WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- If there has been one constant for Loyola's women's lacrosse team through this up-and-down week, it has been the defense.
Yesterday, anchored by Krystin Porcella, Robyn Disney, Liz Schaffner and goalie Kourtney Heavey, the Greyhounds' defense held Old Dominion scoreless for the first 14 minutes en route to a 17-6 victory in a Colonial Athletic Association semifinal at William and Mary's Barksdale Field.
The No. 2 Greyhounds (10-1) will go for their second straight CAA title today at 1 p.m. against No. 8 James Madison (11-4), a 9-8 winner over No. 5 William and Mary (10-4) in the other semifinal.
Even in Wednesday's 7-6 sudden-death overtime loss to No. 4 Virginia, the Loyola defense played well.
"They don't get a lot of the credit they should get," said center Michelle Meyer, the CAA Player of the Year. "Most of the time, the attack is in the spotlight, but the defense does so much that goes unnoticed, not by our team but by a lot of spectators."
The defense helped the Greyhounds get the jump on Old Dominion (6-9) yesterday. Loyola took six shots and Erica Attonito and Kerri Johnson scored goals before the Monarchs managed a shot.
"They get on you tight and they don't slack off," said Old Dominion midfielder Stacia Hepburn, a Mount Hebron graduate. "They double- and triple-team and they pressure behind, which makes it really tough."
Coming into this weekend's CAA tournament, the Greyhounds had allowed only 55 goals, a 5.5 average, which ranked sixth in the nation. They haven't given up more than eight goals and have held two teams to four while shutting out one.
Yesterday, Porcella had three key checks and a knockdown while Schaffner took a charge and Disney was all over the ground balls. Heavey had four saves.
But they aren't the only Greyhounds who play defense. There's help from two of the fastest defense wings around, Stephanie Roberts and Chelsea Morley, as well as the rest of the team.
"The midfield slows the ball down and gives us a chance to get back and make sure everyone's covered," said Porcella, an All-CAA selection. "They do a great job, especially with their speed."
"And it helps a lot having such a strong attack," said Disney, "because then we're there to play D. We don't have to take over the attack's job."
The attack, which averages 13 goals a game, got back on track after struggling to their lowest output of the season at Virginia. They outshot the Monarchs, 37-16, and nine players scored. Allison Valentino had three goals while Meyer, Johnson, Attonito, Erin Wylde, Stephanie Sweet and Carmen Pineyro had two each.
Pub Date: 4/20/97