Men's Lacrosse Rally Falls Short In Season Opener With No. 10 Notre Dame

Feb. 16, 2008

Box Score

Baltimore, Md. - Freshman goalie Jake Hagelin made 11 saves in his collegiate debut, but the solid day in the cage was spoiled by a late Notre Dame goal that lifted the tenth-ranked Fighting Irish over the Greyhounds, 7-6, on opening day at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. Loyola, which trailed by three at the half, rallied to tie the game in the third and could not get the equalizer in the game's final minutes.

"We played with a lot of heart in the second half," said Loyola Coach Charley Toomey. "I'm proud of the way our guys came back, but we still fell short and have to go back work for a big game at Towson next Saturday."

The Greyhounds came out with a lot of energy, and after forcing three turnovers in the game's first three minutes, could not capitalize on the scoreboard. Notre Dame, however, scored three times in the opening quarter to take a 3-0 lead.

Sophomore Collin Finnerty finally put Loyola on the board, taking a feed from senior Shane Koppens at 11:49 of the second quarter. The two sides each scored a pair in the second,and the halftime margin stood at 5-2.

"We had our opportunities in the first half, but didn't take good shots," said Koppens. "We can't expect to win with only two goals in the first half."

Loyola did, however, erase that deficit with goals from Matt Langan, Jake Willcox and Cooper MacDonnell in the third quarter. Hagelin and defense, meanwhile, kept the Irish off the scoreboard, setting up a hard-fought fourth quarter.

Notre Dame, who had seven different players score their seven goals, took the lead back with 8:55 left in regulation. The Greyhounds answered with a goal from Koppens at 6:51 and held possession with a chance to take the lead. Notre Dame's Alex Wharton, however, became the hero of the day, with his game-winner at 3:33.

Koppens ended the game with one goal and three assists. Willcox scored two and added an assist in the loss, while face-off specialist Tim McDermott won 8-of-17 against preseason All-America Taylor Clagett.

The Greyhounds, who fell to Notre Dame in the 2007 season opener, will now get ready for their annual battle against Charles Street foe Towson. Loyola will play at Towson next Saturday at 1 p.m. in a game televised by ABC-2 and ESPNU.