Loyola women claim BIG EAST title

May 05, 2012 | WNST Staff

SYRACUSE – Marlee Paton and Kara Burke each scored three times, and Joanna Dalton tallied two twice, during a 10-1 Loyola University Maryland run that put the 12th-ranked Greyhounds in command of the BIG EAST Conference Championship Game on Saturday afternoon. Loyola defeated No. 2 Syracuse University, 13-7, to earn their second-straight BIG EAST crown and automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

Burke finished with a career-high four goals – she had just six this season entering the game – and Paton had three, while Dalton and Annie Thomas each scored two.

Michelle Tumolo tied the game at 3-3 with 13:56 to go in the first half, but Thomas scored her 2:50 later to spark the 10-1 run.

Loyola scored four in a row to take a 7-4 lead at halftime, and although Syracuse’s Alyssa Murray scored 1:22 into the second half, the Greyhounds reeled off six in a row to lead 13-4 when Burke tallied her fourth with 8:08 left in regulation.

Kerry Stoothoff finished with 11 saves in the game. Stoothoff earned BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Player honors for the second year in a row. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Burke, Dalton, Thomas, Paton, Ana Heneberry and Kellye Gallagher.

Loyola is the first team to have both their men’s and women’s teams earn automatic bids to their respective NCAA Championships this year. Both teams will find out who they will face, and when, in the Championships on Sunday.