February 26, 2011

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Loyola Wins Ugly, 3-2 over Towson

from press release

TOWSON, Md. - Matt Langan curled around the crease and scored his second goal of the game with 3:41 left in regulation, as Loyola University Maryland defeated host Towson University, 3-2, in non-conference action at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Goalkeeper Jake Hagelin and the 15th-ranked Greyhounds' defense held Towson to just 21 shots and eight on goal. Hagelin made six saves and tied for team-high honors with five ground balls.

Towson (0-2 overall) took a 2-1 lead with 10:06 left in the third quarter when Alec Jernstedt, a long-stick midfielder, scored in transition off a Peter Mezzanotte pass.

The Tigers continued to hold Loyola (2-0) without a goal for the next 19:23 until Davis Butts rushed toward the face of the goal and shot a pass to Mike Sawyer who was stationed 12 yards outside at the top of the left alley.

Sawyer ripped a shot past Towson goalkeeper Travis Love to tie the score at 2-2 with 5:43 remaining in regulation.

Loyola won the ensuing faceoff, as Scott Ratliff reached to pick up a ground ball that faceoff specialist John Schiavone pushed toward the Greyhounds' defensive end.

Towson, however, regained possession when Stephen Murray's shot went just outside the near pipe, and Love picked up the ground ball.

The Greyhounds forced a turnover on the Tigers' clearing attempt. Mike Sawyer came from behind to strip Mezzanotte of possession, and the ball rolled out of bounds in Loyola's favor.
 
After a media timeout, Love made a save on a Sawyer shot with 3:51 to go, but 10 seconds later, Langan wrapped around the backside of the crease and delivered a low shot from right to left into the bottom corner of the goal.

"We were in an inverted offensive set there, and Chris Basler had a short-stick defender on him," Langan said. "He kind of got away from him, and I was able to sneak in past them. I dropped my hands and got my stick around the near side."

Schiavone scored another win on the ensuing faceoff, pushing the ball to Josh Hawkins, and Loyola ran nearly 90 seconds off the clock before calling a timeout with 2:14 to play. Head Coach Charley Toomey called another timeout for the Greyhounds with 1:31 to go, but Towson, using a seven-man ride, forced a turnover with 1:11 left on the clock.

"I looked at (Hagelin) and the defense (during the second timeout), and I said, `one more stop, and we go home (with a win),'" Toomey said. "It is good to know that we can score in 6-on-6 (offense), and that if it is a slow game, we can gut it out with our athleticism."

Loyola forced the Tigers to use almost 30 seconds of clock to clear the ball to their offensive zone, and Ratliff then caused a Carl Iacona turnover.

The Greyhounds, however, were unable to clear the ball, and Towson had possession after a timeout with 10 ticks remaining. Matt Hughes attempted a shot from the top with four seconds left, but it was blocked away by a Loyola defender, and the Greyhounds came away with the victory.

Loyola won the battle of the ground balls, picking up 27 to the Tigers' 17, and Schiavone won 6-of-9 restarts. Hagelin and Hawkins led Loyola with four ground balls each, while Ratliff had four and Sawyer picked up three.

The teams played to a scoreless draw after the first quarter despite 14 combined shots. It remained that way in the second period, although Loyola appeared to have broken through. Pat Byrnes bounced a shot past Love, but he was called for being in the crease with 9:50 to go before halftime. Towson, however, had committed a pushing penalty, and the Greyhounds went on extra-man for the second time in the half.

The game was the lowest scoring contest for the Greyhounds since they defeated Ohio State by the same score on March 23, 1962.

Loyola is back in action at Ridley Athletic Complex next Saturday when it hosts Bellarmine University at 1 o'clock in ECAC Lacrosse League action.


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