WASHINGTON, D.C. - No. 3 seed Loyola University topped No. 4 seed Notre Dame 12-10 and earned its first BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Championship before a sun-soaked crowd of more than 800 at Georgetown's Multi-Sport Field. The Greyhounds (16-2) were led by senior attack Grace Gavin who had four points and junior goalkeeper Kerry Stoothoff who made 10 saves. Stoothoff also was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Following a hotly contested and evenly played first half, Notre Dame held a slim 7-6 advantage on the scoreboard. Six different Irish players accounted for the first-half scores.
Gavin had two first-half scores for Loyola, while senior teammate Abby Rehfuss added two goals. Rehfuss, who also totaled three draw controls, was named to the all-tournament team.
Loyola began the second half with four of the first five goals, and opened up a 10-8 lead with 10:06 remaining in regulation. Notre Dame cut it to one, 11-10 with 5:29 left, but Loyola came right back as freshman Taryn Vanthof scored her first goal of the game on a free position opportunity with 4:37 showing on the clock.
A pair of Notre Dame penalties in the closing minutes gave Loyola the win.
Gavin, who last week became the school's leading point-getter, became Loyola's leading goal-scorer with three goals this afternoon. The senior has totaled 301 points in her illustrious career, including 224 goals and 77 assists. She broke the Loyola record held by Janet Eisenhut who played from 1980-83 of 223. Gavin also is the first person in school history to surpass 300 points and the 23rd in Division I NCAA history.
Senior Kellye Gallagher grabbed a game-high seven ground balls and helped Loyola hold a 20-19 edge in that category.
The Irish held a 15-5 advantage in draw controls, led by seniors Shaylyn Blaney and Jackie Doherty who had three apiece. Doherty also notched a team-high four ground balls. Both were selected to the all-tournament team.
Notre Dame goalkeeper Ellie Hilling made five saves.
With the win Loyola earns the league's automatic berth into the 16-team NCAA Championship field. Notre Dame 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.
Shaylyn Blaney, Notre Dame
Jackie Doherty, Notre Dame
Grace Gavin, Loyola
Ana Henneberry, Loyola
Mary Heneberry, Loyola
Kaitlin Keena, Notre Dame
Jordy Kirr, Georgetown
Marlee Paton, Loyola
Abby Rehfuss, Loyola
Kerry Stoothoff, Loyola
Maggie Tamasitis, Notre Dame
Michelle Tumolo, Syracuse
Most Outstanding Player
Kerry Stoothoff, Loyola