March 28, 2009
BALTIMORE - Cooper MacDonnell scored his career-high fifth goal with 12:01 to play in the fourth quarter, giving No. 15 Loyola a 12-8 lead, but second-ranked Syracuse outscored the Greyhounds 6-1 the rest of the way to win a 14-13 non-conference thriller on Saturday afternoon.
Stephen Keogh tallied a career-high five goals for the Orange (7-1 overall), including two in a row following MacDonnell's goal. Dan Hardy then added one of his four scores, making it a 12-11 game with 6:36 to play.
Loyola would stretch its lead back to two on a Jimmy Daly goal. The midfielder wrapped around the crease and scored from the left side for Loyola (5-4), upping the lead to 13-11 with 4:21 remaining.
But Syracuse held the Greyhounds scoreless from that point forward and closed the game on a 3-0 spurt. Kenny Nims found the net to pull Syracuse within one, and Hardy scored scored on the next possession to knot the teams at 13 apiece with 3:21 remaining. Hardy then found the net off a Josh Amidon pass for the game-winner with 1:17 remaining, ending the Greyhounds hopes for an upset bid.
"I thought our kids played extremely hard and I'm very proud of our effort," said Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "We really got a lot from our attack and our midfielders and were able to match their effort across the board."
After finding themselves down 7-5 at halftime, the Greyhounds came out firing in the third, outscoring the Orange 6-1 in the frame. Eric Lusby commenced the scoring off a feed from Finnerty just 3:29 in.
Then, off a turnover by Syracuse goalkeeper John Galloway, Koppens scooped up the ball and found MacDonnell for the goal, tying the sides at 7-7. A Patrick Perritt putaway briefly stalled the momentum, but Loyola responded with five unanswered.
Goals by Jake Willcox and Koppens gave Loyola its first lead of the game at 9-8.
Loyola kept its foot on the pedal, scoring three more. MacDonnell scored an unassisted putaway, and then Koppens scored off Finnerty's career-high fourth assist of the day with only 5 ticks remaining in the third to give Loyola an 11-8 lead. Koppens finished with three goals on the day.
MacDonnell would then open up the fourth with a goal, his team-high 21st of the season. He has now scored in every game this season, and has added multi-goal games in every once since the season opener. Syracuse then made its 6-1 run.
The Orange opened up the scoring with a goal from Matt Abbott just 1:45 in. Koppens, who was held scoreless in the team's last outing against UMass for only the fourth time in his career, quickly ensured it wouldn't happen again.
He scored on an unassisted putaway, swooping from behind the cage to beat the goalie low. Loyola earned a penalty after the play but couldn't take advantage. Instead, Syracuse scored two straight from Keogh and Nimms to take a two-goal advantage.
Finnerty would score on an assist from Chris Balser with 3:18 remaining, and the Greyhounds trailed 3-2 going into the second period.
An extra-man goal by Keogh with 9:59 to play pushed the Orange lead back to two. But Loyola would respond with a putaway from MacDonnell with 6:21 to play. Just 15 seconds later, P.T. Ricci drove down the left alley off a won face-off to beat Galloway high to even the count, 4-4.
After a goal by Hardy with 3:12 to play, MacDonnell scored his second of the afternoon, again coming from an extra-pass by Finnerty to knot the score at 5 apiece. With 2:47 to play, Geogh scored and Chris Daniello found the net on the ensuing face-off to push the lead the Orange lead to 7-5 at halftime.
In a very evenly matched contest, Syracuse outshot Loyola 35-34 and won the groundballs, 41-35. Syracuse won 18-of-30 face-offs against Loyola's John Schiavone, who entered the contest 11th nationally in face-off percentage.
Alex Peaty earned his first start of the year in the cage and played all but the final 25 seconds of the game . He made 10 saves. Schiavone led Loyola with seven groundballs, while Ricci, currently third in the nation in individual groundballs, added five.
The loss concluded a four-game homestand for Loyola, which went 2-2 during the stretch. Two consecutive conference road games are next for the Greyhounds, starting with Rutgers on Saturday at 1 p.m.