WASHINGTON, D.C. - The No. 3 seed Loyola University women's lacrosse team held off a furious second half rally by Syracuse, and beat the No. 2 seed Orange 12-11 in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Championship. Senior Grace Gavin scored a game-high four goals to lead the Greyhounds (15-2), which advance to their first BIG EAST Championship title game.
The Greyhounds raced out a 6-0 lead with 10:37 left in the first half and held a 7-3 advantage at halftime. However the Orange (10-8) scored three of the final four goals to close out the frame and carried some momentum into the half.
Gavin, who was named the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year at the league's award banquet on Wednesday night, tallied three of her four goals in the first half.
In the second half, Loyola opened up a 10-4 advantage with 17:01 left in the contest before Syracuse began to rally. The Orange five of the next six goals and cut it to two, 11-9, with 6:27 remaining in regulation. A Loyola goal by senior Meg Decker pushed the lead back to three, 12-9 with 3:26 left proved to be the gamewinner. Syracuse tacked on two goals down the stretch, but it was not enough.
Each team totaled 11 ground balls, while Syracuse held a 15-10 edge in draw controls.
Loyola goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff had seven saves, while Syracuse counterpart Liz Hogan made six.
The tournament was held at the Multi-Sport Field on the campus of Georgetown University.
With the win Loyola improved to a perfect 12-0 when leading at the half. The Greyhounds also advance to the title game of the BIG EAST Championship and will face either Notre Dame or Georgetown on Saturday, May 7 at 1 p.m. ET. The contest will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
Syracuse will await word on a possible NCAA Championship at large berth. The NCAA Selection Show will be streamed live online at www.ncaa.com on May 8 at 7:30 p.m.