ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Mike Sawyer had career-high seven points, scoring five goals along with two assists as the Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team took down future ECAC foe Michigan, 15-8, on Wednesday night at Oosterbaan Field House in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sawyer helped the Greyhounds (4-0, 1-0 ECAC) become the first Loyola team since 2001 to score 10 or more goals in four-straight games, while also giving the team its first 4-0 start since 2002.
Davis Butts and Eric Lusby each added for points, with two goals and two assists apiece. Sean O’Sullivan also had a pair of goals, while Patrick Fanshaw, J.P. Dalton and Pat Byrnes each found the net once. Chris Layne helped out with two assists.
Loyola outshot the Wolverines (1-5) 42-20 while going 4-for-4 on man-up opportunities. Jack Runkel got the win between the pipes, recording five saves in his first career start.
Dalton once again was effective in the faceoff ‘X’, going 15-of-23. He also had a team-best seven ground balls, helping Loyola to a 41-29 advantage in the category.
The Greyhounds used a strong first half to take control of the game, scoring eight-straight goals at one point to claim an, 8-2, halftime lead.
The Greyhounds got off to their fastest start of the season, scoring five times in the first quarter to take a 5-1 lead. The five goals were more than Loyola had scored in the first quarter of its first three games combined (two).
After the Wolverines, who were hosting their first-ever home lacrosse game, struck first less than two minutes into the contest, Loyola’s Justin Ward started the eight-goal run for the Greyhounds, finding the back of the net at the 11:30 mark of the first quarter.
Sawyer quickly put the Greyhounds on top, tallying less than a minute later to give Loyola a 2-1 lead. That would be as close as Michigan would be for the remainder of the game.
After O’Sullivan made it 3-1, Butts capitalized on a man-up opportunity with 4:20 left in the first on an assist by Fanshaw. Sawyer rounded out the first quarter scoring with his second goal, this time on an assist by Butts with 25 second left.
Sawyer wasted no time recording his hat trick, beating Wolverine keeper Emil Weiss for the third time less than two minutes into the second quarter that made it 6-1 Greyhounds.
Dalton and Sawyer scored the next two before Michigan’s Alex Vasileff ended Loyola’s run with a goal at the 5:00-minute mark of the second quarter.
Loyola got off to a fast start in the second half as well, with Lusby and Sawyer each firing in goals less than two minutes in, giving the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game at 10-2.
The Wolverines fought back by scoring four of the next five, with Willie Steenland scoring his second of the game with 14:06 left in the fourth quarter to cut Loyola’s lead to 11-6.
But O’Sullivan and Byrnes responded with back-to-back goals a minute apart to put the Loyola lead back at seven (13-6) with 11:37 left in the contest.
Butts and Fanshaw rounded out the scoring in the game and gave Loyola its third, 13-plus goal effort of the season.
Loyola returns home to Ridley Athletic Complex for the first of three-straight home games when they host No. 11/9 Duke University on March 10, at noon. The contest is part of a doubleheader that features the women’s team facing UMBC at 3:30 p.m.