February 6, 2014

Virginia Nips Loyola in OT Thriller

from LaxMagazine.com Staff Reports | Twitter

James Pannell fires home the game-winning goal in OT, his fourth of the contest. Pannell also assisted on Ryan Tucker's last-second equalizer in regulation. (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)

Video: Watch Virginia's last-second game tying score and game-winner in OT | Full Game Highlights

The first matchup in 2014 between two Top 20 teams in men's lacrosse may very well be the one we're talking about long after the season is over, as Virginia salvaged a win over visiting Loyola in heart-stopping fashion, 13-12 in overtime.

James Pannell played a role in both the tying and winning goals, assisting Ryan Tucker's equalizer - which was only official after a lengthy discussion by the referees confirmed it had made it in before the final buzzer - and then scored the winner in overtime, his fourth tally of the contest.

The game was the season-opener for both teams, which came in ranked No. 11 (Loyola) and No. 9 (Virginia) in the #LMRanks preseason Top 20.

"I can't remember any game like this," said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. "I can't ever remember being a part of something like this and I have been a part of games where there has been a severe momentum swing. But not to this degree and not to the sense of one team being able to make every play. We just couldn't get the ball. I didn't feel like we stopped playing, they just started making plays. We just seemed to always be behind the eight ball in the fourth. It certainly is a great win for us at the end of the day and a good way to open the season."

The last-second heroics by Pannell and Tucker (2G, 1A) ruined an epic comeback by the Greyhounds, who entered the 4th quarter down by a 12-4 margin having been shut out for the previous two full quarters.

Brian Schultz (2G) got things started off a feed from Justin Ward (1G, 2A), and all of the sudden the Greyhounds had life, potting four more in the quarter's first five minutes to narrow the gap to three. After two more goals to pull within one, Romar Dennis (2G) knotted things at 12 - the first time Loyola pulled even since Rob Emery (2G) gave the Cavaliers a 3-2 lead at the seven minute mark of the first.

With 18 seconds left, Tyler Albrecht gave the Hounds their first lead since even earlier in the first quarter, but a face-off win gave the home team one chance to salvage the once seemingly locked victory, and they made the most of it.

Touted freshman Matt Barrett earned the win in his first career game, making eight saves. On the other end, things were much dicier for the Greyhounds in net, as starter Jack Runkel was pulled after 41 minutes and 11 goals allowed, making way for Pat McEnerny. The pair combined for four saves, three of which were Runkel's.

Much of Virginia's lead-building in the second and third quarter was due to extensive possessions, keyed by Mick Parks at the X. He finished 15-for-27 but had been running at a far better success rate earlier in the game before the Greyhounds made some adjustments late to get the ball, leading to their run.



Virginia Press Release

James Pannell Postgame Comments

 

Dom Starsia Postgame Comments

Charlie Toomey Postgame Comments

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia attackman James Pannell recorded a career-high four goals, including his sudden death score with 2:16 left in the overtime period, lifting the No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers (1-0) to a 14-13 season-opening win over the No. 12 Loyola Greyhounds (0-1), Thursday evening at Klöckner Stadium.

"I can't remember any game like this," said Virginia head coach Dom Starsia. "I can't ever remember being a part of something like this and I have been a part of games where there has been a severe momentum swing. But not to this degree and not to the sense of one team being able to make every play. We just couldn't get the ball. I didn't feel like we stopped playing, they just started making plays. We just seemed to always be behind the eight ball in the fourth. It certainly is a great win for us at the end of the day and a good way to open the season."

The overtime heroics almost didn't come to fruition after UVa squandered an eight-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter. After closing the third period with a 12-4 lead, UVa started the final frame with a man down when Greg Danseglio was tagged for slashing. The extra-man opportunity was just what Loyola needed to jumpstart a run of nine-straight goals, taking a 13-12 advantage. Tyler Albrecht capped the run with a goal with 13.7 second left in regulation.

Mick Parks won the ensuing faceoff for UVa and as time expired Ryan Tucker took a pass from Pannell, and tied the game, 13-13, with one-tenth of a second left. Parks then won the overtime faceoff and UVa managed to get three shots off before Pannell's game-winner.

Loyola started the game quickly, owning a 2-0 lead at the 11:17 mark in the first period. UVa then rattled off a 4-1 run with three goals by Pannell leading the way. Brian Sherlock scored with 1:00 left in the first period to tie the game, 4-4. Loyola did not score again till the fourth quarter, a span of 31:23 without finding the back of the net.

UVa rattled off eight goals in the second and third period, including three by Mark Cockerton, one each by Tucker, Tyler German, Greg Coholan and Rob Emery. Emery's goal with 1:23 left in the third quarter was UVa's final score until Tucker tied the game at the end of regulation.

Virginia won the battles in ground balls (35-32), faceoffs (15-13) and saves (8-4). Behind 15 shots in the fourth quarter, Loyola won the shots battle, 41-31.

Pannell led all players with five points (four goals, one assist), while Cockerton registered his 14th career hat trick.

Virginia returns to action on Saturday when the Cavaliers travel to Richmond in the Spiders first-ever NCAA contest. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Loyola Press Release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Loyola University Maryland trailed seventh-ranked University of Virginia by eight goals at the start of the final quarter, but the Greyhounds reeled off nine straight to take a lead with 17.1 seconds to go on a Tyler Albrecht goal.

Virginia won the ensuing faceoff, and officials ruled that a Ryan Tucker shot cleared the goal line with one-tenth of a second left on the clock, and the game headed to overtime.

The Cavaliers (1-0) ended the game 1:44 into overtime on a James Pannell goal, giving Virginia a 14-13 victory in the season-opener for both teams.

In the game, Virginia had an 8-0 run during the second and third quarters, and the Greyhounds then used a 9-0 run to close the game and take a late lead.

Loyola (0-1) took a 2-0 lead on goals by Tyler Albrecht and Nikko Pontrello in the first 3:43, but the Cavaliers tallied three in a row to lead by one when Rob Emery scored on an extra-man opportunity with 7:52 to go in the first quarter.

Romar Dennis dodged from midfield and fired a goal that tied the score for Loyola at 3-3, but Pannell scored his second of the game, this time on man-up, and Virginia led, 4-3.

Brian Sherlock evened the score with a 59.1 seconds left in the first, executing a give-and-go for his first goal as a Greyhound.

Virginia broke the 4-4 deadlock with an extra-man goal by Pannell 1:06 into the second quarter, but neither the Greyhounds, nor Cavaliers scored again under less than five minutes were left before halftime.

The Cavaliers scored the final three goals of the half, the last coming on a Mark Cockerton shot with a defender draped on him, 1.7 seconds before the break. That score gave the Cavaliers an 8-4 advantage at halftime.

Cockerton scored another unassisted goal to keep the run going 2:06 into the third quarter, a frame that would end with the Greyhounds on the minus side of an 12-4 score.

Loyola did not take long in the fourth quarter to score, however, as Brian Schultz ripped a shot from the right side off a Justin Ward assist on an extra-man opportunity just 23 ticks into the stanza.

The Greyhounds got the ball back quickly, and Kyle Duffy scored 23 seconds later, and Matt Sawyer scored off a Pontrello assist at 13:11, pulling Loyola within five, 12-7.

Schultz followed with a nifty goal in transition off a Sherlock feed at 12:39, and Ward scored Loyola's fifth in less than four minutes, rolling off a Cavaliers defender on the left side, scoring into the top right corner at 11:26. His goal cut Virginia's lead to 12-9.

Pontrello then was on the receiving end of a Ward pass, and he scored at 8:42, and Sawyer had a highlight-reel goal with a slick move off a defender to make it 12-11 Virginia with 6:50 left in regulation.

Dennis then tallied his second goal as a collegian, ripping a high-to-high shot from 10 yards out, tying the score at 12-12 with 2:30 left in the fourth.

Loyola continued to hold possession, getting the ball back after Dennis' goal, and Loyola wound the clock down to under 20 seconds when Albrecht went low-to-low, pushing the Greyhounds in front, 13-12, with 17.1 seconds left.

Virginia won the faceoff, however, and Cockerton worked the ball on the low right side. He got the ball to Pannell who found Tucker at the top of the zone. Tucker released a hard shot that went into the net. After a long discussion, the officials determined it went in with one-tenth of a second on the clock, tying the game and forcing overtime.

The Cavaliers won the faceoff to start the extra frame, and after three shots went off cage, Pannell tallied the winner 1:44 into the period.

Pannell finished with four goals and an assist, leading all scorers.

Five Greyhounds – Albrecht, Dennis, Pontrello, Sawyer and Schultz – all scored two goals a piece. For each, other than Pontrello, it was the first multi-goal game of their career. Sherlock and Ward both had one goal and two assists in the game, while Pontrello and Sawyer had assists.

Loyola's comeback was spurred by solid play at the faceoff 'X' by Graham Savio. In his first collegiate game, Savio won 11-of-18 restarts.

Virginia did, however, pick up 35 ground balls to the Greyhounds' 32. Pontrello led the way with a career-high five, while Savio and Duffy each had four.

The Greyhounds, who were playing the earliest game in the history of the program, take more than a week off before facing No. 9 Penn State University on Saturday, February 15, in State College, Pa.


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