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baltimoresun.com

Loyola's Paton set to return to game action Saturday

By Katherine Dunn

12:37 PM EST, February 27, 2014

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Loyola All-America midfielder Marlee Paton, who sat out the Greyhounds' 6-5 loss to Johns Hopkins Wednesday, will be back for Saturday's game at James Madison.

Paton was set to return to full-contact practice Thursday, said Loyola coach Jen Adams. The senior sat out after getting hit in the head early in the first half of Saturday's game against Princeton.

Paton did not have a concussion, Adams said, but "she was rattled on the play that occurred and they decided to err on the side of caution and make sure she was 100 percent.

"The doctor recommended she sit out, being cautious and just looking out for our player's safety, so I just wanted to keep her out. It was tough with the quick turnaround and the Wednesday game. I anticipate having her back Saturday. She's full-contact ready to go today for practice. It's just always tough when it's just a day (late)."

Paton led the team in scoring with five goals and five assists going into the Johns Hopkins game, but the No. 7 Greyhounds missed her scoring ablity and her transition leadership in falling to the No. 20 Blue Jays, 6-5. It was their first loss of the season, dropping them to 2-1.

"It's not hard to believe she was worth at least a goal for us," Adams said with laugh. "Really unfortunate though. There was a huge gaping hole out there which as a coach you hope doesn't happen but at the same time,it's is a huge compliment to Marlee and the way she plays."

Paton, a veteran of Australia's World Cup team and a two-time All-American, led the Greyhounds in scoring last season with 39 goals and 25 assists but is perhaps more valuable for her leadership on the field. 

In losing their second game in two years to Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds scored the fewest number of goals in Adams' six-year tenure.

They struggled in transition too and fell behind 5-1 as a veteran Blue Jays' attack played with patience and used a lot of time on their possessions. Loyola then shut out the Blue Jays for more than 33 minutes and rallied with four straight goals to tie on Hannah Schmitt's goal with 9:01 left. Hopkins won it on Jenna Reifler's goal with 5:50 to go at Homewood Field