BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland scored the first six goals of the second half, and the sixth-ranked Greyhounds went on to a 13-8 victory over visiting Boston University in the Patriot League Semifinals at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Greyhounds, who are the top seed in the Patriot League Championships, will face the winner of Lehigh University and the 14th-ranked U.S. Naval Academy on Sunday, April 29, at 12 noon.
Boston University (8-8 overall), which knocked off 10th-ranked Bucknell University in Tuesday’s quarterfinal round, scored the last two goals of the first half to lead 7-6 at the break. Brian Badgett threaded a pass through a tight window to Chase Levesque, and Levesque converted a shot for a goal just 4.3 seconds before halftime for the Terriers.
The Terriers had two possessions in the first three minutes of the third quarter, but Loyola (11-3) got the ball back after backing up a missed Boston University shot. Loyola ran a long, settled possession, and Aidan Olmstead took the ball behind the crease while being defended by Badgett, a short-stick defensive midfielder.
Olmstead ran by him before hitting a hard overhand shot as soon as he passed goal-line extended, tucking the ball just under the crossbar to tie the game at 7-7 with 11:08 to go in the third. That goal opened a 6-0 run that would see Loyola hold Boston University scoreless for more than 22 minutes.
The Terriers nearly regained the lead when Brendan Homire was one-on-one with Loyola goalkeeper Jacob Stover on the crease. Stover, however, stoned Homire’s shot, and he sent a quick outlet pass over the top of the Terriers to Ryan McNulty.
McNulty carried up the field and bounced in a 12-yard shot to give Loyola an 8-7 lead with 8:19 left; the Greyhounds would not relinquish the advantage for the rest of the game.
Less than two minutes after McNulty’s goal, the Greyhounds went two-men down after a pair of holding penalties. Loyola held the Terriers to two outside shots, one that was high and another that was blocked. Zac Davliakos picked up the loose ball, and Loyola killed off the penalty.
Pat Spencer then made it 9-7 Greyhounds with 2:25 to play in the third quarter. He used a long dodge on the left side to gain space and hit a shot from eight yards out.
Earlier in the game, Spencer became the Patriot League’s all-time leader in points, passing the mark of Bucknell’s Chris Cara (249, 2002-05). He finished with two goals and three assists on Friday. With two more assists, Spencer will tie Gary Hanely’s school record with 160 career assists.
He was involved in the Greyhounds’ next goal, a Kevin Lindley tally just before the expiration of the third quarter. Stover started the play with a clean save on a Chris Gray shot, and he threw over-the-top to Davliakos. He carried it into the box and sent a pass to Spencer on the left side, and Spencer immediately threw to Lindley on the right side of the box, converting the goal with 4.2 ticks on the clock.
Lindley scored again 4:47 into the fourth quarter, picking up a ground ball after a Davliakos shot was blocked and scoring from a tight angle on the left side to extend the lead to four.
Stover finished the game with nine saves, six coming in the second half. Jay Drapeau, who had two goals and two assists for Loyola, added the final goal of the 6-0 run with 7:38 left in the quarter. John Duffy skipped a pass to Drapeau at the top of the box, and he stepped into a 12-yard sidearm shot for a goal.
Boston University quickly pulled back with four, 12-8, when Jack Wilson scored 17 seconds later, snapping a stretch of 22-minutes, 43-seconds in which the Terriers did not score. That goal, however, would be their last of the game.
Lindley added his game-high fifth of the day with 5:36 on the clock off a Spencer assist to provide the final 13-8 margin.
Boston University jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first three minutes as Gray and James Burr scored early goals. Loyola’s defense tightened, and neither team scored for almost 10 minutes.
Peter Swindell put Loyola on the board with 2:58 to go in the quarter, catching a Spencer feed from `X’ and stepping down with a 15-yard shot.
The Terriers, however, extended their lead back to two just 41 seconds into the second quarter as Burr scored his second of the day.
Loyola responded with two goals in the span of 46 seconds, the first on an unassisted tally by Spencer. That goal was his 250th career point to eclipse Cara’s mark. Drapeau tallied an unassisted goal at 12:52 that brought the game even for the first time at 3-3.
Burr scored again under a minute later, but Drapeau picked up the ground ball off the faceoff win, ran into the box and fed Lindley on the right side for a goal eight seconds after Burr’s tally.
Lindley then tallied his second of five with 7:40 to go in the second quarter, picking up a groundball off a mishandled Olmstead feed and scoring from just off the crease to give Loyola its first lead of the game, 5-4.
Burr responded with his fourth goal of the first half at 6:14, knotting the score again. Duffy used a Drapeau feed at 4:56 to put Loyola back in front, but the lead was brief. Jack Wilson tied the game off a Hayden Ruiz feed from the top of the box at 3:40, and Levesque’s goal just before the break gave Boston University the halftime advantage.
Loyola forced 14 Terriers turnovers in the game, and the Greyhounds were even with Boston University, 36-36, in ground balls despite the Terriers 18-of-25 lead in faceoffs.