March 5, 2011

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Sawyer Keys Second-Half Surge for Loyola

from press release

BALTIMORE - Mike Sawyer scored three of his career-high five goals during a 16-minute, 3-second stretch in the second half as Loyola University Maryland went on a 6-1 run to take control of a 9-6 victory over Bellarmine University on Saturday in the ECAC Lacrosse League opener at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Tied 3-3 at the half, Sawyer took a pass from Davis Butts and gave Loyola the lead just 45 seconds into the third quarter. The Knights, however, won the ensuing face-off and scored just six ticks later, as Will Cary fed Liam Kelly to knot the game at 4-4.

Loyola would go ahead, 5-4, with 9:26 left in the third when D.J. Comer rolled around the left side of the cage and ripped a hard shot past Bellarmine's Dillon Ward for his third goal of the season. The score started a 5-0 Greyhounds' run that would extend into the fourth quarter.

Two Bellarmine penalties over the next two-plus minutes would then contribute to a pair of Greyhounds' goals.

Patrick Fanshaw found an open Sawyer near the top of the crease with 8:20 to play in the third, and Sawyer scored his fourth goal of the afternoon, and after another Knights' penalty, Stephen Murray came down the left alley, caught a Matt Langan pass and scored with 6:34 on the third-quarter clock, giving the Greyhounds a 7-4 advantage.

Loyola's John Schiavone won the next face-off, and 40 seconds after Murray's goal, Langan sent another pass from behind the cage, finding Fanshaw for his second goal of the game.

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Langan matched his career-high with four assists.

"Matt Langan is our quarterback, and he did a great job of finding people who were open for good shots today," Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "We think that anytime Mike Sawyer gets his hands free, he is going to have a good chance to score. For us, it's a matter of putting our shots on goal because we have guys that are very good shooters when they do."

The Greyhounds outshot Bellarmine, 42-26, putting 23 shots on frame.

Fanshaw's goal gave Loyola an 8-4 lead going into the fourth quarter that Sawyer extended to 9-4 with 13:12 remaining in the game off a Comer assist.

Mitch McLaren and Kelly scored after that for Bellarmine, but Loyola ran out the clock on the Knights.

Loyola's defense was stout for the third game in a row this season, holding Bellarmine to 26 shots. Goalkeeper Jake Hagelin made a season-high 11 saves, and the Greyhounds' defense had a season-best 13 caused turnovers.

"We had a team that was dodging at us today, and that allowed us to get on their hands and create some turnovers," sophomore defender Reid Acton said.

Acton led the team with a career-best four caused turnovers, while Steve Dircks and Scott Ratliff each had two.

Despite having just a 19-17 advantage in the first half, Loyola picked up 42 ground balls to Bellarmine's 30.

Josh Hawkins led the way, grabbing seven ground balls for the second game in a row. Dircks and Schiavone each had five, while Hagelin and Chris Basler both picked up four.

Loyola took a 1-0 lead just 61 seconds into the game as Langan fed Fanshaw for the contest's first goal. Billy Wersel tied things up for Bellarmine with 12:26 left in the first quarter before Langan found Sawyer free for a shot and goal with 6:24 on the clock.

Karsen Leung dodged and shot from 10 yards in front of the crease to pull the Knights even 1:36 into the second quarter, but Sawyer found the net again, this time unassisted, with 11:40 left in the first half.

Bellarmine's Lance Robinson took a Leung pass and scored 34 ticks later to tie things up at 3-3, a score that would hold until Sawyer's first goal in the third quarter.

Loyola steps back out of conference action on Friday when it travels to Durham, N.C., to take on the defending national champions, Duke, at 7 p.m.


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