Comer Comes Up Clutch for Loyola
from press release
BALTIMORE – D.J. Comer scored 49 seconds
into overtime with a hard rip from the right side to give the No.
20 Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team a 7-6
victory over visiting Fairfield University in ECAC Lacrosse League
action on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.
John Schiavone won the overtime face-off, picking up the ground ball himself, and took it into the offensive zone for the Greyhounds (6-3 overall, 3-2 ECAC) to set up a play.
“We had a play for Davis Butts to come around the crease and use his speed,” Comer said. “I saw that the defense all started to slide away from me, and I called for it. It was like it was in slow motion from there.”
Comer stepped in and buried his shot inside the far post from nearly 25 feet out.
Loyola led 2-0 in the early moments of the first quarter Fairfield rallied to tie the score on three occasions. The Stags (5-5, 2-2) broke through to take the lead, 6-5, on a Max Trunz extra-man goal with four-minutes, 39-seconds left in regulation.
Schiavone won the face-off after Trunz’s goal, carried it into the zone for the Greyhounds and shot, but Charlie Cipriano made a save for Fairfield, and the Stags had the ball with an opportunity to push their lead to two.
Brent Adams took a Fairfield shot that was saved by Loyola’s Jake Hagelin, and the Greyhounds cleared it quickly to their offensive end.
Chris Palmer took the ball for Loyola dnd set up slightly behind the crease and far to Cipriano’s left. Palmer found a seam in the Stags’ defense and sprinted to the cage, dove forward and scored without landing in the crease, tying the score at 6-6 with 2:50 to go.
Loyola retained possession after Schiavone won the ensuing face-off to himself, and the Greyhounds ran over a minute off the clock before Head Coach Charley Toomey called a timeout with 1:44 remaining.
Mike Sawyer got free off a screen, but his shot went wide left at 1:33. After the restart, Matt Langan came around the right side of the cage, but Cipriano knocked down his shot attempt, and Fairfield cleared the ball, taking a timeout with 43 ticks left.
The Greyhounds’ defense knocked the ball loose from the stick of a Stags’ offensive player, but Sam Snow came up with the ground ball and shot underhand in one motion. His attempt went wide right, but Fairfield retained possession. Snow had another look at the cage, but Josh Hawkins checked his shot, causing it to sail well high with less than four seconds in regulation.
Schiavone won 10-of-17 face-offs and had a game-high eight ground balls. Hawkins, Scott Ratliff and Reid Acton all had four ground balls as Loyola enjoyed a 33-22 advantage over the Stags.
“This was another one that makes your heart pump on the sidelines,” Toomey said. “I told the guys that they played hard for more than 60 minutes. We played well off the ground, and we were good in the riding game. Luckily, the guy on my right (Schiavone) is on our sideline.
“We knew that we had the chance to get the ball to start overtime with him, and fortunately, the guy on my left (Comer) buried his shot for us. Jake (Hagelin) was like he’s been all year, strong in goal. He kept us organized and held us down on defense.”
Loyola went up 2-0 in just 2:25 at the start of the game. Sawyer took the ball from goal-line extended and fed a pass to Butts who was curling rolling around the left side of the goal from ‘X.’ Butts connected on a high-to-high shot from 12 feet out to score first for the Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds made it a two-goal lead at 12:35 in the opening frame when Palmer drove right-to-left from behind the goal and found Sawyer open high on the left side, and Sawyer’s shot from 12 yards out found the net.
Fairfield pulled back within a goal, scoring 12 seconds before the end of the quarter. Trunz ran in from near midfield, dodged down the left alley and fed a pass to John Snellman on the left side for a goal from 15 feet out.
Langan scored his first of the game 4:48 into the second quarter to make it a two-goal lead again for Loyola. Comer passed to Chris Basler at the top of the box, and Basler dodged past a defender down the middle. He threaded a pass to Langan through traffic, and Langan scored from the left side of the crease.
The Stags, however, scored less than a minute later on a Brent Adams’ shot, and they tied the game at 3-3 with 12:19 left in the third quarter on a Matt Plominski man-up goal.
Fairfield took its first lead of the game with 7:34 to go in the third when Jordan Greenfield scored unassisted, but Loyola responded to tie it again on a Langan goal off a Sawyer assist with 4:10 on the clock.
Comer put Loyola back in front with his first goal of the outing 64 ticks later. He took a pass from Sawyer, fought off checks from three Fairfield defenders and dumped a shot over Cipriano’s shoulder.
Snow evened things against, this time at 5-5, with a goal 3:32 into the fourth, setting up the final sequence of events.
Loyola steps out of conference play for a regional contest next Saturday. The Greyhounds travel to Washington, D.C., to face Georgetown at 7 o’clock before returning to Baltimore for their final home game of 2011 on April 23 against Hobart.