Loyola opens lacrosse season with convincing win over Virginia

February 09, 2019 | WNST Staff


BALTIMORE – Pat Spencer had five goals and two assists, Kevin Lindley scored five himself and Jacob Stover made 18 saves on Saturday as the fourth-ranked Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team opened its 2019 campaign with a 17-9 non-conference victory over No. 6 University of Virginia at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Loyola (1-0 overall) had five stretches in which it scored two or more goals in a row, but the Cavaliers (0-1) only managed back-to-back goals once.

Stover and the Greyhounds’ defense held Virginia to nine goals despite the Cavaliers taking 45 shots. Stover’s 18 saves were the second-most of his collegiate career and one off his high of 19 posted in the Greyhounds’ last game of 2018, a NCAA Quarterfinal game against Yale University.

In addition to the five goals each from Spencer and Lindley, Aidan Olmstead contributed two goals and two assists, Chase Scanlan scored twice in his collegiate debut, John Duffy and Peter Swindell each had a goal and an assist. Alex McGovern scored once, and P.J. Brown tallied an assist, as well.

Virginia got on the board first when it went on extra-man less than a minute into the contest. Dox Aitken scored off a Michael Kraus assist 48 ticks into the game, but the lead would not stay in the Cavaliers’ column for long.

Spencer drew a double-team at goal-line extended, slipped through and dumped a shot low to even the score at the 12:57 mark in the first quarter.

It was then Loyola’s turn to go man-up, and the Greyhounds took a lead they would not relinquish at 6:26 when Swindell skipped a pass to Duffy, and he hit a 15-yard shot. McGovern’s goal came 59 seconds later as he ran past a short-stick from ‘X’ and hit a lefty shot that made it 3-1.

Virginia converted again on extra-man when Matt Moore scored off another Kraus feed at 4:21, but Loyola would reel off two-straight goals in rapid succession.

Spencer tallied another unassisted goal, jumping toward the crease and hanging in the air to deliver a highlight-reel goal at 2:42; he then ran down the left alley and threw it across the crease to Lindley who spun free of a defender and scored 47 seconds later to make it a 5-2 game.

Virginia would get within two at the end of the first quarter, as a Aitken caught a pass from Kraus and released a shot before the horn went off to signal the end of the stanza. He found the net and trimmed Loyola’s lead to 5-3.

Lindley and Aitken traded goals at 13:01 and 11:16, respectively, in the second quarter before Scanlan’s first career goal off a Brown assist at 10:04 sparked a 4-0 Greyhounds’ run.

Olmstead used a sidearm rip off a Duffy feed to score on extra-man at 6:43, a goal that would make it 8-4 Loyola, a score that would hold until the second half.

Spencer opened the third quarter with two-straight goals, scoring unassisted at 13:43 and tallying his fourth of the day off an Olmstead feed exactly four minutes later.

That goal pushed the lead to 10-4, but Moore scored two in a row for the Cavaliers, his second with 4:36 left in the third pulling Virginia within four.

Olmstead stopped the mini run with his second of the day off a Spencer assist at 3:56, but Ryan Conrad made it a four-goal game again, 11-7, with a goal at 3:17.

Loyola responded with three-straight unassisted goals that spanned the third and fourth quarters to take a commanding 14-7 lead. Lindley had the first when he ran past a defender at GLE and scored his third of the day with 2:00 to go in the third quarter. Spencer then opened the fourth with a goal at 12:10, swimming past his man down the left alley to tally his fifth goal, tying his career-high in the process.

Scanlan capped the three unanswered goals when he blew past his defender at goal-line to score just 21 ticks after Spencer, making it a seven-goal game.

Kraus scored his lone goal of the day at 10:13, momentarily stopping Loyola’s run, but Olmstead found Swindell with a high-to-low pass, and Swindell one-timed the shot on the crease to score at 9:19. Lindley tallied his fourth with 8:01 to play when he came from behind and slung a low-to-high shot that found the net just underneath the cross bar.

Ian Laviano scored with 7:46 to go in regulation for Virginia, making it 16-9, but Lindley added his fifth and final goal with 4:25 on the clock, providing the final margin.

Loyola won the battle at the face-off ‘X’ as Bailey Savio went 15-of-28, and Loyola also had a 34-31 advantage in ground balls against a team that has led the nation in that statistical category for five of the last 10 years.

Cam Wyers made his collegiate debut and had six ground balls and a caused turnover while holding Kraus to one goal. Ryan McNulty tallied three ground balls and three caused turnovers.

The Greyhounds continue a stretch of games against highly-rated teams next weekend. They make the short trip to Johns Hopkins University where they will face the No. 7 Blue Jays in a 2 p.m. game on Saturday, February 16.