Loyola College’s men’s lacrosse team has now played Notre Dame in its last three season opening games, unfortunately for the Greyhounds after today’s 10-9 loss to the Irish, they are now 0-3 in those contests. At McEachern High School in Atlanta, GA, Collin Finnerty got loose for career-high 4 goals to go along with an assist, but it wasn’t enough to propel his team to victory. Notre Dame attackman Ryan Hoff, a resident of Baldwin, MD, broke a 9-9 tie with a goal from the doorstep of the crease with 5:24 left in the game to give his team the winning tally.
Loyola (0-1, 0-0) had three shots in the last minute to try to force overtime, but Notre Dame goalie Scotty Rodgers stood tall in net securing the win for the 9th ranked Irish. First Jake Wilcox’s shot went wide and after the ‘Hounds retained possession, Rodgers came up with a huge save on a bounce shot by Jimmy Daly. However, Notre Dame would be sloppy trying to clear and led to Loyola’s All-American LSM P.T. Ricci picking up a ground ball to give his team once last chance. Ricci, perhaps not knowing exactly how much time was left, made a move straight to the cage and attempted another bounce shot, but it would bounce right into Rodgers’ chest, and it was all over.
Loyola sophomore Jake Hagelin played exceptionally well in goal saving 15 of 25 shots he faced; Rodgers was also had an solid afternoon saving more than he allowed, 11 saves on 20 shots.
But it seemed like all afternoon the Notre Dame defense could not doing anything about the fits Finnerty was giving them. WNST Loyola play-by-play man and former Greyhound All-American, Chris Gunkle kept commenting about how Coach Toomey had his team, who played without the services of last season’s points leader leader Shane Koppens, kept using sets which isolated Finnerty against his defender, allowing him get one-on-one opportunities to score. With his imposing size at 6’4, 205lbs, if he is as accurate with his outside shot all season the way he was today hitting net on 4 of 7 shots, opposing D units will certainly have their work cut out for them trying to contain the Loyola Jr. attackman.
In addition to Finnerty’s 4 scores and 1 helper, Loyola got a pair of goals from Daly, a Sr. M, with Sr. A’s Cooper MacDonnell and Jake Wilcox and So. A Eric Lusby registering 1. Matt Langan, Taylor Ebsary, Chris Hurst, and Schavione all added assists.
A big question mark for the ‘Hounds coming into the season was at the face-off X. Luckily for Loyola, John Schavione, stepped up big winning possession for his team 14 of his 20 draws on the field and on the entire afternoon won 16 of a possible 22 chances.
Next up for Loyola will be their 2009 home opener at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field against the Towson Tigers. Last season the ‘Hounds went into Johhny Unitas Stadium and left with a 13-8 win. Gametime will be 1pm next Saturday, February 21 on the Evergreen Campus. The contest between the Baltimore County rivals will be aired on ABC2 and ESPNU while airing right here at WNST.net and over the airwaves at 1570AM.