DENVER – Loyola University Maryland remained one of two unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse, as the fourth-ranked Greyhounds scored five of the game’s last six goals to defeat No. 8/10 Denver University, 12-8, on Saturday night at Peter Barton Stadium.
With the win, the Greyhounds (11-0 overall, 5-0 ECAC) clinched at least a share of the ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season crown. The Greyhounds, by virtue of any possible tiebreakers, also clinched the No. 1 seed in the May 2-4 ECAC Championships that will be held at the same venue as tonight’s game in Denver.
The host Pioneers (7-4, 3-2) took their only lead of the game when Eric Adamson capped a three-goal Denver run with a tally at 8:24 in the third quarter, but the Greyhounds would come back strong.
Nikko Pontrello scored just his second goal of the season with 5:45 to go in the third, and Eric Lusby tallied his first of the game 1:01 later to put Loyola in front for good.
Justin Ward added a goal with three ticks left on the third-quarter clock before Lusby scored his second in the run with 7:15 left in regulation, giving the Greyhounds an 11-8 advantage.
Denver snapped a 21-minute, 30-second scoreless streak when Jeremy Noble pulled the Pioneers back within a pair, 11-9, with 1:54 remaining.
Mike Sawyer netted his third on the game on an extra-man opportunity with 21 seconds left, icing the game for the Greyhounds.
Nine different Loyola players scored in the game, led by Sawyer’s three and Lusby’s two.
Jeremy Law led the Pioneers with three goals, and Alex Demopoulos had two goals and an assist. Mark Matthews, who entered the gamewith a team-leading 30 goals – second in the ECAC behind Sawyer – was held without a goal for the first time this season.
Jack Runkel made eight saves in goal for the Loyola, which has held all of its 2012 opponents to fewer than 10 goals.
Loyola’s 11-0 start is its best since 1999 when the Greyhounds went 12-0 in the regular season.