Koppens Scores Hat Trick In 6-5 Win Over No. 11 UMass

March 26, 2005

Box Score

Baltimore, Md. - Freshman Shane Koppens scored three goals and junior goalie Michael Fretwell registered 16 saves as Loyola edged out No. 11 Massachusetts at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday afternoon. With the nail-biting 6-5 win, the Greyhounds extend their win streak to three games.

"We're finally playing as a team," says Loyola Head Coach Bill Dirrigl. "Michael [Fretwell] continued to play great in goal and Dan Gross was a senior leader out there on the defense. We needed a team effort today and that's exactly what we got."

The game was pretty even with each team winning seven face-offs and clears nearly identical (Loyola was successful on 15-of-17 clears). UMass had more shots, but Loyola had more groundballs (42-33) and was able to maintain its lead with another spectacular performance from Fretwell, who for the third time this season registered a double-digit save total.

The Minutemen scored first with an even-man goal from Jeff Zywicki and led 1-0 after one quarter of play. The Greyhounds answered with a huge second quarter from the starting attack, scoring three times to take a 3-1 halftime lead. Koppens scored first, evening the game with an unassisted tally at 9:50. Senior Matt Monfett followed with a goal at 5:40 and Patrick Kennedy powered home an extra-man goal at 3:30 to give the starting attack three consecutive scores.

The Greyhounds added their fourth unanswered goal when senior Crag Georgalas found Cory Coffman at 11:42 of the third quarter. Coffman found the twine for the second time this season and Loyola held a 4-1 lead. UMass, however, would not go away that easy and made it a game with three third-quarter goals, including a goal from Sean Morris with one second left on the third quarter clock.

Loyola's three-goal advantage dissipated and finally disappeared when Gene Tundo knotted the game at 5-5 with an unassisted goal to start the fourth quarter. The Greyhounds, who have now played five games decided by three goals or less, never panicked and went to the hot hand in Koppens.

"Jordan Rabidou gave me a great pick and Chris Einhorn threw me a perfect pass," says Koppens. "My teammates set me up perfectly and all I did was score the goal."

Einhorn, who set up the play, came from behind the cage and took two defenders with him. He found Koppens streaking down the crease for the game-winning goal inside the final four minutes of regulation.

Koppens registered his first-career hat trick while Monfett scored his team-high 10th goal this season. It was the Loyola defense, however that shined once again, allowing five goals, dropping Fretwell's goals-against average to 7.14.

UMass' Morris came into the game with 18 goals and was hounded all day by Dan Gross. Morris finished the game with one goal and only two attempts on the cage while Gross had five groundballs and four caused turnovers.

"We came in with a great game plan," says Gross. "My teammates helped me on slides and the defense really stepped it up in a critical ECAC game."

With the win, Loyola improves to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the ECAC. The Greyhounds also improve their all-time record against UMass to 9-0 as the 11th-ranked Minutemen fall to 5-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.

"We have to continue the momentum we have with this three-game win streak," says Gross. "We lost some close games early and have a chance to put ourselves back in the playoff hunt by winning the league. It's one game at a time though and Rutgers is next."

The Greyhounds travel to New Jersey to take on the Scarlet Knights next Saturday at 1 p.m.