Loyola Men’s Lacrosse Team Moves to 4-0 at Home this Season

The men’s lacrosse team faced Holy Cross on Saturday, April 1, at 3:30 p.m. and looked to bounce back after a loss at Army West Point the game prior. In the first quarter, the Greyhounds jumped out to a 3-1 lead with goals from Henry Haberman ‘25, Matt Heuston ‘23, and graduate student Payton Rezanka. Despite the hot start, the lead dwindled and at halftime, Loyola’s lead was cut to one point as the score read 6-5 in their favor. Coming out of halftime, the Greyhounds were able to get two quick scores and blew the game open in the third quarter.

Head Coach Charley Toomey highlighted the fact that the Greyhounds started the second half with a sense of purpose.

He said, “The faceoff is one place that can really give a team energy and Eric [Pacheco ‘23] got out in front of the ball and was able to get us one right away.”

Pacheco won a crucial opening faceoff to start the second half, which led to Matthew Minicus ‘25 scoring six seconds into the half. Coach Toomey believed that Pacheco’s faceoff win and Minicus’ goal got the team going. 

He said, “That kind of gets the bench going and it is always a point of emphasis when we leave our locker room to stay aggressive as we know Ridley is a tough place for opponents to play.”

That proved to be true as the team scored four straight goals in the third quarter. Despite giving up one goal, the Greyhounds quickly responded with yet another score. The Greyhounds gave themselves an advantage after outscoring Holy Cross 5-1 in the third quarter.

Coming into this game, the Hounds were 3-0 at home and the home-field advantage showed in the second half. 

Adam Poitras ‘23, who had three goals himself, praised Ridley’s electrifying crowd saying, “I think it’s easy to run out of the tunnel and see a bunch of screaming fans. The students are among the best in the country and they bring the noise every single game so it makes it easier to play and represent them.” 

Coach Toomey also praised the passionate Loyola fans and home-field advantage saying, “Well number one, the facility and having the comfort of our own locker room in the pregame helps but also feeling the intensity and the energy that our fans and the Greyhound nation along with our alumni and families. It’s a tough place to play and we have to do our job and make it a really more difficult place to play.” 

After the third-quarter flurry, the crowd would go home happy as the final score read 15-8 in Loyola’s favor. Loyola’s 15-goal performance tied a season-high in goals scored dating back to March 4 when Loyola beat Lafayette 15-11. 

Poitras spoke on the added level of aggressiveness and said, “We were focused on that the whole week. We didn’t have the best offensive performance last week and we were ready for redemption this week so we really preached it in practice to attack our matchups and take them more personally.”

As the Greyhounds have five games remaining until the Patriot League Tournament starts, Poitras emphasized the importance of maintaining a strong offensive approach. 

“It’s more the shot selection and efficiency, making sure we’re taking the good ones and we’re not taking the first ten-second one but we’re taking the one that’s the best, not taking shots selfishly,” Poitras said. “We’re just finding the best one and sharing the ball with each other.”

This style of play is something the team will look to do as the regular season continues through April. As the season continues, Coach Toomey and the Greyhounds are still looking to improve on the defensive end. 

Toomey said, “I think in terms of improving that we need to be dialing in more defensively and realize that it’s okay to give up a goal, but you have to make them work really hard for it.” 

Toomey also offered his advice for the offense after their stellar performance against Holy Cross saying, “On the offensive end we need to continue to get our shots, and when we get our opportunities, canning it. I thought we had a couple of guys do a pretty good job, especially in the second half today of stepping into their shots and there was a little bit of energy to that shot-making that maybe wasn’t there in the second quarter so credit to those guys.”

The men’s next game is Friday, April 7, at 7 p.m. against Navy which gives the Greyhounds another chance to defend their undefeated home record of 4-0.

Coach Toomey recognized this and said, “We’re always going to go back to film and figure out what we can improve on but with the Naval Academy, it’s always about the next game so it’s about Friday night here and playing our best lacrosse against a team that just beat Boston University in our league,” he said.

For more pictures from the game, check out our photo gallery!