BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse had storng performances in all areas of Saturday’s game, and the Greyhounds honored their 12 seniors with a 14-5 Patriot League victory over visiting Lehigh University at Ridley Athletic Complex.
With the win, Loyola (7-4 overall, 5-1 Patriot League) clinched a berth in the six-team conference championships.
Brian Sherlock scored a career-high five goals, while Pat Spencer had a goal and six assists to lead the Loyola offense, while Graham Savio went 14-of-17 on faceoffs with seven ground balls to cement a possession advantage for the Greyhounds.
Jack Carrigan caused four turnovers and had four ground balls while shutting out his one-on-one matchup Andrew Pettit. Lehigh’s leading scorer with 26 goals and 34 points entering the game, Petitt was held scoreless by Carrigan and the Loyola defensive unit. He had been the only player in NCAA Division I to score two or more goals in every game this season prior to this afternoon.
As a whole, Lehigh’s starters combined for just three goals and two assists. Jacob Stover made six saves and allowed just three goals for the Greyhounds, while Sam Beazell also stopped two shots.
Loyola had a 38-16 lead in ground balls against a team that entered 11th in the NCAA with an average of 32.67 per contest. The Greyhounds also posted a 45-19 advantage in shots, and they were credited with 11 caused turnovers on 14 Mountain Hawks’ miscues.
Zack Sirico tallied the game’s first goal 2:41 into the action as John Duffy hit him with a high-to-low pass at the backside pipe for an extra-man tally, but Lehigh responded with two-straight scores. Ian Strain converted a Matt Raposo feed for a goal at 10:44, and Tristan Rai scored unassisted at 9:21 to stake the Mountain Hawks to a 2-1 advantage.
They held the lead for more than four minutes until Alex McGovern scored to culminate a Loyola transition run. Carrigan caused a Lehigh turnover, and Foster Huggins grabbed the ground ball for the Greyhounds. He fed Jared Mintzlaff who cleared the ball into the ball and shot a pass to Jay Drapeau on the high right side. Drapeau then dumped a pass to McGovern on the low right wing for a goal at 5:18, knotting the score at 2-2.
That goal kicked off a 10-0 run by Loyola as the Greyhounds held Lehigh scoreless for the final 9:21 of the first quarter and all of the second and third periods. The Mountain Hawks did not score again until Mickey Fitzpatrick broke through with a tally at 13:07 in the fourth quarter, ending a 41-minute, 24-second scoreless stretch.
Loyola did not score, however, for the remainder of the first quarter and the teams were deadlocked to start the second. Sherlock, however, converted a Spencer feed from behind 48 ticks in, and Loyola was in front for good.
Drapeau added a goal at 11:26 after coming up with a tough ground ball in a scrum, running behind the crease to dump in a goal from the left post. Sherlock then scored two in a row, the first from Romar Dennis and the second from Spencer that gave Loyola a 6-2 advantage with 24 seconds left in the half.
Savio then won the ensuing faceoff going forward, raced into the box and buried a high-to-high shot only three seconds later. His goal tied the NCAA Division I record for the fastest consecutive goals. Sherlock and Savio’s goals matched the previous record set by Martin Cahill and Curtis Dickson of the University of Delaware (Feb. 7, 2009 vs. Saint Joseph’s University) and Brown University’s Kylor Bellistri and Will Gural (April 16, 2016 vs. Yale University).
It broke the Loyola record of five seconds between goals by Stephen Murray and Collin Finnerty (April 25, 2009 vs. Hobart College) and the Patriot League mark of five set by the U.S. Naval Academy’s Victor Barger and William Wallace (March 10, 2007 vs. Lehigh).
Savio’s tally sent he teams to the locker room with Loyola up 7-2, and the Greyhounds scored the third quarter’s only four goals. McGovern tallied his second after a Spencer skip pass at 13:42, and Spencer then grabbed a ground ball to score with 8:20 on the clock after a Mintzlaff shot went off the post.
Dennis used a swim move to dodge his defender and score unassisted down the right alley at 7:17, and Sherlock added his fourth of the day on a 12-yard high-to-low off a Spencer skip pass with 40.6 seconds left in the third.
Fitzpatrick’s score 1:53 into the game broke the Loyola run, but Sherlock scored his fifth on extra-man from Spencer at 11:20, and Spencer then fed Duffy for a goal with the 30-second timer on at 7:40, stretching the lead to 10, 13-3.
Strain and Anthony Ramaizel scored unassisted goals at 6:56 and 39.9 in the fourth quarter, but Mike Orefice recorded his first career goal for the Greyhounds with 21.5 left on the clock off a Matt Higgins feed.
The game was Loyola’s final at Ridley during the regular-season. The Greyhounds head to Boston University on Saturday, April 15, for a 12 noon game.