Feb. 25, 2006
Towson, Md. - The Greyhounds erased a four-goal fourth quarter deficit behind the play of Jordan Rabidou and Michael Fretwell on Saturday afternoon at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Towson, however, scored the game winner with one minute to play to win the season opener for both teams, 11-10.
"We got tougher at the face-off x and got good shots in the second half," says Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "Our guys played tough and fought to the end."
Coach Toomey's squad quickly found itself trailing by one when Towson's Bobby Griebe scored 46 seconds into the game. The Greyhounds would settle and answer with an unassisted goal from junior Jordan Rabidou at 11:09 of the first quarter.
The Greyhound defense, which allowed the quick strike in the game's first minute, held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the quarter. Defense and unsettled nerves on both sides; however, would be the story of the first half.
While each goalie finished the half with seven saves, it was Towson's eight turnovers and Loyola's seven that kept the game low scoring in the first 30 minutes.
After Towson's go-ahead goal at 8:15 of the second quarter, Loyola came back with another goal from Rabidou, this time it was Ryan Rabidou, who was assisted by his twin brother Jordan with 42 seconds remaining in the half.
"When it happened [scoring off an assist from his brother] I didn't think anything of it," says Ryan Rabidou. "It was a backdoor play that we've been running since we were little kids in the back yard. It was natural."
Despite a shot-advantage and ball control for much of the first half, Loyola found itself trailing 3-2 at intermission when Towson closed the session with a goal and the momentum. Three quick strikes to start the second half, including two goals in the first 27 seconds of play, gave Towson a 6-2 lead.
Loyola showed its resiliency with back-to-back goals from junior attackmen Patrick Kennedy and Dan Bauers. Kennedy scored off a pass from junior Steven Hess, pulling back and firing a bullet from 10-yards out. Bauers bounced in Loyola's fourth goal of the game at 12:18 of the third quarter to cut the deficit to two goals.
Towson's Phil Grillo gave the Tigers a three-goal lead at 9:29 of the quarter, but in its first extra-man opportunity of the year, the Greyhounds converted with junior Andrew Spack feeding Bauers at 5:57. Towson scored off the ensuing face-off, but a second extra-man opportunity for the Greyhounds would yield similar results, this time it was Spack scoring off an assist from Bauers to cut the lead to 8-6.
"We never give up," says Spack. "It didn't matter that we only scored two goals in the first half, we kept fighting and in the second half, things just starting clicking."
The Tigers pushed their lead to four goals in the early stages of the fourth quarter, but once again, Loyola would not go away. Ryan Rabidou scored his second goal of the day at 12:52 and Kennedy added his second goal at 11:02 to pull within two and put pressure on the 11th-ranked Tigers.
Jordan Rabidou, who began taking (and winning) face-offs in the second half, kept giving Loyola the possession and Bauers turned up the heat and cranked a shot past sophomore goalie Matt Antol on the ensuing face-off and Loyola trailed by one.
Junior Greg Leonard, Loyola's leading scorer a year ago, evened the game at 10-10 with an unassisted tally at 9:56, setting up a fight to the finish.
Senior goalie Michael Fretwell, who made several big saves throughout the game, made a key save with 8:05 remaining in regulation, turning away Griebe's good look. Even more impressive was Fretwell's save at 3:01, when he stopped a point-blank shot from Grillo in front of the cage.
Unfortunately for the `Hounds, Grillo ended up with one more good look, this time punching in the game-winner with 1:02 left to play.
"We seem to come out flat and claw our way back into games in the second half and even fourth quarter," says Ryan Rabidou. "It happened in the fourth quarter today - I just wish we had another minute to play."
Bauers was Loyola's leading scorer with three goals and two assists while both Kennedy and Rabidou (Ryan) scored two goals to give the starting attack seven goals and 10 points. Fretwell ended the game with 12 saves while Jordan Rabidou scored one goal, added and assist and picked up a team-high nine groundballs to along with his great day in the face-off circle - where he won 15-of-17 draws.
Loyola will be in action next Saturday when it hosts No. 14 Penn State at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. That game, the first ECAC conference game of the season, is slated for a 1 p.m. start.