BALTIMORE – College of the Holy Cross used a 7-1 run that spanned the second and third quarters to build a five-goal advantage that was enough to hold off Loyola Unviersity Maryland for a 13-12 Patriot League win Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Greyhounds (2-2 overall, 0-1 Patriot League) took a 6-5 lead with 7:23 to go in the first half when Zack Sirico fed Tyler Albrecht from behind the cage for a goal, but the Crusaders (2-0, 1-0) evened the score at 5:01 when Kevin Lux went one-on-one with a defender from behind and scored with the 30-second clock on.
Clay Haarmann gave Holy Cross a 7-6 lead 1:09 later when he picked up a ground ball on the crease and scored his third of four. The Crusaders took the lead into the locker room at halftime, and they scored the first two goals of the half on tallies by Lux and Terry McKenna.
Lux’s goal gave Holy Cross a 9-6 advantage with 8:14 left in the third, but at 5:33, Nikko Pontrello sent a pass to Zach Herreweyers who scored a goal to get the Greyhounds back within two.
Holy Cross, however, responded less than two minutes later as Lux came free on a dodge down the left alley and fed Sean Wilkinson on the crease to make it 10-7. Wilkinson added to the Crusaders’ lead with one-tenth of a second left in the third quarter, making Holy Cross’ lead, 11-7, entering the fourth quarter.
McKenna opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a sidearm shot 58 ticks into the final period, stretching the lead to five.
Loyola broke the run, however, at 11:33 as Tyler Albrecht scored off a Brian Begley assist in transition, and Sherlock took a Sirico cross-box pass to make the Holy Cross lead three, 12-9, with 6:47 left in regulation.
Holy Cross answered minutes later when Haarmann scored with 3:22 left to pad the Crusaders’ lead to four.
Sherlock took a Pontrello pass and ripped a hard overhand shot from deep at the top left with 2:35 left, and Albrecht face-dodged his way to open space to score at 1:36, making it a two-goal game.
Loyola won the ensuing faceoff as Graham Savio got the ball to Ryan Fournier, and Sherlock again scored on a Pontrello assist to pull the Greyhounds to within a score, 13-12, with 43.6 left on the clock.
Savio, who was 20-of-28 on faceoffs in the game, again won the restart to Fournier, and Loyola called a timeout with 15.2 seconds left on the clock.
Sirico picked up a ground ball at goal-line extended left and fed Pontrello on the top right, but his shot was saved by Holy Cross’ Michael Ortlieb as time expired, preserving the Crusaders’ win.
Loyola outshot Holy Cross, 46-29, and the Greyhounds picked up 36 ground balls to the Crusaders’ 27 thanks in large part to Savio’s performance at the `X.’
Haarmann led Holy Cross with four goals, while Lux and Wilkinson each scored three times and had an assist. McKenna added two goals and two assists for Holy Cross, and Ortlieb had 13 saves in net.
Pontrello tallied a game-high six points with two goals and a career-best four assists, while Albrecht was a point behind with a career-high four goals and one helper. Sherlock scored three times and assisted on one goal, and Herreweyers netted a pair of goals.
Savio paced all players with eight ground balls, and Fournier had seven. Pat Frazier picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.
The loss was Loyola’s first-ever in Patriot League play since joining the conference last year.
Loyola is back in action on Saturday, Feb. 28, when it hosts Lehigh University at 2 p.m.