BALTIMORE – Top-seeded Loyola University Maryland scored 13-straight goals to start the second half, and the Greyhounds rolled to a 17-5 victory over visiting Canisius College in the NCAA Championships First Round on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Greyhounds (15-1) will play the winner of North Carolina-Denver on Saturday, May 19, in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Annapolis, Md.
Loyola led 4-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Canisius scored three unanswered in the second, pulling within a goal with 2:48 left in the first quarter on Jimmy Haney’s second goal in six minutes.
Mike Sawyer, however, scored the first of his game-high five goals 3:15 into the second half, sparking a 13-0 run that would see Loyola hold the Golden Griffins (6-8) scoreless until there were just under six minutesleft in the game.
‘”I want to give our guys a lot of credit for coming out in that second half with a sense of urgency,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I think you’re going to need that in every quarter of this tournament. We hadCanisius take it to us for one quarter, but I think we’ll be ready going forward.”
Sawyer’s five goals lifted his season total to 50, tying the school single-season record by matching the 2000 total by Tim Goettelmann.
Eric Lusby also had five points, scoring three goals and assisting, while Justin Ward had a goal and two assists. Scott Ratliff scored twice, both in the first quarter, and had six ground balls.
Ratliff scored the game’s first goal off a Ward assist after Dylan Grimm caused a turnover, and the Greyhounds cleared the ball to theiroffensive zone.
Loyola tallied another transition goal at 9:59 to play when Pat Laconi fired a pass to Lusby on the right side of the crease, and Lusby got his first of the game. Ratliff tallied his second 53 ticks of the clock later when he picked up a ground ball and went end-to-end to score and make Loyola’s lead 3-0.
Davis Butts then scored Loyola’s first settled goal of the game, dodging past a defender to score at 6:11.
The Golden Griffins, however, bounced back in the second quarter as they dominated possession and the scoring. Canisius won all fourfaceoffs in the frame, and Travis Gibbons scored at 13:01, and Jimmy Haney added a pair at 8:23 and 2:48 to close the gap to 4-3 at halftime.
Sawyer, however, scored 3:15 into the second half to begin the 13-0 run. Eric Lusby took a shot that was saved by Sean Callahan, but the ball bounced high in front of the crease, and Sawyer reached up for the ground ball and shot it past Callahan in one motion.
Just over four minutes later, he added his second of the game on a Nikko Pontrello assist, and Chris Layne caught a Lusby feed at 4:09, scoring to make Loyola’s lead 7-3.
Sawyer added his third on a Ward assist 20 seconds later, and Lusby scored when Pat Byrnes found him open on the right side at 1:05 to put Loyola ahead 9-3 at the end of the thir quarter.
Sawyer scored 80 ticks into the final frame when he played give-and-go with Sean O’Sullivan and scored from 10 yards out.
Ward then found himself scoring on an empty net at 12:31, and Lusby tallied his third of the game 40 seconds later. Sawyer scored with 11 minutes to play, making the lead 10, 13-3.
Butts tallied his second of the game at 9:07, and Will Fredericks scored on a Josh Hawkins assist to cap a transition run at 7:23.Tyler Foley then used a Fredericks feed to score his first career goal at 6:29.
Loyola used a 47-22 advantage in shots, and a 39-30 lead in ground balls. Canisius had a 15-12 lead in the category at the half, but the Greyhounds used a 10-8 advantage in the third and 17-7 in the fourth quarters.
In addition to Ratliff’s six, he also had three faceoff wins and two caused turnovers. He broke the Loyola season record for long-pole scoring, notching his 17th and 18th points of the year to top the 1995 mark of 16 points set by current Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan.
Josh Hawkins had a season-best seven ground balls, and he also caused two turnovers. Grimm and Laconi each had two caused turnovers, as well.