March 29, 2008
Syracuse, N.Y. - Sophomore Cooper MacDonnell scored four goals as Loyola threatened, but fell short of No. 2 Syracuse on Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome. The Greyhounds, who led early, were succumb to a third-quarter Orange rally, and fell 13-8, in suffering their first road loss of the season.
The Greyhounds grabbed the early lead only minutes into the first quarter. Senior Shane Koppens started the play behind the cage and found freshman Chris Basler for this sixth goal of the season. The assist, which was Koppens 14th of the year, marked a personal milestone, giving him 50 career assists.
Loyola doubled that advantage before the end of the first quarter with MacDonnell's team-leading 13th goal of the season. More importantly, the defense held the Orange scoreless in the first quarter, giving the Greyhounds four consecutive quarters without allowing a goal.
Syracuse would end Loyola's impressive defensive stretch with a goal from Kenny Nims at 13:35 of the second quarter. The goal was the first allowed by the Greyhounds since the first quarter of their 15-1 win at UMass. In all, Loyola held opponents scoreless for a consecutive stretch of 67 minutes and 37 seconds.
The Orange would add to their second quarter total and took a 3-2 lead before MacDonnell answered with back-to-back tallies to take the lead back. The game-tying goal was an unassisted score off a Loyola face-off win, while the go-ahead goal was assisted by Koppens.
Syracuse evened the game at 4-4 midway through the second quarter, and took the lead back with Mike Leveille's second goal of the stanza. The goal, which marked the fourth lead change of the game, was the final score of the half, giving the Orange a 5-4 lead at the break.
The Greyhounds came right back at the start of the third quarter and tied the score at 5-5 off a goal from junior Jake Willcox. Unfortunately for Loyola, the Orange answered with an offensive outburst. Syracuse scored the next four goals to take a 9-5 lead.
Freshman Matt Langan stopped the Syracuse run and the Orange momentum with a strong move to the cage. He drove hard right and beat Syracuse keeper John Galloway between the legs to trim the margin to three. Another freshman, Stephen Murray, cut the deficit to two goals as the third-quarter clock wound down.
The Greyhounds wouldn't be able to close the gap in the final stanza, scoring one goal on three shot attempts. Freshman goalie Jake Hagelin, who despite giving up 13 goals in the loss, ended the game with 13 saves.
Loyola is now 4-4 overall and returns to ECAC play, where it is 3-0 this season. The Greyhounds will play their next two games at home, beginning next Saturday when they host Rutgers in a 1 p.m. contest.