Loyola perhaps set to take over top spot after crushing Lafayette

March 22, 2014 | WNST Staff

Nine Score As Men’s Lacrosse Tops Lafayette, 21-4

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland’s starting attack of Justin Ward, Nikko Pontrello and Brian Schultz all scored four goals, and six other Greyhounds tallied at least one, as No. 2-ranked Loyola beat visiting Lafayette College, 21-4, in Patriot League action Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Ward finished with a team-high eight points, added four assists to bring his nation-leading total to 30 this season. Schultz’s four were a career-high.

Brian Sherlock added a career-high with three goals and two assists, and Romar Dennis matched his previous best with two tallies. Kevin Ryan and Matt Cunningham each scored goals, while Joe Fletcher and Mike Kutzer each had their first of their careers in transition.

Led by Ward’s four assists, 15 of the Greyhounds’ 21 goals were assisted on Saturday. Sherlock had two for the third time this season, and Tyler Albrecht distributed a career-best two. Ryan, Schultz, Dennis, Cunningham, Jordan Germershausen, Matt Sawyer and Graham Savio all had one.

Loyola (8-1 overall, 4-0 Patriot League) controlled possession in the game, winning 18-of-29 faceoffs and picking up 30 more ground balls than the Leopards, 52-22.

Savio won 13-of-19 restarts he took, and Blake Burkhard was successful on 5-of-8. Savio picked up a career-high 11 ground balls, while David Manning and Ryan Fournier each had career-bests with six and five, respectively.

Schultz and Sherlock combined to get the scoring started early for the Greyhounds less than three minutes into the game as Schultz rolled the crease and took a Sherlock pass to score. Ward tallied his first after Dennis dodged to the middle and passed to Ward for a 10-yard shot at 10:14.

Just over a minute later, Schultz scored his second, ripping a 15-yard shot off a Matt Sawyer goal. Lafayette got on the board at 8:03when Sonny Round dished out one of his two assists, finding Robert Orazietti crashing to the crease for a goal.

Schultz scored his third of the game, less than halfway through the first quarter, at 7:42 when he struck from nine-yards out off a Tyler Albrecht assist.

Fletcher, a two-time All-American defender, scored his first career goal 35 seconds later when Ward hit him with a pass in front of the crease, and Fletcher dumped it in for what would be the eventual game-winner.

Loyola led 6-2 by the end of the first quarter as Brendan Dunlap scored one of his two for the Leopards (1-6, 1-4) and Pontrello responded for the Greyhounds.

Pontrello quickly made it 7-2 in Loyola’s favor. Savio won the second quarter’s opening faceoff, picked up the ground ball and ran it into the box where he hit Pontrello on the crease for his second of the day.

Dennis and Sherlock scored their first of the afternoon at 14:16 and 13:12, and Loyola was up 9-2 with 13:12 left before halftime. Sherlock would score twice more in the quarter, and Pontrello and Ward each added goals, giving Loyola a 13-2 halftime advantage.

The lead went to 17-2 Loyola after Schultz and Pontrello scored, and Ward had back-to-back strikes. Brian Bock scored for Lafayette with 4:55 left in the third quarter, but Dennis, Cunningham and Kutzer responded with Greyhounds goals.

Dunlap scored his team-high second with 1.9 ticks left before the end of the frame, making it 20-4 Loyola at the end of the frame. Ryan had the only score of the fourth quarter at 9:15, providing the final 21-4 margin.

Loyola outshot the Leopards, 56-16. Jack Runkel played less than three full quarters and made five saves, allowing two goals for Loyola. Pat McEnerney stopped two shots, and Sam Beazell played the final seven minutes of scoreless lacrosse.

The Greyhounds continue Patriot League action on Saturday, March 29, with their first of two road games. Loyola will travel to Hamilton, N.Y., to face Colgate University at 12 noon.