March 17, 2012
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland held the Air Force Academy scoreless for over 31 minutes, and the Greyhounds used a 10-0 run to down the Falcons, 15-8, on Saturday afternoon in ECAC Lacrosse League action at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Air Force (3-4 overall, 0-1 ECAC) took a 7-4 lead with 2:42 left in the first half when Tommy McKee fed a pass over the goal to Ryland De Pol who pushed a shot past Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel. The goal capped a 4-0 Air Force run over 6-plus minutes.
The goal was the last, however, Air Force would over the next 31 minutes, 17 seconds.
"We were a good team today for the last 30 minutes," Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "We did not execute the basics in the first half, but we regrouped and did a much better job in the second."
Coming out of the locker room, Loyola immediately made a dent in the Falcons' three-goal advantage. J.P. Dalton pushed out the face-off to Josh Hawkins, and Hawkins fed Scott Ratliff on the top right of the box. Ratliff got a pass to a crashing Dalton who finished with a goal just 16 seconds into the third quarter.
Loyola would take more time, over seven minutes, to score its next goal, but it would again come in an unsettled situation involving Hawkins and Ratliff.
Pat Laconi caused an Air Force turnover in the Falcons' offensive end, and Hawkins came away with the ground ball. He executed a one-man clear and found Ratliff. The long-stick midfielder dodged past an Air Force defender and put a low shot past Air Force's Austin Fox with 7:37 left in the third.
The Greyhounds nearly scored right off the next face-off, but Fox made a save on a hard Kevin Moriarity shot. Air Force cleared the ball, but a turnover gave the ball back to Loyola.
Justin Ward started from `X', curled around the left side of the goal, fended off a defender and scored with 6:20 on the clock to tie the game at 7-7.
Loyola pushed ahead for the first time since it led 4-3 with 9:44 to go in the second quarter with a three minutes before the end of the third stanza.
The Greyhounds would score two more goals, in succession, when midfielders started their run from midfield. Davis Butts, who had a career-high four assists, started at the midfield and slipped a pass to Eric Lusby on the right-side doorstep. Lusby scored 1:15 into the fourth quarter to make it 9-7.
Byrnes would use the hard dodge from midfield for Loyola's next goal, crashing down the middle, faking a pass, taking a step back and slinging his own shot past Fox.
Mike Sawyer scored his second goal of the game when he dodged and redodged, shooting from 10 yards on the left side to put the Greyhounds up four with 10:18 to play.
Byrnes then got his second assist of the game at 8:25 when he ran left-to-right, reversed a pass to Sean O'Sullivan who scored his second of the game from nine yards out.
Chris Layne scored his second at 6:40 when Lusby picked up a ground ball off a wide Greyhounds' shot, fed Layne who took three steps and scored. Sawyer then tacked on his game-high third goal on the Greyhounds' only extra-man opportunity, taking a Lusby pass and scoring with 5:10 to play.
Air Force finally broke the 10-0 run when Kyle Cassady scored off a Keith Dreyer assist with 1:25 left in the game.
Dalton was critical for the Greyhounds in the comeback, winning 18-of-26 face-offs, 10-of-13 in the second half. He also had five ground balls.
The Greyhounds are back in action with their only midweek game of the season, Wednesday, March 21, when they host Georgetown University at 7 p.m.