`Hounds Edged Out By Towson In Season Opener

Feb. 26, 2005

Box Score

Baltimore, Md. - Junior goalie Michael Fretwell made 19 saves and had the Greyhounds in position to defeat No. 12 Towson at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday afternoon. Instead, two Tiger goals inside the final three minutes of action give Towson a come-from-behind 7-5 victory in the season opener for both teams.

"We had the ball and the lead,' says Loyola Head Coach Bill Dirrigl. "Towson is a good team and I give them a lot of credit, but we didn't help ourselves with careless turnovers. We have to take care of the ball and we didn't do that today."

Loyola finished 18-for-27 in clear attempts and won only 4-of-15 faceoffs. The Greyhounds, however, stayed aggressive and nearly overcame their turnovers with hard-nosed smash-mouth lacrosse.

Towson scored on its first shot of the game, an unassisted goal from Oliver Bacon 40 seconds into the contest. Sophomore Andrew Spack evened things up with an extra-man goal at 11:34, taking a feed from Dan Bauers and firing a shot past Towson goalie Reed Sothoron.

Spack gave the Greyhounds a 2-1 first-quarter lead with an unassisted goal at 5:52 of the period. The Tigers took control of the second quarter, winning all three faceoffs and scoring both second-quarter goals to take a 3-2 lead into the halftime lockeroom.

An extra-man goal from Towson in just over five minutes of action in the second half was the only third-quarter goal the Greyhounds would allow. After falling behind 4-2, Loyola stormed back with goals from Steven Hess and Cory Coffman to even the score at 4-4 heading into the fourth quarter.

A one-minute slashing penalty on Towson's Ted Turnblacer at 10:47 opened the door for senior co-captain Pat Shek, who knocked in Loyola's fifth goal of the game and second extra-man goal of the day to give the Greyhounds a 5-4 edge.

Up one man with a one-goal lead, the Greyhounds were looking to close the door on Towson when Bobby Griebe scored to the tie the game at 5-5 with eight minutes left in regulation. Fretwell made sure the momentum would not swing Towson's way, making spectacular save after spectacular save to keep the game tied down the stretch.

"I was in a zone," says Fretwell. "I had no idea what the score was or how much time was on the clock. I was focused on my job and felt like I was seeing the ball well."

With 2:42 left on the clock, Towson caught a break with a broken play in front of the cage. Steve Mull found Kyle Fiat, who squeezed his shot past Fretwell. The Tigers added an open-netter with 58 second on the clock to seal the victory."Michael Fretwell was awesome," says Mull. "He was stopping every good look we had. It was frustrating."

The Tigers finished with 41shots and a slight 39-34 edge in groundballs. Spack, who matched a career-high with two goals, also had three groundballs and three shots-on-goal. Matt Cassalia and Geoff Hunter each finished with a team-high five groundballs.

The road team has now won the last six meetings in this Charles Street rivalry. Towson improves to 1-0 on the year while Loyola begins 2005 with an 0-1 record.

"Losing hurts," says Loyola Head Coach Bill Dirrigl. "But it's a long season and now we turn our focus to Penn State."

The Nittany Lions will be Loyola's first conference opponent in this, its first year in the ECAC. The Greyhounds travel to Penn State next Saturday, March 5 for a 1 p.m. game.