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Women's lacrosse Game of the Week: No. 6 Loyola Maryland at No. 12 Navy

Navy's Kelly Larkin celebrates her goal against Loyola Maryland in the Patriot League women's lacrosse championship at Loyola last season.
Navy's Kelly Larkin celebrates her goal against Loyola Maryland in the Patriot League women's lacrosse championship at Loyola last season. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

No. 6 Loyola Maryland (8-3) at No. 12 Navy (9-2)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

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Outlook: Navy had lost every game to the Greyhounds until last year's Patriot League championship. A 15-5 win launched the Midshipmen into the NCAA tournament, where they reached the final four for the first time in program history. This spring, the Greyhounds have been the fastest-rising team in Division I after being unranked in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll. They started 0-2, including a 17-16 overtime loss to then-No. 4 Florida before winning eight straight games. Thursday, they fell to No. 18 Syracuse, 11-10, in overtime, but the Greyhounds still have the most efficient attack in the nation, scoring on 52.9 percent of their shots. Led by Hannah Powers' 24 goals and 20 assists, eight players had contributed at least 12 points. The Greyhounds average 15.7 goals per game and the Midshipmen average 16.1 — both ranking among the top six scoring offenses in Division I. A key matchup will come on the draw, where Loyola's Taylor VanThof and Navy's Jenna Collins (River Hill) are among the best in the country. Collins also leads the Midshipmen in scoring with 47 goals and 12 assists. Seven players have 12 or more points for Navy, which has lost only to No. 2 Boston College and Florida, the only ranked teams it has played. A year ago, the Greyhounds, who did not make it to the NCAA tournament, won the regular-season meeting, 13-9. They lead the series 6-1.

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