BALTIMORE, Md. - Senior Meg Decker scored three of her game-high five goals during a 6-1 Loyola University Maryland run in the second half that extended the No. 6/5 Greyhounds' lead to six midway through the period, and Loyola went on to defeat No. 19/13 University of Massachusetts 14-7 in the First Round of the NCAA Championship at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Greyhounds (17-2), who earned the No. 6 seed to the Championship, will play third-seeded North Carolina in the Second Round Saturday, May 21 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Tar Heels were 15-7 winners over Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia in the First Round.
"I am very pleased that we were able to beat a very respectable opponent and move on," Head Coach Jen Adams said. "This has been our goal from the beginning of the season, not to let our season end."
Defensively, Loyola held the Massachusetts tandem of Jackie Lyons and Katie Ferris to a combined two goals and one assist. Entering the game, Lyons was ranked 12th in NCAA Division I with 72 points (40 goals, 32 assists), and Ferris was 15th with 70 points (55 goals, 15 assists).
""We had Johanna Gibson on (Lyons) in somewhat of a faceguarding role to try to keep the ball out of her hands," Adams said. "When the ball got into her hands, `Jo' did a great job, and our slides came quick to her."
The Greyhounds also held Massachusetts more than eight goals below its 2011 average of 15.05 per game. The Minutewomen's seven goals matched their season-low set on March 26 in a loss to Northwestern.
Kerry Stoothoff had seven saves in goal for the Greyhounds, and Kellye Gallagher caused five turnovers and picked up five ground balls.
"We knew that we had to be good with our hot (reads) and go hard when we slid to them," Gallagher said. "We had to get there quick when we were hot, and we knew Kerry would be there behind us."
Loyola had a run in the first half when it jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The teams traded goals in the first six minutes with Paton scoring for Loyola and O'Donnell tallying one for UMass, but when Paton cut to goal from the right side and passed to Hager following from just behind, Hager's bounce-shot goal started a 4-0 Greyhounds' run.
Taryn VanThof scored off a Gavin assist, and Decker added her first of the game at 16:19 before Rehfuss made it five goals by five different Loyola players to start the game. Her score off a Paton assist came at 12:23 to put the Greyhounds on top, 5-1.
Gavin was held without a goal for the first time since March 30, 2008, against Penn state, snapping the nation's longest active streak of consecutive games with a goal at 59. Her three assists, however, extended her points scored streak to a national-best 66 games.
She moved into second-place all-time at Loyola with 80 career assists, passing Erica Mawhorr '94 and Rita Ciletti '86 during the game.
Loyola enjoyed a 14-9 advantage in draw controls, as Decker, Rehfuss and VanThof each had three. The Greyhounds also caused 13 of UMass' 18 turnovers. In addition to Gallagher's five, Ana Heneberry caused three, and her older sister, Mary, caused two.
The victory was the first in NCAA play for Loyola since 2003 when the Greyhounds defeated Yale, 13-7, in the Second Round to advance to the Final Four for the fifth time in school history. Saturday was also their first appearance in the tournament since 2004.