March 13, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola got its shots and racked up the groundballs, but missed opportunities would haunt the Greyhounds as Duke spoiled the 2004 home opener with an 11-3 win over the Green and Grey. Both teams finished with 33 shots, but 18 saves from Duke goalie Aaron Fenton proved to be the difference on Saturday afternoon at Geppi-Aikens Field.
"This was a big game for us and we came out flat," says Loyola junior Matt Monfett. "We had some good looks but put it right on the goalie, while they got a few early goals and the momentum."
Duke scored the game's first two goals inside of five minutes in the first quarter. Junior Grant Halford answered when he cleared the ball and took it to the cage himself, scoring for the first time this season. The Blue Devils knocked in a goal with 48 ticks left on the first quarter clock and after one period, the score was 3-1.
"We practice holding onto the ball and I saw an opening so I took it all the way," says Halford in reference to Loyola's only first-quarter goal. "I don't really care about scoring goals though. All I care about is the outcome and losing hurts."
Duke scored its second extra-man goal of the day with a tally only 18 seconds into the second quarter. Freshman Andrew Spack scored three minutes later, cutting the Blue Devil lead in half. Two more Duke goals, including another extra-man score widened the margin to four goals before freshman Greg Leonard ripped a shot past Fenton to make the halftime score 6-3.
"I give Duke a lot of credit,' says Loyola Head Coach Bill Dirrigl. "They came out with a fire in the second half and we could not convert on our opportunities."
The Blue Devils scored four unanswered third-quarter goals and ended the game with five unanswered to improve their overall record to 3-1. Loyola, which took 14 second-quarter shots, finished with 11 second-half shots and finished 0-for-3 in extra-man situations.
"When you get down by a lot, everyone puts more pressure on himself," says Halford. "Duke took advantage today and we need to regroup and start thinking about next week and how we can play better."
The Greyhounds won 11-of-15 faceoffs and picked up 35 groundballs compared to 24 by Duke. Michael Fretwell, who started the game in goal, finished with four saves in 42:08. Dan Glazer had five saves to close the game.
Monfett, a transfer who played at Duke last season, ended the game with one assist and four shots-on-goal. Freshman Matt Cassalia, who was 5-of-6 from the faceoff circle, had a team-high five groundballs.
"This one really hurts," says Monfett. "It will be hard to forget about this, but we have Notre Dame next week and they're pretty good."
Loyola will play at home again next weekend, hosting Notre Dame at Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday, March 20. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.