERI, NAVY Jr., M, Bayport, N.Y.
Generi totaled nine goals, eight assists, six ground balls, 14 draw controls and four caused turnovers in Navy's victories over Longwood and Campbell.
AIMEE GENNARO, NAVY Sr., A, Havertown, Pa.
Gennaro put up five goals, five assists and four ground balls as Navy opened the season with victories over Longwood and Campbell, and now has 18 consecutive games with a goal.
JESSICA WOJCIECHOWSKI, AMERICAN So., M, Monkton, Md.
Wojciechowski tallied three goals and two assists in American's 11-9 win over Campbell on Sunday.
MEGAN ARK, COLGATE Jr., A, Rochester, N.Y.
Ark had four goals and an assist in Colgate's 14-11 loss at Vermont on Saturday.
MALLORY COLLINS, BOSTON UNIVERSITY So., A, Boston, Mass.
Collins scored four goals, with three in the first half, in her first action since 2012 as Boston University fell 18-8 at No. 1 North Carolina on Saturday.
JENNA FROST, COLGATE Jr., D, Swarthmore, Pa.
Frost had game highs of seven ground balls and seven caused turnovers in Colgate's loss at Vermont.