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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Men’s lacrosse rolls over Towson, Holy Cross

The Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team sent a message to the lacrosse world last week, combining for 36 goals to send both Towson University and Holy Cross College home scratching their heads.

The Greyhounds combined for 36 goals in wins over Towson and Holy Cross. Loyola's win over Holy Cross was its first Patriot League victory.
The Greyhounds combined for 36 goals in wins over Towson and Holy Cross. Loyola’s win over Holy Cross was its first Patriot League victory.

Last Wednesday’s 20-4 victory over Towson at the Ridley Athletic Complex was never in doubt, as the No. 10 Greyhounds (3-1 overall, 1-0 Patriot League) were already up 9-0 by the end of the first quarter.
During Saturday’s game against Holy Cross (0-2 overall, 0-1 PL) in the Greyhounds’ inaugural Patriot League matchup, Loyola received an early scare, falling behind 3-2 in the first quarter, before scoring 14 unanswered goals to take a 16-3 lead. Loyola’s eventual 16-4 victory capped off a stellar week for the Greyhounds’ offense, which even seemed to surprise head coach Charley Toomey.
“I think I was caught off guard a little bit today by our speed,” Toomey said after the Towson game. “I said going into the locker room that we needed to play fast, and the guys came out of the locker room and they did just that. I think we grew up a little bit as a team today. We played at a different pace.”
The Hounds wasted no time against Towson (1-2 overall), after sophomore Tyler Albrecht scored the first of his three goals in the game’s third minute, giving Loyola a 1-0 lead.
Junior Nikko Pontrello scored the first of his game-high four goals a minute later, and just seven seconds after Pontrello’s goal, redshirt freshman Brian Sherlock found the back of the net to give the Hounds a quick 3-0 lead, and they continued to pour it on from there.
Senior Justin Ward scored both of his goals in the first quarter, and would also finish the game with two assists. Back-to-back goals by senior Pat Laconi gave the Greyhounds a 10-0 lead, putting the game out of reach for the Tigers.
Towson’s Greg Cuccinello finally put an end to the shutout after scoring with 11:41 remaining in the second quarter, but it merely put a dent in the Greyhounds’ massive offensive performance. Chris Vetter, Ryan Drenner and Joe Seider scored the other three goals for Towson, with the last two coming in garbage time.
The blowout victory was a nice change for a Loyola squad that had just split two overtime affairs against ranked opponents Virginia and Penn State, the latter being the Greyhounds’ first victory of the season.
“It feels very nice,” senior and Team USA member Joe Fletcher said. “I feel like overtime has been the common theme so far this year, so getting a breather felt pretty good.”
Senior goalkeeper Jack Runkel converted eight saves for Loyola while surrendering only two goals; he was also thankful for the offensive help from his teammates.
“It certainly helps when you have a pretty good offense in front of you,” Runkel said. “They eliminated the amount of time that Towson’s offense had to operate.”
The Greyhounds’ very first Patriot League contest versus the Holy Cross Crusaders was not quite as relaxing as the Towson game was, as the Hounds found themselves in a 3-2 hole entering the second quarter of play, following a goal by Clay Haarmann of Holy Cross.
However, Pontrello would score his second goal of the day in the opening minute of the second quarter, sparking a 14-0 Loyola run reminiscent of its previous game. Pontrello would score five of his career-high six goals during the run. The junior’s 15 goals on the young season lead the team.
Seniors Kevin Ryan and Brian Schultz each recorded career-highs with three goals apiece. Schultz would also add a personal-best four assists, for a game and career-high seven points.
Ward finished the game with more assists than Holy Cross had points, assisting on five goals, tying his career-high. Runkel added an impressive 12 saves to help stop the Crusaders’ offensive attack.
The Greyhounds stay on the road for their second Patriot League game against No. 14 Lehigh University on Saturday, March 1 at noon.

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Men’s lacrosse rolls over Towson, Holy Cross