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Offensive Balance, Faceoff Play Helps No. 5 Men's Lax Beat Crusaders

March 5, 2016

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WORCESTER, Mass. - Nine different Loyola University Maryland players scored goals, and Mike Orefice had a career-best day on faceoffs Saturday as the fifth-ranked Greyhounds posted a 10-9 victory on the road at College of the Holy Cross in Patriot League action.

Loyola (4-1 overall, 1-0 Patriot League) used a 4-0 run in the third and fourth quarters to expand a 5-4 halftime advantage to 9-4, but the Crusaders scored the game's final three goals and five of the final six to make it a one-goal margin.

Tyler Albrecht sored with 3:27 left in regulation, passing up a 12-yard shot to dodge and get free for one inside five, putting Loyola in front, 10-6. He was the only Loyola player to score more than once, but the Greyhounds had their most goal scorers in a game this season.

Holy Cross drew within three at 1:21 as Jon Vogel came off the right side and scored low. Orefice got the ball back for Loyola on a faceoff win, but a Crusaders' triple-team caused a turnover, and Holy Cross (0-5, 0-2) went back on offense.

Vogel tallied his second in less than 30 seconds, scoring with 42 ticks left in regulation off a Sean Wilkinson assist to make it 10-8 Greyhounds.

The Crusaders went a man-up after the goal following a Loyola slashing call, and while the Greyhounds won the clamp on the restart, Holy Cross came away with the ground ball. Matthew Fischetti fed a left-to-right pass to Marc Buermann, and he scored with 33.4 on the clock, pulling the Crusaders within one.

Holy Cross then won its first even-strength faceoff of the second half -- Orefice had won eight in a row before the Crusaders' tallied one with Loyola was man-down -- and they settled into on offensive possession with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

The Crusaders isolated Kevin Lux on the left side, and he looked to back down Jared Mintzlaff, but the Greyhounds' short-stick defensive midfielder held his ground and forced a Lux shot that went wide right. It bounced out of bounds with three-tenths of a second on the clock, and despite Holy Cross backing up the shot, Loyola ran out the clock for the win.

The game was one that featured varied play by quarters. Loyola held Holy Cross scoreless in the first and third quarters, but the Crusaders outscored the Greyhounds, 9-3 in the other two.

Nether Loyola, nor Holy Cross could score for nearly seven minutes to open the game, while Grant Limone made four saves for the Greyhounds in that stretch.

The Greyhounds got on the board when Romar Dennis nailed a 12-yard shot on extra-man off a Zack Sirico assist. That sparked four-straight Greyhounds goals, as Sirico was on the scoring end of a Zach Herreweyers feed 54 seconds later.

Brian Sherlock then wound up for a shot only to pass up the attempt to drop a pass on the low, left side to Pat Spencer for a goal with 2:38 left in the first. After David Manning caused a Holy Cross turnover, Ryan Fournier ran it into the box and hit Spencer on the left side. Spencer slid a pass to Herreweyers on the right side of the crease, and his goal gave Loyola a 4-0 cushion with 1:48 left on the first-quarter clock.

Connor Sofield scored the Crusaders' first goal of the game, using a Wilkinson assist to tally one 3:03 into the third, but the Greyhounds struck right back.

Brian Begley picked up the ground ball on the Loyola faceoff win and gave it up to Fournier.

Fournier appeared to have Herreweyers open on the right side, but the Crusaders slid to the Loyola attacker. Fourier used a swimming toe-drag to beat his oncoming defender and score at 16 ticks after Sofield's goal.

The Crusaders, however, tacked on three-straight goals, two on extra-man, to get within one on Buermann's second of four with 2:22 left in the half.

Orefice took control at the `X,' however in the second half, helping Loyola control possession. He won 14-of-21 overall and picked up nine ground balls. His numbers in faceoffs won and attempted, as well as ground balls all set career-highs.

Loyola took three shots in the first 90 seconds of the second half, two of which were saved by Holy Cross goalkeeper Michael Ortlieb, but Herreweyers then used a slick feed to find Albrecht alone on the crease for a goal at 13:03.

Herreweyers finished with a goal and a season-high two assists.

Jeff Chase then put a bouncer through the legs of Ortlieb at 5:01, and the Greyhounds led, 7-4. Jay Drapeau made it 8-4 Loyola at 2:28, catching a Pat Spencer pass with time-and-room to convert a stick-side high shot for a goal.

Loyola held possession for more than five minutes to start the fourth quarter, taking 10 shots before Spencer dished to Sherlock on a cut from the middle to score on the doorstep at 9:11.

Spencer's assist was his third in as many Loyola goals during the 4-0 run, and he finished with five points on a goal and a season-high tying four assists. All but two of the Greyhounds' goals -- Fournier's off a faceoff and Albrecht's alley dodge late in the fourth -- were assisted.

The Greyhounds won the ensuing faceoff and kept the ball until the Crusaders came away with a ground ball midway through the quarter.

Holy Cross, however, did not take its time in scoring as Vogel tallied his second of four at 7:03. Buermann then tallied one unassisted to make it 9-6 with 5:53 on the clock.

Thanks in large part to the play of Orefice, Loyola posted a 33-20 edge in ground balls for the Greyhounds. They picked up 19 in the second half to Holy Cross' eight.

In addition to Orefice's nine, Spencer had four, Sherlock had three and five players tallied two each.

Loyola steps out of conference play for its next game, an 11 a.m. nationally televised affair on Saturday, March 12, at Ridley Athletic Complex against fourth-ranked Duke University.