Loyola Men’s Club Hockey Team Beats the Odds and Wins Championship


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The Loyola Club Men’s Hockey team had quite the underdog story this season. After qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League tournament, they traveled to North Carolina for the championship tournament. They were the 3 seed, playing Old Dominion, who was ranked #1, and winning 7-3 in the semifinals. In the championship round, they beat #2 William & Mary with a score of 6-4. This was big for the Hounds especially after not winning the ACCHL since 2011.

The tournament was in Winston Salem, North Carolina, at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, home of the Carolina Thunderbirds arena. During the season, the Hounds finished with a record of 11-3-1. Despite the success this season, they were unsure of if they could win the semifinals against Old Dominion, let alone the championship altogether.

The game was seemingly over before it began, as the Hounds won 6-4 with goals scored by grad student Jacob Vande Loo (2), Quinn Dougherty ‘25 (2), Will Lyons ‘24 (1), and Ian Jarosz ‘26 (1). So how did this group of men dominate the competition and bring Loyola to victory? 

Dougherty said, “Coming to a new school and being welcomed onto a team with guys who cared so much about each other was amazing. Hockey was what brought all of us together, but this team was more of a family who cared about each other, and each week fought together to bring respect back to its program.”

Lyons added, “After a three-year hiatus and a probation year a season ago, it was great to get Loyola hockey back on the map. We had a great team with strong leadership and a lot of eager young guys who proved themselves game in and game out. All season long, our coach instilled in us we had to hate losing more than we loved winning so that’s what we did.”

Lyons was right about eager young guys, with many first-years netting multiple goals in the tournament. This was a hard-earned win and Derek Yost ‘23 has dreamed of this championship since his freshman year. 

He said, “Winning this championship speaks to the heart and character of our team. We have a great group of guys and that team camaraderie helped us achieve something special. It took a lot of hard work by team leadership to bring the team back so I hope this helps to legitimize the program and grow Loyola hockey in the years to come.”

George Torres ‘25 is not a player on the team but was very excited to learn about their championship win.

“It really brings a lot of pride to the Loyola name,” Torres said. “It really made me proud to hear how much depth we have as a school, not only in our division one sports but in club as well.”

This was a hard-fought year with a lot of adversity during the season. Given the successful first-year class and winning the championship by a wide margin, the Loyola Club Men’s Hockey team will be moving up to the Division 2 conference starting next season. You can keep up with the team on their Instagram.