BALTIMORE, Md. — Tournament time is always special. Especially when you are used to winning.
"This is the best time of the year to play. This is what you play for," said Loyola University head women's lacrosse coach Jen Adams.
"Survive and advance, basically. So, it’s really fun and it’s one of our favorite parts of the season," added Loyola attack Livy Rosenzweig.
"It’s really exciting," said Loyola midfield Jillian Wilson. "We’re all just buzzing. The girls are buzzing."
And with good reason.
The Loyola Greyhounds are on the verge of capturing the program’s fifth Patriot League tournament championship. The No. 9 team in the country won its tenth straight game, clobbering Colgate Thursday in the tourney semifinal 17-6. The Hounds scored 12 of the game’s first 13 goals and earned their spot in Saturday’s title tilt.
"They came out of the gates firing and I think it’s just a testament to how excited they are," said Adams. "Once you hit championship time it’s adrenaline takes over and everyone is just fired up."
Rosenzweig is about to make history. After her four goals and four assists Thursday, the senior is four points away from setting the program record with 318 career points and three assists away from the Patriot League record with 178 career helpers.
"It’s really exciting. A lot of those points are assists and I don’t get any assists without my teammates finishing the ball," she said. "I’m really focusing on just winning the championship and going as far as we can in the NCAA Tournament."
She’ll try to set the records Saturday when the top-seeded Hounds (10-2) host the second-seed out of the south division, Lehigh (9-3). Loyola beat the Mountain Hawks 15-11 five weeks ago.
"Lehigh is a really, really good side. They have so many great players on that team," said Wilson. "Just got to put a full 60 minutes of lacrosse together in order to hopefully hold that trophy above our heads tomorrow."
If this trend continues they have a pretty good shot: Loyola has won the last 11 meetings against Lehigh dating back to 1989. Opening face-off Saturday is set for 12:30 p.m. at Ridley.