Defense leads Loyola to 12-5 win over Colgate

April 01, 2017 | WNST Staff


BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse allowed just three even-strength goals by Colgate University on Saturday, and the Greyhounds caused 13 Raiders turnovers in a 12-5 Patriot League victory at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Pat Spencer matched his career-high with five goals and also had an assist, while Alex McGovern and Zack Sirico each tallied two goals to lead the Loyola (6-4 overall, 4-1 Patriot League) offense.

Jack Carrigan had a game-high three caused turnovers and a team-best five ground balls while holding his marking responsibility, Sam Cleveland, to just one assist. Ten other Greyhounds caused a turnover in the game, and Jacob Stover had 10 saves between the pipes for Loyola.

The Greyhounds pitched a shutout in the first quarter, going up 4-0 in the opening 15 minutes. Spencer was involved in three of Loyola’s four goals to start the game, including threading a pass through tight quarters to Alex McGovern for the opening salvo 5:05 into play.

Sirico then dodged his defender multiple times behind the goal and got free around the topside to tally a goal 65 seconds later. He played a key role in the Greyhounds’ third goal, picking up a ground ball out of a scramble near midfield and throwing a pass to Jared Mintzlaff who ran it into the box.

Mintzlaff then fed Spencer on the left, and the tallied his first goal of the game at 3:31, staking the Greyhounds to a 3-0 advantage. Just over two minutes later, Spencer was hung-up behind the crease by the Raiders, and he sped to the front on the left before slinging a hard, overhand shot for his second goal.

The Raiders (3-7, 1-4) got on the board for the first time 2:58 into the second quarter as Nicky Petkevich caught a Cleveland feed from behind to score, but it was their only goal of the first half.

Spencer scored two more unassisted goals at 9:17 and 7:49, dodging from behind both times to bury left-handed shots that put Loyola in front, 6-1. Jordan Germershausen then assisted on the next two Greyhounds goals, starting with a high-to-low rip by Mintzlaff from 12 yards at 6:50 in the second quarter. He then fed McGovern for his second goal of the day, a lefty low-to-low that made it 8-1 with 4:38 in the half.

Loyola got on the board first in the third quarter, extending its lead to 9-1 when Brian Sherlock dodgd past several defenders to score inside at 12:36, but Colgate came back to score 32 seconds later as Griffin Brown converted off a Peter Donato pass.

That was the start of a 3-0 Raiders run that was aided by a pair of extra-man goals 26 seconds apart. Colgate went two-men up when a push and cross-check were called on the Greyhounds, and Donato again fed Brown for a goal at 7:59. Anthony Abbadessa then scored from the left side at 7:33, cutting Loyola’s advantage to 9-4.

The score would remain the same for more than seven minutes and 30 seconds before Loyola had possession with under 10 seconds to go in the third quarter. Sirico backed up a shot that went wide, and he restarted quickly from behind, speed-dodging topside to tally a goal with 2.7 ticks left in the frame.

Loyola’s defense, particularly that in transition, keyed its offense in the fourth period. The Greyhounds rode back three caused turnovers in the stanza with Sirico starting the trend. He caused a turnover at midfield, picked up the ground ball and threw it to Zac Davliakos at the top of the box. Davliakos passed up a shot and fed Germershausen on the low, right side, and he tallied a goal with 13:26 left in regulation.

Brown’s third goal of the game, unassisted with 12:53 to play, made it a six-goal game, but Loyola’s defense did not yield another score. Sherlock then intercepted a clearing pass and fed Spencer for his fifth goal with 87 seconds left in the game to provide the final margin.

In addition to the strong defense, Loyola had a strong possession game, winning 12-of-19 faceoffs. Graham Savio went 11-of-18 at the ‘X.’ The Greyhounds also cleared the ball successfully 18-of-19 times while holding the Raiders to 13-of-18 in the clearing department.

Loyola had 31 ground balls to the Raiders’ 26, and the Greyhounds held a 41-36 margin in total shots. Davliakos and Sherlock each had four ground balls, while Sirico and Savio picked up two each.

The Greyhounds return to Ridley Athletic Complex for their final regular-season home game of the year on Saturday, April 8, when they host Lehigh University at 1 p.m.