BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse took 41 shots, but only 18 were on goal and five found the net Friday night in a 7-5 loss to 18th-ranked U.S. Military Academy in the Patriot League Semifinals at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Black Knights (12-4 overall), meanwhile put 31 shots up in the first half, and while they had just 10 in the second half, four of those found the net in the low-scoring game.
Jacob Stover made 14 saves in goal for the Greyhounds (11-4), while A.J. Barretto had 13 for Army West Point.
Brendan Nichtern, who had a goal and two assists, scored the game’s first goal 7:36 into the first quarter to stake the Black Knights to a lead, but Loyola responded just under six minutes later as Aidan Olmstead fed Chase Scanlan on the left pipe for an extra-man goal at 1:48 that tied the game at 1-1.
It was the last time the game would be tied, however, for just 1:41 before Nate Jones converted a Nicholas Garofano assist with seven ticks left in the frame.
Sean O’Brien added a goal with 5:37 to play in the second quarter for Army West Point, and Loyola would not draw even again.
The Greyhounds did strike in transition just over a minute later as Jacob Stover made a clean save and sent a clearing pass to Alex Johnson over the top. Johnson ran the ball into the box, gave it up to Pat Spencer on the left side. Spencer quickly reversed it back to Johnson in front, and he fed Kevin Lindley on the right who dunked in a goal at 4:33 that would eventually send the teams into halftime with Loyola trailing, 3-2.
Army West Point tallied the third quarter’s only goal, a Miles Silva score at 7:28.
Loyola got back within one, 4-3, when Spencer found Scanlan for his second of the day at 11:52 in the fourth quarter, but the Black Knights came back with a Garofano unassisted score at 9:40 and an O’Brien extra-man goal at 7:13.
Olmstead grabbed a ground ball in front of the goal and scored at 3:48, making it a 6-4 Black Knights. Loyola came away with the ensuing faceoff and went on extra-man after an Army West Point slash, but a turnover put the ball back on the Black Knights’ side of the field.
Loyola rode the Black Knights, and O’Brien scored on an empty net to make it a three-goal goal. John Duffy converted on extra-man off a Scanlan feed, but it came with only 14 seconds left and the Greyhounds did not get the ball back.
Bailey Savio went 11 of 16 on faceoffs, and he tied Stover for game-high honors with five ground balls.
Loyola will learn its NCAA Championships fate on Sunday, May 5, during the NCAA Selection Show that will air at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.