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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Men’s lax drops back-and-forth opener to Virginia


In a matchup of two top ten teams, No. 9 Virginia came out on top against No. 7 Loyola University Maryland Saturday afternoon as the Greyhounds dropped the 13-12 decision at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Virginia scored the second half’s first four goals to take a 10-6 lead. However, Loyola rallied to make it a one-goal game twice in the fourth quarter, before the Cavaliers came away with a season-opening win in front of 3,387 fans.

“People that don’t want us to start the season this early would miss out on games like this,” said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. “Credit to Loyola kids; I thought they played really hard and we knew they were never gonna go away.”

Sophomore Graham Savio won the first faceoff of the game and classmate Ryan Fournier did not waste any time to score the first goal of the game, scoring within the first seven seconds. The opposing team answered to every Loyola goal in the first quarter and the score was tied 3-3 at the end of the first.

The teams stayed neck-and-neck through the second quarter. Senior Nikko Pontrello opened the scoring with a goal at 12:32, but Virginia junior Greg Coholan found senior Owen Van Arsdale with 3:21 left in the half to tie the game at six apiece.

Van Arsdale’s goal sparked a 5-0 Virginia run that stretched well into the third quarter.

Sophomore Ryan Lukacovic’s goal at 6:32 in the third turned a 6-5 first-half deficit into a 10-6 second-half lead for the Cavaliers.

A Loyola timeout after Lukacovic’s goal sparked two straight goals for the Greyhounds by junior Zach Herreweyers. Virginia answered back with a goal from sophomore Zed Williams to send the game to the fourth quarter with the score at 11-8.

Sophomore Brian Sherlock scored the final period’s first goal with an overhanded finish off a left-alley dodge at 11:47, but Lukacovic scored his second at 7:06 to push Virginia back up three.

Loyola would make it a one-goal game with 4:30 left thanks to two back-to-back goals from sophomore Romar Dennis, his second and third goals of the game. Virginia’s Williams came through with his third goal of the game at 3:11 to make the Cavaliers’ lead 13-11.

Loyola got back within one goal a minute later when sophomore Jordan Germershausen passed to Herreweyers from behind, and Herreweyers scored his third goal of the game.

The Greyhounds won the ensuing faceoff – Graham Savio was 19-of-28 at the `X’ with nine ground balls for Loyola – but after two shots going wide, a turnover gave the ball back to Virginia with 28.8 seconds left.

Loyola called a timeout to set up its ride, and the Greyhounds forced a turnover before giving the ball away themselves. The Greyhounds again forced a Virginia turnover, but they could not get a shot off before the final buzzer. Freshman midfielder Jared Mintzlaff had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds in an unsettled situation but sailed a shot high.

The Greyhounds had 10 turnovers in the first half, and despite Graham Savio winning 19 of 28 faceoffs in total, Virginia scored five straight goals to build a 10-6 lead midway through the third quarter and held off Loyola, despite the Hounds scoring six of the game’s final nine goals.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey said the Greyhounds’ desired transition game didn’t quite click although they won the ground ball battle, 38-27. “We’re a team that likes to pick the ground ball up and push transition and I felt like we gave some transition opportunities a few times. The turnovers in the first half were stick-work turnovers, those are the little things we are going to hone in on.”

Loyola’s defense struggled to stop midfielders Greg Coholan and Zed Williams. “Very rarely are we ever going to walk on the field and say ‘wow, we’re bigger than this team.’ But we’re faster than a lot of teams and we gotta play to our strengths.”

The Greyhounds had a 38-27 advantage in ground balls, but the Cavaliers took a 43-38 lead in shots. Both Matt Barrett and Loyola’s Pat McEnerney made nine saves in the goal.

Dennis and Herreweyers each had three goals for the Greyhounds, while junior Tyler Albrecht and Fournier scored two a piece. Pontrello and Sherlock each had a goal and two assists for Loyola, and Mike Kutzer added an assist. Coholan led all scorers with four goals for Virginia, while Williams tallied three and two assists.

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Men’s lax drops back-and-forth opener to Virginia