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Loyola Maryland women’s lacrosse tops Navy in the Patriot League finals

Loyola Maryland women’s lacrosse entered Saturday with nine Patriot League Tournament titles, winning them all by four goals or more in the finals.

Championship No. 10 was a lot more exciting than the Greyhounds are used to.

Junior forward Georgia Latch scored the winning goal with 1:36 left in overtime as top-seeded Loyola won a thriller over No. 2 seed Navy, 12-11, on a rainy afternoon at the Ridley Athletic Complex.

Loyola won the draw to start the extra session and Latch was injured after being pushed to the artificial turf by Navy midfielder Mikayla Williams, who was given a green card.

After a timeout, Loyola pushed the 90-second shot clock almost all the way down before Latch circled the right side and hit a sidearm shot that appeared to deflect off Navy defenseman Caroline Stefans’ stick and into the net.

Junior midfielder Chase Boyle and senior forward Sydni Black each had four goals and an assist for Loyola (17-2), which defeated Navy for the fifth time in the championship game. Latch finished with a goal and two assists for the Greyhounds, who earned an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

Junior midfielder Emily Messinese scored five goals to lead Navy (15-4), which was seeking its seventh Patriot League Tournament title. Sophomore forward Emma Kennedy had a career-best day across the board with three goals and two assists for the Mids, who pushed the perennially powerful Greyhounds to their limits.

Kennedy scored with 53 seconds left to tie the game at 6 going into halftime. It was a back and forth first half with four draws. Loyola twice led by two goals, including 6-4 with 5:28 remaining in the second quarter.

It was by far the toughest Patriot League opponent to play against Loyola this season. Previously, the smallest lead the Greyhounds had at halftime was 9-5 against Lehigh. In the first meeting of the season between the schools, Loyola led Navy 13-5 at halftime.

The Midshipmen outscored the Greyhounds 21-10 in Saturday’s first half, but were high or wide on nine of those attempts. Spence stood tall in the cage with six saves.

Loyola scored twice in a span of a minute to start the second half and take an 8-6 lead. However, the Greyhounds were again unable to push the lead to three goals as the Mids responded in impressive fashion.

Kennedy cut to the crease, took a pass from Tori DiCarlo and fired a shot into the top corner to prevent a 3–0 run that gave Navy a 9–8 lead late in the third quarter. It was only the third time this season that Loyola trailed after three quarters, with the other times coming in losses to Syracuse and Penn.

Giglio made three big saves early in the fourth quarter to preserve the one-goal lead. However, Black broke through with an unassisted goal after a free position chance to tie the score for the sixth time, 9–9, at 10:11.

Loyola won the tie and just 12 seconds later Black scored again with a great individual move as she raced past multiple defenders for a point-blank shot that put the Greyhounds ahead, 10-9.

Navy made two shots on the ensuing possession, but both shot wide. A shot clock violation gave the ball back to Loyola and Boyle went end-to-end for a goal that gave the home team a two-goal cushion for the fourth time. Boyle cleared the ball the length of the court and then drove straight to the net for a short shot, making the score 11-9 with 7:46 to go.