Pontrello scores late winner to lift #2 Loyola past Georgetown

March 19, 2014 | WNST Staff

Pontrello Scores Late To Push Men’s Lacrosse Past Hoyas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nikko Pontrello scored his third goal of the game with 51.4 seconds remaining in regulation, and David Manning had a caused turnover on the defensive end with less than seven seconds left to seal a 10-9 win for the No. 2 Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team at Georgetown University.

Pontrello tied the game with his second goal of the night with 7:55 left, and with a 30-second warning on, he dodged from behind the crease and rolled back toward the goal, sticking a low shot past Hoyas goalkeeper Jake Haley for the winner.

The Greyhounds (7-1 overall) overcame a night when Georgetown won 15-of-22 faceoffs and the Hoyas picked up four more ground balls, 30-26.

Georgetown (3-5) scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to take a 9-8 lead when Bo Stafford fed a cross-crease pass to Reilly O’Connor, and O’Connor scored with 11:19 left.

O’Connor’s goal game just eight seconds after Devon Lewis created the game’s sixth tie with his second of the night.

Georgetown had another possession after O’Connor’s goal, but Joe Fletcher caused a turnover on the defensive side for the Greyhounds. Haley, however, made a save on a Pat Laconi shot in transition to get the ball back for the Hoyas.

In settled offense, Georgetown’s Peter Conley had his shot blocked by a Loyola defender, and Ryan Fournier came up with the ground ball for the Greyhounds, starting a transition run. The ball was worked to Ward on the high left side, and he found Pontrello rolling from behind the cage. Pontrello danced along the crease and shot-faked Haley for the goal at 7:55 to tied the game at 9-9.

Loyola earned possession after Pontrello’s goal via a faceoff violation by the Hoyas, but Haley made a save on a Brian Sherlock shot. After a Georgetown turnover, he came up with another save – he finished with 11 – on Jeff Chase’s attempt, getting the Hoyas another opportunity regain the lead.

Laconi trail-checked Charles McCormick to give Loyola the ball back, but after a Greyhounds’ timeout, a turnover put Georgetown back on offense.

Stafford dodged free of his defender on the right side, but Jack Runkel was there to save his shot attempt at 2:19, preserving the tie for the Greyhounds and setting up the possession that led to Pontrello’s game-winner.

Runkel posted nine saves in the win for Loyola.

After Pontrello’s go-ahead go in the final minute, Tyler Knarr won his 15th faceoff of the night, picking up his 15th ground ball, and Georgetown called a timeout with 20 seconds left.

Stafford tried to speed-dodge from behind goal-line extended, but Manning checked the ball away, and Fletcher came up with the groundball to secure the win.

Georgetown opened up a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 58 seconds thanks to a pair of faceoff wins by Knarr. Lewis scored unassisted 52 seconds into the game, and Knarr won the restart and scored six seconds later.

Runkel made a save on the Hoyas’ third shot after they gained possession again, and Laconi finished a transition run with his fifth goal of the year.

Matt Sawyer then used a Tyler Albrecht pass to score from the right side at 9:06, tying the game at 2-2. The teams traded goals evenly over the next eight-plus minutes as Ward’s stick off a Kyle Duffy ground ball and assist at 14:11 in the second quarter tied the game at 4-4.

Albrecht then got free down the left side and scored at 12:07, giving the Greyhounds their first lead of the contest.

Peter Conley, however, scored back-to-back goals for the Hoyas, and Georgetown led 6-5 at halftime. Charles McCormick had the second half’s first goal at 11:30 to make Georgetown’s lead two, but Brian Schultz bookended a Pontrello goal, and Loyola used a 3-0 run to lead 8-7 at the end of the third quarter.

Ward finished the night with five points, scoring a goal and assisting on four others. Pontrello scored all three of his goals in the second half, and both of Schultz’s came in the third quarter.

Loyola reenters Patriot League play at home on Saturday, March 22, when the Greyhounds host Lafayette College at 1 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex. The game is the first of a doubleheader in which the Loyola women host Lehigh University at 4 p.m.