After the Loyola women lost to James Madison two weeks ago, Greyhounds coach Jen Adams did not mince words.
With their second straight loss to an unranked team — the 9-8 overtime loss to the Dukes coming three days after a stunning 10-9 loss at Delaware — the Greyhounds were out of the running for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, she said. That meant they would have to win the Big East Conference tournament to get back to the NCAAs for the third straight year and they needed to turn the corner in a big hurry.
Last weekend, they got started with wins over two Big East rivals — then-No. 20 Louisville, 11-6, and Connecticut, 19-0 — before beating UMBC, 13-7, Wednesday to improve to 5-5. That provides a little momentum heading into the heart of their Big East schedule with No. 8 Georgetown on April 6 and a trip to No. 7 Notre Dame on April 12.
The Greyhounds' attack finally seems to be hitting its stride after an early-season sophomore slump. The young defense was holding opponents to 11 goals a game through the first seven games. The offense is also young; although four sophomores started last season, it has a few new players and struggled in those first seven games. In the past three, the unit has bumped it production from 9.3 goals per game to 14.3.
"I feel like our connections have finally clicked," junior All-American Marlee Paton said. "On the field with our offense, I think it's come down to second nature now. I think we're all realizing each other's strengths and we're playing to that."
The Greyhounds certainly know they can win the Big East tournament — they've won it the past two years. They just have to make sure they keep winning the regular-season games, because only four teams qualify for the tournament.
Second Terps lucky No. 7 hits 200
Not only is she the fourth Maryland player to hit the 200-goal mark, but she's the second No. 7. Adams wore jersey No. 7 when she set all of the Terps' career scoring records — marks she still holds with 267 goals, 178 assists and 445 points. The last two remain NCAA career records 12 years after she finished her career in College Park.
Adams, the first Tewaaraton Award winner in 2001, wouldn't mind seeing someone break some of those records.
"We have a little 7 club now," Adams said. "We text back and forth. She's doing fabulous. It's fun to see."
Schwazmann, who won last year's Tewaaraton, boosted her goals total to 203 with five in Tuesday's 11-8 win at Towson. She has 33 goals and 15 assists this season for the No. 1 Terps (12-0).
The Century graduate would need to finish her career with a big scoring burst to knock Adams from the top perch. If she matched last season's 72 goals, however, she would finish with 232 career goals and move into third place ahead of Kelly Coppedge (219) but behind Karri Ellen Johnson (236).
Sea Gulls flying high
Salisbury cemented its hold on the No. 2 ranking in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III poll after Lauren Feusahrens (St. Mary's Ryken) scored five goals to lead the Sea Gulls to a 13-7 win Sunday at then-No. 8 Franklin & Marshall.
Defending national champion Trinity, which beat Salisbury in last year's NCAA Division III championship game, holds on to the No. 1 ranking, but the Sea Gulls were only two points behind. Trinity, however, received 12 of 20 first-place votes.
After playing five of their last six games on the road, the Sea Gulls (7-0) return home to face Mary Washington on Saturday at noon. The Sea Gulls, who have won 10 straight Capital Athletic Conference championships, face two more CAC foes at home the following week, with Marymount on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. Mary's on April 6 at 4 p.m.