April 5, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Senior Shane Koppens scored two goals and added three assist en route to a 15-3 Loyola win over Rutgers at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday afternoon. The Greyhounds, who led wire-to-wire, used balanced offense and smothering defense to improve to 4-0 in the ECAC conference this season.
"This is the first time we've been 4-0 in this league," said Head Coach Charley Toomey, whose Greyhounds finished 5-2 in the conference the past two seasons. "Our guys worked hard for this win and put themselves in good position with three conference games left."
Loyola jumped out front early on the Scarlet Knights with freshman Matt Langan scoring two first-quarter goals. Freshman Stephen Murray scored the other first-quarter tally as the Greyhounds led 3-0 after 15 minutes of play.
Seniors Shane Koppens and Paul Richards connected for the Greyhounds fourth goal, while the team's leading scorer, sophomore Cooper MacDonnell, scored the fifth to help Loyola build a 5-1 advantage. Rutgers' Tad Stanwick stopped Loyola's momentum with a goal at 6:50 of the second quarter, but that momentum was quickly regained by the Greyhounds.
Only eight seconds after Stanwick's goal, Collin Finnerty found Langan for his third goal of the day. Langan's score sparked a 5-0 Loyola run capped by Koppens' unassisted tally in the third quarter.
"We owed this game to Rutgers after last year," said Koppens in reference to Loyola's loss at Rutgers last season. The Scarlet Knights upset the Greyhounds that day, snapping Loyola's five-game win streak that moved the Greyhounds up to No. 8 in the national polls.
Loyola ensured there would be no repeat performance in 2008 with a complete effort that included nine saves and two shutout quarters from freshman goalie Jake Hagelin.
"We were ready to go from the first whistle," said Hagelin. "The team is really playing well together and it feels awesome. I think we're a confident group right now."
The defense should be a confident group in ECAC play. The Greyhounds are allowing an average of four goals per league game this season, giving up seven combined goals at home and only four total goals in their last two conference games.
"We have a big game next Saturday," added Koppens. "And it's at home."
The Greyhounds host Georgetown in a battle for first place next Saturday at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The Hoyas are the only other unbeaten team in ECAC play this season after today's 10-8 win at Fairfield.