Loyola's Jen Adams and Towson's Sonia LaMonica have a long-standing relationship as former teammates for the University of Maryland and with the Australian national team.
The two coaches also are central figures in one of the most enduring rivalries in women's lacrosse.
On Saturday, it was Adams who earned this year's bragging rights as the Greyhounds' Hannah Schmitt scored with 10 seconds left in regulation for an 11-10 victory in the 40th meeting between No. 9 Loyola and No. 16 Towson at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
"I love these games against Sonia and we are very close," said Adams, who will be teammates with LaMonica again for Australia in this summer's Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup in Canada. "She is one of my great friends. We're from the same roots, so to speak. We went to the same high school. I love playing against her where we can meet in the middle before a game and talk about plays and calls. It's a very friendly rivalry that we have. Towson and Loyola, we've battled it out for the past couple of years."
Schmitt led Loyola with four goals, earning her first hat trick of the season. Joanna Dalton (St. Mary's) and Katrina Geiger added two goals each, while Marlee Paton, who will also play for Australia this summer, had a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds. Loyola (2-2) bounced back from an 11-8 loss to No. 18 Johns Hopkins last Wednesday.
"All week since the Hopkins game, we've been talking about our team motto, playing together, playing as one," Schmitt said. "We did a good job attacking in a group. We just all played together."
Kelly Custer and Rhiannon Coogle (North Harford) each had two goals for Towson (1-3). All three of Towson's losses have been to ranked teams.
The Greyhounds controlled 16 of 21 draws. The Tigers were successful with 12 of 14 clears — an area in which they have struggled this season. Towson also won 24 ground balls to Loyola's 15.
Custer scored a split-second before the whistle to tie the game at five heading into halftime. Neither team led by more than a goal in the first half.
However, Loyola quickly took control in the second half. Schmitt, Sydney Thomas, Dalton and Annie Thomas (John Carroll) scored 49 seconds apart to give the Greyhounds a 9-5 lead with 27:03 remaining.
The Tigers quickly cut the margin to one on goals from Ashley Waldron, Paige Duncan (Broadneck) and Sarah Maloof (South River) in a span of 1:48. Geiger then answered for Loyola and boosted the lead back to 10-8 with 17 minutes remaining.
Towson pulled within one again on a goal from Coogle with 13:59 left. Olivia Turner tied the game four minutes later off a feed from Maloof. Loyola then managed to dominate possession, setting up Schmitt's late-game heroics.
"It's just awesome to be in the position to compete against your friends and teammates," LaMonica said. "Obviously, we're all very competitive people, so once you're on the sideline and the game has started, everyone wants to win. We're just fortunate to be in that position."