The Penn women’s lacrosse team scored the first goal in its first-round NCAA tournament game Sunday at No. 6-seed Loyola (MD).
But foreshadowing the day for the Quakers, the Greyhounds came back and scored just over a minute later.
In a game that saw five lead changes and nine ties, the Red and Blue led seven times but could never gain a commanding lead — neither team ever led by more than one goal — and the No. 6-seed Loyola knocked them out of the tournament in overtime, 10-9.
“They played with a ton of heart today,” coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “I think we had our chances and I think we could have won [Sunday], so I’m disappointed.”
It was a back and forth affair from start to finish. Every time one team scored, the other came right back to tie it. The teams entered halftime tied at four and ended the second half tied at eight.
“I think our game plan was to slow down their fast break,” Corbett said. “I know that Loyola is really good at fast breaking, and we needed to limit those opportunities.”
Unfortunately for the Quakers, they couldn’t stop Loyola’s quick offense when it mattered — at the end of overtime. Loyola freshman Hannah Schmitt scored the game-winner with 3.8 seconds left in the second period of overtime.
Both teams’ senior goalkeepers had outstanding performances. Loyola goalie Kerry Stoothoff came up big in the second period of overtime when Penn held the ball for over two minutes but couldn’t find a way to score. Penn goalie Emily Leitner also had some big saves, but the Penn offense couldn’t convert its opportunities.
“I credit the goalkeeper for Loyola. She had a lot of good saves, and we needed to move her and fake her,” Corbett said. “I really feel that on the offensive end, we had control, we had a lot of shots, we had a lot of opportunities and unfortunately, we didn’t finish on them today.”
For Leitner and her co-captain Erin Brennan, the game was the final of their Penn careers. Leitner finishes with 253 saves, including five against Loyola. Brennan ends with 126 goals, including two on Sunday.