LOUISVILLE – Eric Lusby and Davis Butts each recorded career-highs in goals and points, and J.P. Dalton controlled the face-off ‘X’ as No. 11/14 Loyola University Maryland defeated host Bellarmine University, 11-8, on Saturday afternoon in the ECAC Lacrosse League opener for both teams.
Lusby finished with five goals and six points, all coming in the second half, and Butts scored four times.
Dalton finished the game 15-of-23 on restarts, going 7-of-8 in the third quarter when Loyola (3-0 overall, 1-0 ECAC) came back from a 4-2 halftime deficit to take a 7-6 lead.
Bellarmine (1-2, 0-1) scored the game’s first three goals and after Loyola scored twice to get within one, the Knights scored with three seconds left following a Greyhounds’ turnover before the half.
Dalton then won the second half’s first two face-offs, and Loyola took advantage. Butts used a Chris Layne pass to scored 2:19 into the third quarter, and Pat Byrnes tied the game at 4-4 with a goal 43 seconds later.
The game would not stay tied for long, however, as Bellarmine won the ensuing face-off, and Michael Ward put the Knights up 5-4 with 11:17 on the clock.
That was the only face-off Dalton would lose, however, in the third quarter. Lusby scored his first of three-straight at 4:03, and hethen gave Loyola its first lead of the game at 3:21 with another.
Each of his first two goals came off Justin Ward assists. Ward, who had five assists last week, finished with a game-high three helpers.
Ward then completed the hat trick in at the 2:28 mark when he hit the post with a shot, picked up the ground ball and beat Bellarmine goalkeeper Dillon Ward for his third goal in 1-minute, 35-seconds. The third goal in the stretch put Loyola on top, 7-5.
Bellarmine got back within a goal as Michael Ward scored with 58 ticks left in the frame, but Loyola scored four in a row to start the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach.
Lusby added his fourth of the game 1:16 into the stanza, and Butts scored off a Lusby assist with 10:51 to play. Lusby tallied his career-high fifth goal with 7:40, and Butts added his fourth with 5:41 to play.
Bellarmine added two man-up goals in the final six minutes, but the Greyhounds held off any further Knights advances late.
Jack Runkel came on in goal for the second half, relieving starter Michael Bonitatibus. Runkel made three saves and earned his first collegiate win between the pipes.
Lusby eclipsed his previous career-high of four goals set in the 2012 season-opener on February 18 against Delaware. Butts had just one goal in the Greyhound’s first two wins of the season, and his four goals today doubled his previous high of two.
Dalton logged a career-best in face-off wins with 15, one better than his previous high of 14 from the Delaware game. He also picked up a game- and career-high eight ground balls. He also scored a first-half goal.
Scott Ratliff and Dylan Grimm each had five ground balls, a career-best for Grimm. Lusby and Butts each had four ground balls, as well.
Loyola continues its road trip on Wednesday, March 7, when it takes on the University of Michigan in the Wolverines first-ever home game.