In a highly anticipated Patriot League matchup, the No. 25 Navy women’s lacrosse team (12-5, 6-3 Patriot League) fell 15-7 to the No. 9 Loyola Greyhounds (15-2, 9-0 Patriot League) on Friday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Despite the tough loss, head coach Cindy Timchal was pleased with her team’s performance.
“I thought we really played well,” Timchal said. “Maybe the score isn’t as reflective, but I thought we played some really good lacrosse. There were times that the Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year – Wilson and Detwiler – hurt us. It really showed on the draw and playing tough D. I feel as though we did a lot of things well. There are some things we want to clean up because we step out on the field against Boston University on Sunday.”
The Greyhounds’ victory extended their streak to 75 consecutive regular-season games won against Patriot League opponents. Loyola is 89-3 in games against conference opponents, with the three losses coming at the hands of Navy in the 2017 and 2018 Patriot League Championship and the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Offensively, Navy scored seven goals on the night, tying for the most goals surrendered by Loyola to a Patriot League opponent this season. Tori DiCarlo led the way with three goals, while Lola Leone added a pair of goals. Maggie DeFabio and Emily Messinese notched one goal each, while Charlotte Ryan registered the Mids’ only assist. With her goal, Messinese has now scored in all 17 games this season and leads the Mids with 42 total goals.
Defensively, Navy held strong against the Greyhound attack for the majority of the game, limiting Loyola to eight scores in the other 56 minutes of the contest. Emma Richardell finished the game with nine saves and three ground balls with a caused turnover at goal, while Athena Corroon paced the team with five ground balls and a caused turnover.
Loyola held a 17-9 advantage in draw controls, gaining extra possessions. Messinese led Navy with four draws, while Ava Yovino won a pair of draws. Alyssa Daley and Ryan each registered draws on the night.
For Loyola, Jillian Wilson and Emily Wills led the way with six points apiece. Wilson registered a game-high five goals, while Wills was balanced with three goals and three assists. Sydni Black also finished with a hat trick, netting three goals. Lauren Spence earned the victory at goal finishing with eight saves.
Navy was the first team to score as Leone broke the scoreless tie 40 seconds into the first quarter. Loyola responded with three goals to take a two-goal lead, but Leone trimmed the margin to one with her second score of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Greyhounds extended their advantage to 5-2 with back-to-back goals, but DiCarlo scored her first goal to trim the margin to two at 5-3 with 7:10 remaining in the half. The score remained 5-3 until the final minute of the half as Loyola rattled off three straight scores to go into halftime in front 8-3.
DeFabio buried a free-position opportunity to start the scoring in the third quarter. Following a Loyola goal, Messinese buried a ball in the back of the net to trim the margin to 9-5. The fourth quarter saw the Greyhounds push their advantage to six, 11-5, with consecutive scores to start the period. DiCarlo netted her second goal to trim the tally to five, but Loyola used a 4-0 run in the final three minutes to extend its lead to 15-6. DiCarlo completed her hat trick and provided the final margin, netting her third goal of the night with four ticks remaining on the clock.
Despite the loss, Navy showed that they are a team to be reckoned with, especially as they prepare for the upcoming Patriot League Tournament. “We don’t like losing to Loyola, but there is a reason they have been so successful and dominant in our conference,” Timchal said. “But I thought our players played hard and tough. We now look forward to playing the first game of the conference tournament.”
Navy’s next game will be in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament on Sunday, April 30 at noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, where they will host Boston University. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and live stats will be available.
In conclusion, despite the tough loss to Loyola, the Navy women’s lacrosse team put up a strong performance, especially defensively, against one of the top teams in the nation. With the upcoming Patriot League Tournament, the Midshipmen will look to carry this momentum and continue to improve their game as they seek to make a deep postseason run.