Hen Pecked: Delaware Drops No. 11 Loyola
from press release
NEWARK, Del. – The young University of Delaware women's lacrosse squad posted its most significant victory in over a decade at chilly Delaware Stadium Wednesday night as freshman McKenzie Rafferty (below left) netted her first career hat trick and Alex Zaugra (at right) stood tall in the nets with nine saves as the Blue Hens defeated No. 11 ranked Loyola 10-9.
Rafferty scored three times in her first career start, including a goal with 4:49 left that tied the game, and Zaugra was brilliant in the nets throughout the night as the Blue Hens (4-3) defeated their first ranked opponent since 2009 and their highest ranked foe since a 14-13 win over then No. 2 James Madison back in 200o.
Chelsea Fay, Kara Dattellas, and Abbie Hartman each added two goals apiece for the Blue Hens with Hartman's goal with 4:23 remaining breaking the 9-9 tie and sending Delaware to its first win over the Greyhounds since 2007.
Loyola (2-4), which had played five straight nationally-ranked teams coming into the game, had the chance to tie the game in the final seconds but a free position shot attempt by Annie Thomas was blocked and another shot by Hannah Schmitt just before the final horn was high.
The victory set off a spirited celebration on the field for the Blue Hens.
"I'm excited for the team," said third-year Delaware head coach Kateri Linville, who posted her first career Top 20 victory in nine tries with the Blue Hens. "We really stepped up to the challenge. We were ready and we came out and showed what we are capable of doing. We had people make big plays when we needed them to."
Loyola, which had rallied back from a three-goal deficit midway through the second half to gain it only lead of the stanza at 9-8 with 6:143 left, got two goals each from Thomas and Joanna Dalton while Marlee Paton added a goal and an assist and Sydney Thomas dished out two assists.
Delaware jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first 13 minutes of the game on goals by Rafferty, but Loyola answered with consecutive goals just five minutes apart to take a 3-2 lead. However, the Hens knotted the score at 3-3 at intermission when Hartman scored with 9:43 left.
The Blue Hens, came out strong in the second half and took control, scoring three straight goals, including two scores from Fay just 1:15 apart, to go up 6-3. After a goal by Loyola's Annie Thomas broke the string, Delaware built the lead back up to three on a tally by Dattellas with 18:00 remaining.
But Loyola rallied back right away, getting goals from Taryn VanThof and Dalton just 22 seconds apart to pull to within 7-6.
Delaware's Allison Hahn broke the string with a goal with 15:15 left to push UD lead back to two, but the Greyhounds answered again with three straight goals by Kara Burke, Hannah Schmitt, and Annie Thomas, to take the lead at 9-8 with 6:13 left.
But the Blue Hens showed their toughness in a big way as Rafferty scored her third goal of the night with 4:49 to tie the game at 9-9 and ï»¿Hartman (at right) followed with the game-winner just 26 seconds later off a long feed from Erin Wein.
"McKenzie is a great athlete and a great attacker," said Linville of Rafferty. "When she had the opportunity tonight she stepped up and showed that she could convert. She is gaining confidence and has taken her game to the next level. I'm thrilled for her."
Delaware will look to keep the winning ways alive this Saturday when the Blue Hens travel to Lafayette for a 4 p.m. draw.