Great Danes Deal Men’s Lacrosse 13-6 Defeat In NCAA First Round
BALTIMORE – The University at Albany jumped out to a 5-1 lead midway through the second quarter, and top-ranked and third-seeded Loyola University Maryland could not climb back to closer than two, and the Great Danes snapped the Greyhounds’ 15-game winning streak with a 13-6 victory to advance to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals on Saturday.
Albany’s Lyle Thompson became the NCAA’s all-time leader in single-season points, passing UMBC’s Steve Marohl with a goal 13:55 into the game. He finished with three goals and five assists, while his brother, Miles, tallied five goals and two assists.
After Lyle Thompson scored on the game’s first possession, Loyola had a good look at the cage, but Justin Ward hit the post at 10:55. The Great Danes came up with the ground ball, and the teams traded turnovers before Miles Thompson score dhis 75th goal of the year at 8:31.
Less than a minute after that, Loyola’s Romar Dennis hit the crossbar twice with hard shots, but Pat Laconi broke through with a transition goal for the Greyhounds at 2:49.
Loyola (15-2 overall) got the ball back on the restart, but the Greyhounds committed one of their 16 turnovers and Jon Newhouse tallied a transition goal for the Great Danes (12-5) to make it 3-1.
Miles Thompson scored twice more off Lyle Thompson assists at 12:14 and 6:51 in the second quarter before Dennis dodges at the top left, switch hands and stuck a high shot for a goal at 6:25.
The Greyhounds got the ensuing faceoff, and Nikko Pontrello took the ball behind, rolled the crease and scored low to pull Loyola within a pair, 5-3, 13 ticks after Dennis’ goal.
That was, however, as close as Loyola would get for the remainder of the game as Miles Thompson scored at 2:30, and Lyle Thompson added one with just over seven seconds left in the first half to put Albany up 7-3 at the break.
The Great Danes scored the first two goals of the second half to lead 9-3 before Laconi scored his second of the game, matching his career-high.
Ward tallied the first of his two goals with barely two seconds left in the third quarter, cutting the Albany lead to four entering the final period.
Three-straight goal from the Great Danes, however, sealed their first-round win. They had two 3-0 runs and a 4-0 stretch in the game marking the first time since February that a team has posted three-straight or better on the Greyhounds more than once in a game.
Loyola won the ground-ball battle, 39-35, on the strength of Graham Savio’s 15 faceoff wins and eight ground balls, but its 16 turnovers led to eight of Albany’s 13 goals.
The Great Danes will meet the winner of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard University in next Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Loyola’s season finished with a 15-2 record. The Greyhounds had won 15-straight games since falling in overtime on February 6 to the University of Virginia in the season-opener.