Feb. 23, 2008
Towson, Md. - Sophomore Cooper MacDonnell scored a career-high four goals, while senior Shane Koppens added two goals and three assists as Loyola defeated Towson, 13-8, at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win is Loyola's first of the season and 23rd in 50 all-time meetings with the Tigers.
"Our guys played awfully hard today," said Head Coach Charley Toomey. "They put in a lot of work this week and really deserved this win."
The Greyhounds got off to a running start with a pair of point-blank saves from freshman goalie Jake Hagelin and a pair of goals from MacDonnell. The first goal came off a deflection at 11:19, the second off a move from behind the cage to put Loyola up by two at 9:06.
Senior Shane Koppens extended that margin to 3-0 with a bullet into the upper right-hand corner of the goal. After Towson scored its first of the season, the Greyhounds came right back with Koppens making the extra pass in transition to freshman Matt Langan. That 4-1 lead, however, would dissipate before the end of the quarter with two more goals from Towson to close the first 15 minutes of play.
"The first five minutes we got great shots and canned them," said Koppens. "Overall, however, Tim McDermott controlled the face-off X, our defense made stops, out midfield rode hard and Jake [Hagelin] played great in goal - this was a total team effort."
When the Tigers took their first lead of the game (5-4) at 4:30 of the second quarter, Loyola responded to the deficit with three goals in less than 30 seconds.
"We knew this was going to be a game of runs," added Coach Toomey. "Towson is a good team, they are coached very well, and we knew they would make a run."
The `Hounds' run started with Collin Finnerty, who tied the game at 5-5. Senior Paul Richards gave Loyola the lead back only 18 seconds later - and after senior Tim McDermott's third straight win in the face-off X - senior Joe Landry scored to cap the 29-second spurt.
Loyola would also score the final goal before the half with an extra-man conversion. Freshman Chris Bassler scored the goal with 15 ticks on the first-half clock to give the Greyhounds an 8-5 advantage at intermission.
The `Hounds started the second half in similar fashion to the first as MacDonnell stole an outlet pass and rumbled his way to a goal. MacDonnell followed that up with a man-down goal at 9:58 of the third quarter, giving Loyola a 6-0 run and a 10-5 lead.
"Collin [Finnerty] and Shane [Koppens] did a good job on slides," said MacDonnell. "They set me up for essentially lay-up goals."
Towson closed the gap to three on two occasions in the fourth quarter, but the `Hounds' suffocating defense would not let the Tigers get any closer. Hagelin, making his second career start in goal, made 10 saves for the Greyhounds.
Loyola ended the game with 52 groundballs, won 15-of-24 face-offs, and held Towson scoreless on six man-up opportunities. The Greyhounds improve to 1-1 on the season and snap a three-game losing streak against the Tigers. Loyola opens ECAC play next Saturday when it hosts Penn State at 2 p.m.