April 2, 2011

Loyola Gets Lift It Needs from Transfer Palmer

from press release

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Loyola University's Chris Palmer scored a career-high five goals, and Josh Hawkins tallied a goal and two assists in transition, as the Greyhounds defeated No. 17/19 Ohio State University, 12-9, in ECAC Lacrosse League action Saturday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Palmer, who is using his fifth-year of athletic eligibility as a Loyola graduate student after playing his first three seasons at Bucknell, scored three of his five goals after half time, helping the Greyhounds (5-3 overall, 2-2 ECAC) hold off the Buckeyes (5-5, 0-1).

Loyola led 9-4 with 5:17 to play in the third quarter after Patrick Fanshaw scored an extra-man goal, but Ohio State came racing back, scoring four in a row to pull within a pair, 9-7, less than 2:30 into the fourth quarter.

Palmer pushed the Greyhounds' cushion back to three, 10-7, with 5:57 to play, but Nick Liddil and Tyler Frederick tallied consecutive Ohio State goals to make it 10-9 exactly two minutes later.

Loyola face-off man John Schiavone pushed the ensuing restart forward and picked up the ground ball himself, stepping into the offensive zone and dishing a pass to Mike Sawyer.

Sawyer, who was scoreless at the time, dodged a Buckeyes defender and scored with 3:41 left in regulation to give Loyola a 11-9 advantage.

Ohio State gained possession on the next face-off, but the teams traded turnovers, and the Buckeyes gained an extra-man opportunity on an offsides' call against Loyola during a clearing situation with 1:33 on the fourth-quarter clock.

The Buckeyes worked the ball inside to Jeff Tundo, but Joe Fletcher checked the ball from Tundo's stick, and Fletcher picked up the loose ball, and Loyola cleared it successfully to the offensive end.

Hawkins carried it into the zone and found Palmer who scored his fifth goal with 48 ticks left to secure the victory.

Palmer, who scored his first two goals in a Loyola uniform last Saturday in a win at Mount St. Mary's, had not scored more than two goals in a game as a collegian. He is the second player this season to score five in a contest for Loyola. Mike Sawyer accomplished the feat against both Bellarmine and Duke.

Hawkins, a short-stick defensive midfielder, helped key Loyola's transition game, scoring a goal and assisting on two others. He also picked up four ground balls, helping the Greyhounds control the possession battle.

Schiavone led all players with eight ground balls and won 17-of-24 face-offs for Loyola. In the last two seasons against Ohio State – both Loyola wins – Schiavone has picked up 17 ground balls and been successful on 33-of-47 face-offs (.702).

During the game, Schiavone crossed the 200-ground ball and 400-face-off win marks. He now has 207 and 406, respectively.

The Greyhounds' defense did its part, as well, holding Ohio State's two leading scorers, Tundo and Logan Schuss, to just one goal. Schuss entered Saturday's game with 20 goals, and Tundo had 17.

Jake Hagelin was credited with five saves in goal for the Greyhounds, and he also caused two Buckeyes turnovers. Loyola held Ohio State to just 21 shots, matching its second lowest output of the year.

Loyola started quickly in the first quarter, jumping out to a 3-0 lead as Matt Langan, Palmer and Hawkins scored unassisted goals in the first 6:08 of action. After neither team scored in the final 8:51 of the first 15 minutes, Ohio State scored three-straight to start the second quarter.

Dan Wertz's unassisted tally with 7:20 to play before halftime drew the teams even at 3-3. Palmer broke through for Loyola, scoring off a Langan assist, with 2:37 left before the break, and the Greyhounds took a 4-3 advantage into the locker room.

Schiavone flipped the opening face-off of the second half out where long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff picked it up, raced toward the goal and scored 13 second into the third stanza. It was Ratliff's second goal in as many games. He earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors last Monday after scoring a goal and assisting on two others while picking up six ground balls last Saturday at Mount St. Mary's. In addition to his second-half opening goal against Ohio State, he also had three ground balls.

Minutes later, Dylan Grimm picked up a ground ball after a Tundo turnover, and Loyola cleared it successfully to its offensive end. The Greyhounds ran nearly 90 seconds of offense before Langan fed a pass to Palmer who scored his third of the game.

The Buckeyes closed the game back to two, 6-4, on a Michael Italiano's goal with 10:12 to play, but Langan scored back-to-back goals, leading up to Fanshaw's tally that gave the Greyhounds a 9-4 advantage with 5:17 remaining.

Langan's second goal in the stretch, as well as Fanshaw's, came after Ohio State's Mike Pires was whistled for an unreleasable illegal body check penalty, putting Loyola on extra-man for two minutes.

Langan finished the game with three goals and two assists for his second-straight five-point game.

The Greyhounds continue ECAC action next Saturday when they return to Ridley Athletic Complex for a 1 o'clock game against Fairfield.


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