Towson, Md. - Junior Katlyn Axenfeld scored at 77:09 to help Towson mount a comeback, but the Tigers fell short to local rival Loyola, 2-1, Friday afternoon at the Tiger Soccer Complex in both team's season openers.
The teams went into the half scoreless, before the Greyhounds (1-0-0) scored twice in a row to take a 2-0 lead in the 74th minute. Axenfeld's goal with 12:51 remaining in the game gave the Tigers new life and led to a nail-biting finish.
"It was a good test for us," said Head Coach Greg Paynter. "It was good to see them battle back and work hard against a good team in Loyola. It set a benchmark for the start of the season."
Junior co-captain Katie Ponce threatened early for Towson. Her shot from the left side tested the Greyhounds' keeper just 4:09 into the game. The Tigers controlled possession for a large part of the first frame, and Ponce again threatened with her hard shot that caromed off the cross bar at 34:02.
Loyola reasserted itself at the start of the second half and its pressure paid dividends at 67:11 when Charlotte Miller took a feed in the lower right side of the box and beat Tiger keeper Erin Quinn to the left. The 'Hounds upped their lead to 2-0 just six minutes later when a corner kick from Rosy Hayes sailed into the box and Katelyn McFadden slipped it into the net.
The Tigers didn't give up, however. Axenfeld dribbled down and took a shot from about 16 yards, which bounced off a Loyola player and into the net at 77:09. Towson continued to push for chances but wasn't able to convert.
Loyola's Colleen Folan made five saves to Quinn's two. The Tigers out-shot the Greyhounds, 10-9.
Towson returns to action on Sunday, August 25 when the Tigers host Iona at 1 p.m.
College Women’s Soccer: Loyola (Md.) 2, Towson 1
Loyola (1-0) 0-2/1
Towson (0-1) 0-1/1
GOALS: LOY - Miller (67:11), McFadden (73:23); TOW – Axenfeld (77:09). ASSISTS: LOY - McFadden, Hayes; TOW – None. SAVES: LOY - Folan (5, 90:00, 1 GA); TOW – Quinn (2, 90:00, 2 goals allowed). SHOTS: LOY - 9; TOW – 10. CORNER KICKS: LOY - 2; TOW – 6. ATTENDANCE: 541.