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Women’s lacrosse notebook: Loyola’s Taylor VanThof nearing sister’s records

The referee prepares to blow his whistle as Syracuse's Morgan Widner, left, and Loyola's Taylor VanThof are finally in place for a draw in the first half.
The referee prepares to blow his whistle as Syracuse's Morgan Widner, left, and Loyola's Taylor VanThof are finally in place for a draw in the first half. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Loyola Maryland’s Taylor VanThof had one of the most successful weeks on the draw in Division I women’s lacrosse history when she won 41 of her 62 in two games last week.

After controlling 20 in a win over American on March 29, she won 21 on Saturday in a win over Colgate. While 20 broke the Patriot League record of 15 — held by her sister and former Greyhound Taryn VanThof — 21 tied her for second in Division I history for draw controls in a single game.

The single-game record belongs to Robert Morris’ Jessica Karwacki, a Hereford graduate, who won 24 in game two years ago. She also grabbed 21 in a game about a month later. Karwacki and Taylor are the only players in Division I history to control at least 20 draws in a game.

"Coming off the American game, I was in shock and awe. To be able to do that in a game is phenomenal," Greyhounds coach Jen Adams said, "but to be able to back it up and in the second game of the week, to be able to do the same thing shows her genuine skill level."

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Taylor has worked with Loyola assistant coach Dana Dobbie, whose 334 draws were the Division I career record when she graduated from Maryland in 2008. That record has been broken eight times since.

Adams said its more than just the 5-foot-11 sophomore’s work with Dobbie that has enabled her to excel at the draw.

“She’s just one of those players who goes and works on her stickwork by herself, working on her one-handed grabs,” Adams said. “Obviously her height is a huge advantage to her, and she’s really finding a way to use that now. That along with her reach and just her awareness of the ball and where it’s at is really one of the things that’s helping her.” 

She won 10 in Wednesday night’s 16-11 loss to No. 11 Syracuse while facing Orange freshman Morgan Widner, who leads Division I with 111 this season. Widner won five Wednesday.

Taylor now has 95 draw controls for the season, which moves her into second place on the Greyhounds’ single season list. Taryn’s school single-season record is 122, set in 2014.

Navy rookie sets conference record: Navy freshman Kelly Larkin earned her sixth Patriot League Rookie of the Week honor after contributing 14 points last week, including nine assists. No one in the conference had ever won more than five times in a single season.

The Bishop Ireton graduate leads the Midshipmen (8-3) in scoring with 28 goals and 24 assists. She had eight points, including five assists, in the 22-7 victory over conference rival Army on Saturday.

After the game, junior teammate Jenna Collins said in a statement, "Kelly Larkin was great today as a feeder. She saw everybody and we were able to take advantage of her passes. It seemed like most of our goals (15 of 22) were off assists today and that's a good thing."

Larkin ranks second in the Patriot League with 4.73 goals per game. Her scoring ability has complemented four Navy veterans, twins Jenna and Julia Collins (River Hill), Morgan Young (Towson) and Meg O'Donnell (North Harford), who all have at least 29 points.

Quick hits: Maryland has Division I's top scoring offense, averaging 16.4 goals. ... Penn State's Steph Lazo (St. Mary's) is tied for second in total points with 71. ... In the Terps' win over No. 3 Florida, Zoe Stukenberg (Marriotts Ridge) scored five goals on five shots. ... UMBC ripped Division I's eighth-stingiest defense in an 18-7 win over UMass Lowell, which had been allowing just eight goals per game.

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