Junior Julianne D'Orazio checks the stick of Mount St. Mary’s University defender Emily Dees on Feb. 27. The women's lacrosse team will be squaring off against Loyola University (Maryland) on Saturday. (Alice Wilson/B&W Staff)

Lehigh women’s lacrosse to meet Loyola in pivotal conference matchup


The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team is off to its best start in 31 years, yet still isn’t in first place in the Patriot League.

After defeating Army West Point 14-6 Sunday, Lehigh (10-2, 4-1 Patriot) has its focus ahead Saturday against Loyola University (Maryland), the team atop the conference standings.

Loyola (8-5, 5-0 Patriot) is perfect in the Patriot League so far, but Lehigh will look to break that streak. Junior midfielder Lauren Beausoleil said there have been some key moments of the season so far that have helped the team improve.

“After we lost to Navy our team had a lot to learn, and I think it made us better,” she said. “Beating Boston University was a key moment for us and we had a lot of players contributing to our team’s success. The underclassmen really stepped up on our team, behind the captains and legacies, and came through when we needed them to.”

The win against Boston was a close one at 8-7. It had been a tough game in the beginning with Lehigh trailing 5-1 by halftime, but the Hawks came back in the second half to score six more goals before Beausoleil scored the tiebreaker in the last five seconds of the game.

Senior midfielder Kendall Garden emphasized the importance of this win in particular. She said it was the key moment of the season that differentiates itself from all the others.

“Not only was that a great win for our team, but it was also a large learning curve for many of our younger players,” Garden said.

Winning this game, and the league’s first place title, would propel Lehigh one step closer to the championship. Loyola joined the Patriot League in 2013, and the school’s women’s lacrosse team won the Patriot League Championship in both 2014 and 2015. Last year, it went on to the NCAA Tournament, eventually losing to Syracuse University in the quarterfinals.

Garden said the team knows Loyola will be a tough opponent.

“Loyola is a very talented team, but our defense is ranked 10th in the nation,” she said. “They are currently ranked above us overall, but that’s OK, it will give the underdog team a chance to shine. The team is very focused this week on learning the tools our coaches will prepare us with to beat Loyola. We will have to work hard and push each other in practice in order to come out strong. They are a strong competitor, but so are we.”

Junior goalie Taylor Tvedt agreed that the Hawks have the ability to come out with a win.

“We have three more days to prepare for Saturday’s game, but really we have been preparing all season,” she said. “Our goal is to be able to step off the field knowing that we played the full 60 minutes to the best of our ability, and we played fearlessly the entire time.”

The Mountain Hawks will face off at 3 p.m. Saturday in Baltimore on the Greyhounds’ home turf.

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