Sawyer, O'Sullivan Pace Men's Lax To Win Over Towson

Feb. 25, 2012

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BALTIMORE - Mike Sawyer and Sean O'Sullivan both scored four goals, and Justin Ward issued a career-high five assists, as the Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse defeated Towson University, 13-6, on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Sawyer and O'Sullivan became the first set of Loyola teammates to score four each since Patrick Fanshaw and Matt Langan completed the feat against Air Force on March 20, 2010. Ward is the first Loyola player since Shane Koppens on March 10, 2009, against Bryant, to have five or more assists.

The win was the fifth-straight for Loyola over the Tigers (1-2), and it gave the Greyhounds a 2-0 start to the year fro the third season in a row.

"This is a huge game on our schedule. We knew we had to win the war at the X and we knew that we had to be very disciplined and focused," Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "I was a little caught off guard myself by our speed of play offensively. I really felt that we really came with guns a blazing on the offensive end."

Led by face-off midfielder J.P. Dalton, the Greyhounds won all four first-quarter restarts and 9-of-11 in the first half. The advantage in possession helped Loyola lead 6-1 less than six minutes into the second quarter and 8-2 at the break.

O'Sullivan and Pat Byrnes scored at 9:42 and 8:12, respectively, to put Loyola in front before Towson's Sean Maguire got the Tigers on the board at 6:13.

One is as close as Towson would get, however, as Loyola led wire-to-wire.

Sawyer tallied a pair of goals, 34 seconds apart in the first four minutes of the second quarter, to start a 4-0 Loyola run.

Eric Lusby and Dalton then recorded goals, finishing the run that saw Loyola rattle the cage four times in 2 minutes, 32 seconds.

Thomas DeNapoli snapped the streak with a Towson goal at 8:17, but O'Sullivan tacked on two man-up goals 40 seconds apart to make it 8-2 Loyola with 6:03 to go in the half.

The Greyhounds did not let up in the second half, as Sawyer scored two in a row at 12:56 and 11:10, and O'Sullivan tallied his fourth at 9:38 to pad Loyola's cushion to 11-2. The 5-0 Loyola run is the third time this season the Greyhounds have scored four or more unanswered in just two games.

Byrnes and Phil Dobson added goals from the Greyhounds' second midfield unit later in the game, as well. Byrnes' two goals were a career-high, and Dobson's was his second in as many games.

Loyola outshot the Tigers, 49-22, and the Greyhounds controlled the possession game, picking up 32 ground balls to Towson's 23.

Dalton, who finished the game winning 13-of-18 face-offs, led the way with four ground balls, while Pat Laconi, Scott Ratliff, Davis Butts and Joe Fletcher each had three.

"We feel like we have a team that can move the ball very well this year," Toomey said. "We feel like we're pretty athletic in the midfield, and we certainly have a couple of new faces in the locker room who give us athleticism between the lines. We've always been a team that wants to run - I thought that we made some terrific looks today in sharing the ball - and we made the most of our opportunities."

Michael Bonitatibus made his second start in goal for Loyola and finished with three saves and four goals allowed in just under 54 minutes.

The Greyhounds head on the road for the first time this season for their first game away from Ridley. Loyola travels to Louisville, Ky., for a 7 p.m. game on Friday, March 2, at Bellarmine University.