Ever-Improving Loyola Focusing on Walking Before it Runs

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

Sydni Black has 11 goals for Loyola this spring.


Halfway through a daunting four-game stretch spanning 11 days, Loyola women’s lacrosse is ready for more.

“I feel like I’m nonstop on lacrosse mode,” coach Jen Adams said. “I wake up [and] I’m like, ‘Was that real? Did I actually watch it and scout?’ We’re turning it around and coming off a game and it quite literally [already] is the next one. That’s something we’ve talked a lot about, the excitement of getting to the next [game] and once one’s behind us, get to the next one and be excited about that.”

This game-by-game mindset has proven to be a winning strategy for the Greyhounds. The program is 4-0 — including three victories over non-conference opponents that Loyola didn’t meet during the 2021 season.

For Adams, Loyola’s record is both exciting and a sign of progress yet to come.

“I tell the girls all the time, we come off a game and I’m like, ‘We’re now four games old,’” Adams said. “That’s how it is. We’ve got to keep growing. We crawl, we walk, we run and that’s how the season is going to progress for us.”

While the Greyhounds have delivered a few dominant wins, they’ve sometimes been slow to start. In a 14-5 win over Johns Hopkins, Loyola led by just one goal at halftime. Against Penn, the Greyhounds and Quakers were tied at 4 at the half, but Loyola pushed through for a 12-10 win.

Sophomore attacker Sydni Black said the team often hits a “complete reset” at halftime, paying close attention to returning to the game plan and getting their energy up ahead of the final 40 minutes.







Another key is getting adjusted to the game environment. Adams said it sometimes takes a bit for Loyola to warm up as it figures out the opponent, reads what calls the officials are making and capitalizes on its own strengths. Once that’s done, however, the Greyhounds begin to click.

“I’ve been really proud with the tail end of our games where we may have started out slow,” Adams said. “It’s more starting out, feeling things out and we’re able to get into a rhythm and put together a solid second half of lacrosse.”

This confidence in the final 40 minutes has been on display on both ends of the field. On attack, Loyola has been led by a dynamic group of primarily upperclassmen. Graduate attacker Livy Rosenzweig and Black lead the team with 11 goals each. Behind them, the Greyhounds have seven scorers with three or more goals.

Black, one of the youngest players on Loyola’s attack, said her peers have been an “amazing” group of leaders to learn from.

“They are incredible leaders, and not only on the field, but off the field, [and] incredible mentors,” Black said. “I ask a lot of questions being one of the younger girls on the team, and they’re never afraid to answer [questions], show me [drills]. I’m a big visual learner, and Livy is always very helpful to show me how a play’s supposed to run, how something can be better executed.”

The leadership and experience doesn’t stop with Loyola’s offense, either. Graduate goalkeeper Kaitlyn Larsson has been key to anchoring the defense, putting up a combined 17 saves against Penn and Penn State. Senior defender Katie Detwiler has been central as well, putting together defensive clinics alongside other veterans like senior midfielder Jillian Wilson and junior defender Logan Olmstead.

Adams said this depth has been an important part of Loyola’s success, saying she’s been especially proud of how so many players can hold their own all over the field. This not only sets Loyola apart this season but also from other teams Adams has coached.

“There’s been no one single player that’s stood out or had to win us a game or put the game on their shoulders,” Adams said. “You’re getting a little bit from everyone all over the place. That’s exciting lacrosse and bodes well for us … I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as deep as I do [now] with the bench that we have.”

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