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Laxwomen Fall to Second-Ranked Loyola, 10-11

Questionable Call by Official in Closing of Game Leads to fourth-ranked Crimson's Defeat

By Eric F. Brown

For every win, there is a loss.

For every unheralded champion, there is a shocked, defeated loser.

For every time a Loyola is victorious, there is a Harvard that loses.

The Harvard women's lacrosse team has become yet another entry in the annals of upset victims. On Saturday afternoon at Loyola University, the mighty Crimson fell, 11-10.

With seven seconds left in regulation and the score knotted at 10, officials called a penalty on Harvard co-captain Francie Walton. Inexplicably, the referees then allowed Loyola to take a direct shot eight meters from the goal--essentially at point blank range.

The free shot easily found its way past freshman goaltender Kate Schutt for the win.

"I don't even know what to say--the officiating was horrendous," junior Genevieve Chelius said. "She should have scored [that free shot]."

Going into the game, Harvard (now 2-1 Ivy, 6-2 overall) was the unquestionable favorite. Sure, Loyola was ranked second in the nation, while Harvard was only fourth.

But Loyola had not played any particularly talented teams, while the Crimson had battled with ranked Princeton, Temple and Old Dominion.

The game began well for Harvard. Walton quickly scored a goal in the games first minute, and the Crimson shot out to a 3-0 lead and stayed in front throughout the first half.

"We came out the best we've come out this season," Walton said.

"At the end of the first half we had lapses," co-captain Margot McAnaney said. "Then in the second half we couldn't hold on to the ball. We had a lot of turnovers."

And even as Loyola caught up with and defeated Harvard, the game seemed always to be in the Crimson's hand. No matter what the score was, Harvard felt that it would unquestionably win.

"I felt like we were in total control for the whole game," Chelius said.

Nevertheless, Loyola erased the deficit. With only two minutes left, Loyola took the lead for the first time at 10-9, and then Harvard retied it with less than one minute left to play. But then came the penalty shot, and Harvard had lost.

"We shouldn't have let it get to that point," Walton said, "but the referees gave them that game on a platter."

No matter how cheaply Loyola won, however, the final score still reads 11-10. Loyola may not have deserved to win, but that does not matter.

"[After the game] it was pretty brutal," Chelius said. "Everyone was pretty down."

"Loyola hadn't played anyone tough until [Saturday]," McAnaney said. "They gutted it out, but we gave it to them."

Now the Crimson must look forward, as a four game homestand comes up. The toughest team of the four will undoubtedly be Maryland, who earned a trip last season to the NCAA Tournament, of which only four teams are invited.

"The whole season we've been sort of struggling," Chelius said. "Now we pretty much have to win the rest of our games to make the tournament."

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