March 4, 2006
Baltimore, Md. - Sophomore Paul Richards scored a career-high three goals, including the game-winner in the fourth-quarter as Loyola rallied from a 6-4 deficit to defeat No. 16 Penn State 9-6 at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday afternoon. The win marks Head Coach Charley Toomey's first career victory and gives the Greyhounds a 1-0 record in conference play.
"Our guys came to compete today," says Toomey. "They worked hard and never gave up - I'm proud of the way they played."
Playing its first home game of the season, Loyola jumped ahead 2-0 with goals from juniors Jordan Rabidou and Patrick Kennedy in the game's first three minutes of action. Penn State evened the game with a pair of first-quarter goals and took a 5-3 lead into the halftime lockeroom after a second quarter in which they won 3-of-4 face-offs.
The Greyhounds responded with pressure and precision in the second half, winning 6-of-8 face-offs and holding the Nittany Lions to only eight successful clears in 15 second-half attempts.
"We had a young group in there that put a lot of pressure on their big defensemen and middies," says Toomey. "Our plan was to force some turnovers in clearing situations. It worked better than I thought it would."
The `Hounds were able to convert those turnovers to points and cut the halftime deficit to 5-4 when junior Dan Bauers scored his fourth goal of the season at 9:46 of the third quarter. Penn State answered with a tally from Brian Boyle at 6:29, and this time, Loyola's response was quick and definite.
Jordan Rabidou, who won 15-of-17 face-offs in Loyola's season opener at Towson last Saturday, won the ensuing face-off and scored eight seconds after Boyle's goal to bring Loyola within one. Twin brother Ryan Rabidou tied the game at 6-6 with 10:31 to play, setting up another good finish.
It was Richards, who with 9:16 left in regulation, split two defenders with a fake and fired low to beat freshman goalie Drew Adams, who gave Loyola its first lead since his second quarter goal to put the `Hounds up 3-2. Kennedy added an insurance goal at 2:18 and Richards put the game away with his third goal of the game and third goal of the season at 1:49.
"I hate to say it, but we seem to play better when we're behind," says Richards. "Penn State has a good goalie and it took us a while to get to him."
Adams finished with 19 saves while senior Michael Fretwell had another solid day in goal for Loyola. Fretwell made 15 saves, including four in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Rabidou finished 9-of-14 in the face-off x and picked up six groundballs, matching junior captain Steven Hess for team honors in the category. Kennedy and Jordan Rabidou had two goals apiece for the second consecutive game.
Loyola is now 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the ECAC. The Greyhounds host Wagner this Tuesday at noon.