BALTIMORE - Ninth-ranked University of Virginia scored the second half's first four goals to take a 10-6 run, but No. 7 Loyola University Maryland rallied to make it a one-goal game twice in the fourth quarter, before the Cavaliers came away with a season-opening 13-12 win Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex in front of 3,387 fans.
Neither the Greyhounds, nor the Cavaliers led by more than one goal in the first half, and a Owen Van Arsdale goal off a tough angle on the low right side with 3:21 left in the second quarter, tying the score at 6-6.
Greg Coholan scored two goals 61 seconds apart to start the third, and Matt Emery and Ryan Lukacovic added goals at 9:52 and 6:32 to make it a four-goal Cavaliers' lead.
A Loyola timeout after Lukacovic's goal sparked two-straight goals for the Greyhounds by Zach Herreweyers.
His first, at 6:07, was a sidearm rip from the left side after Nikko Pontrello's feed from behind, and his second was an individual effort off the dodge that culminated with a one-handed shot to beat Virginia goalkeeper Matt Barrett at 5:13.
Zed Williams got one back for the Cavaliers, bouncing in a worm-burner from the left at 3:51, sending the game to the fourth quarter with Virginia up three, 11-8.
Brian Sherlock scored the final period's first with an overhanded finish off a left-alley dodge at 11:47, but Lukacovic scored his second at 7:06 to push Virginia back up three.
Romar Dennis, however, scored his second and third goals of the game, the first at 5:30 and the second an even minute later. His second pulled Loyola within a goal, but Williams came through with his third of the game for Virginia at 3:11 to pad the Cavaliers' lead, 13-11.
Loyola got back within a goal 67 ticks of the clocker later when Jordan Germershausen fed Herreweyers from behind, and Herreweyers scored his third of the game.
The Greyhounds won the ensuing faceoff - Graham Savio was 19-of-28 at the `X' with nine ground balls for Loyola - but after two shots going wide, a turnover gave the ball back to Virginia with 28.8 seconds left.
Loyola called a timeout to set up its ride, and the Greyhounds forced a turnover before giving the ball away themselves. The Greyhounds again forced a Virginia turnover, but they could not get a shot off before the final buzzer.
The Greyhounds had a 38-27 advantage in ground balls, but the Cavaliers took a 43-38 lead in shots. Both Barrett and Loyola's Pat McEnerney made nine saves between the pipes.
Dennis and Herreweyers each had three goals for the Greyhounds, while Tyler Albrecht and Ryan Fournier scored two a piece. Fournier, a long-stick midfielder, who had seven ground balls and scored the season's first goal seven seconds into the game off the opening faceoff, had two scores.
Pontrello and Sherlock each had a goal and two assists for Loyola, and Mike Kutzer added an assist.
Coholan led all scorers with four goals for Virginia, while Williams tallied three and two assists.
The Greyhounds return to action on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Ridley Athletic Complex where they will host Penn State University at 12 noon.