Evidently, the second time is just as sweet as the first.

That was the consensus among the members of the Loyola Maryland Club team as they celebrated their second consecutive US Lacrosse WCLA D-II Championship, secured with a 13-6 victory over Navy Club in Virginia Beach on Saturday.

The Greyhounds jumped out fast, using three first half goals from Elizabeth Murphy to build a 6-1 lead while dominating possession time. The quick start was a priority following Friday’s early 5-0 hole in the semifinal game against Utah State.

“Yesterday was a little scary, so we didn’t want that early deficit again,” said co-captain Claire Berry.

Navy tried to rally as the second half started, getting an early goal by Darby Maguire, but Loyola never let up. Displaying patience on offense, the Greyhounds created high percentage scoring chances and converted their opportunities. 

Following Navy’s early second half goal, Loyola netted six of the next eight goals, including two each from All-American attacker Michaela Smith and midfielder Ashley Llewellyn.

The anticipation of hoisting the championship trophy once again started becoming a reality when Cameron Cyr converted a free position goal with 8:05 remaining, building the lead to 12-4.

“We just focused on playing our game and doing the little things like hustling after groundballs and keeping the ball moving on offense,” said Smith, who finished with three goals, two assists, and was named the tournament’s most outstanding attacker.

After dropping its only game of the year against Navy on March 23, Loyola defeated the Midshipmen in both the MAWLL league final and again in the national championship game.  The Greyhounds finish 14-1 overall with a season-ending 10-game winning streak.

“This is sweet because we felt like we had a target on our back all season,” said defender Jenna Siegelbaum. “Coming off last year’s championship, everybody seemed to play their best against us.”

Navy was led by Cheyenne Coughlin and Jessica Mazzeo, who tallied two goals apiece. The two juniors were also instrumental in reviving Navy’s club program after a 10-year hiatus from the WCLA ranks. The Mids finish the year 9-4 overall.

Loyola is now 20-6 all-time in WCLA Tournament play, with the most wins of any D-II program. After runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2017, the Greyhounds now own back-to-back titles.

“This was such a team effort. That’s the beauty of being a player-coached team,” said co-captain Joanna Messina, the tournament’s most outstanding defender.  “We’re here for the fun.”