April 19, 2006
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio lacrosse team overcame an early 4-1 deficit to defeat UMBC, 10-6, at Peggy Pruitt Field on Wednesday, April 19. The Bobcats snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-10 on the season, while the Retrievers are now 8-7.
Trailing by three goals with 10:04 left in the first half, Ohio Head Coach Allison Valentino called a timeout to regroup. The Bobcats responded by reeling off five unanswered scores to end the period with a 6-4 advantage. Freshman Kiersten McLouth (Centreville, Va.) scored two of her game-high four goals in the run. Sophomore Shannon Hadaway (Pasadena, Md.) scored two of her four points with a goal and an assist.
"For us, it was just a matter of being aggressive," Valentino said. "We were executing our game plan, but we were a little tentative with it, especially on the clears. We were clearing it to people we wanted to, but we weren't being aggressive enough getting the ball down the field. I just told them that I wanted them to play the way we know how."
The Bobcats held the lead for the remainder of the game and have now won nine straight during the past two seasons when leading at halftime.
McLouth's four goals in the game tied her season high. It was her third four-goal game of the campaign and stopped a three-game scoreless drought. Hadaway also tied career bests with three goals and four points. It was her second three-goal game of the season. Sophomore Frannie Sullivan (Davidsonville, Md.) chipped in with a goal and an assist, while redshirt freshman Devon Dow (Potomac, Md.) and sophomore Katie Smith (Ohsweken, Ontario) each found the back of the net once. Sophomore Kari Fasick (Marriottsville, Md.) added an assist.
"Every game we've kind of started out in a lull and have to dig ourselves out of a hole," McLouth said. "Every day at practice this week we made sure that we came out really hard from the beginning. We did get down today, but we didn't dig ourselves as deep as we usually do. It was something that was a goal for us."
The Bobcats' defense allowed only two goals in the final 40:04 of play. Ohio held a 19-12 advantage in ground balls and forced 15 turnovers by the Retrievers. The Bobcats won the draw control battle, 13-5 for the game and had a stretch of seven possessions in eight draws.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jen Heup (Davidsonville, Md.) made four saves in the victory. It was just the third time this season she recorded less than 10 stops. The Retrievers managed just 15 shots for the game. UMBC's leading scorers, Ali Levendusky and Kelly Fiorani entered the game averaging a combined 4.6 goals per game, but were held to just three in the contest.
"They (the defense) just really stepped it up," McLouth said. "They knew who we had to keep out, and they did. We played really good team defense. Every slide was there."
Levendusky paced UMBC with a pair of goals. Kelly Fahey, Fiorani, Ede Carpenter and Kara Dorr each scored once. Fahey also added an assist. Goalkeeper Susie Sweeney made six saves for the Retrievers.
UMBC started the scoring on an unassisted goal by Levendusky. McLouth came right back to tie the score before the Retrieves tallied three straight to take a 4-1 lead with 10:04 left in the half. McLouth converted a feed from Hadaway to start the Bobcats' decisive run, which also included goals from Smith and Sullivan.
The Retrievers scored the first goal of the second half to make the score 6-5 with 28:13 left in the game. Ohio was able to push its lead to three goals with back-to-back markers by Hadaway and Dow. Carpenter scored for UMBC to make it 8-6 with 22:27 left, but the Ohio defense was able to keep the Retrievers off the board for the rest of the game. Hadaway appeared to have scored her third goal of the game to push the lead back to 9-6, but the tally was waved off after a stick check. The call did not hurt Ohio as McLouth and Hadaway added insurance scores for the Bobcats as they took the 10-6 win.
The victory extended the Bobcats' winning streak to nine games when scoring at least 10 goals.
"The whole team put out an amazing effort today," Hadaway said. "If I dropped the ball, Kari (Fasick) or Frannie (Sullivan), or anybody, was there to pick it up. It was great. It was a great team game."
The Bobcats continue their homestand on Sunday, April 23 versus Penn State in their American Lacrosse Conference finale.