April 8, 2006
Baltimore, Md. - Junior Dan Bauers matched a career high with three goals as the Greyhounds raced out to an 8-1 lead on visiting Rutgers at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday afternoon. Senior Michael Fretwell made six of his nine saves in the second half, and with a 9-4 win, Loyola improves to 3-1 in the ECAC and 3-0 at home this season.
"We put together a great first half," says Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "Our young guys did a great job of taking care of the ball and we really looked sharp on offense."
Loyola entered the game with a 2-0 home record, but had not played at Geppi-Aikens field since March 7. Loyola's slow start on the road was definitely not the case at home as Bauers scored on the `Hounds' first shot - a transition goal that started with a save from Fretwell and ended with a nice pass from Ryan Rabidou.
Rutgers evened the game only 26 seconds later, but that would be all the scoring Fretwell or the Loyola defense would allow for the next 41 minutes of action. The Greyhounds jumped ahead on Cory Coffman's goal at 7:41 of the first quarter and proceeded to go on a 7-0 run to close the first half.
The Greyhounds, who were tied with Maryland for the nation's top man-up offense at the start of the day, got their first extra-man opportunity with a pushing call at the end of the first quarter. Junior Greg Leonard converted in the opening 15 seconds of the second quarter to give Loyola a 4-1 lead.
The `Hounds were able to control the second quarter with solid stick work, and more importantly, possession. Junior Andrew Spack, who won 10-of-12 face-offs against the Scarlet Knights, won all five of the game's second-quarter face-offs as the Greyhounds continued to extend their lead. After a goal from sophomore Paul Richards to push the lead to 6-1, Spack won the ensuing face-off and found Baures for his third goal of the day and Loyola's second goal in five seconds.
The `Hounds took an 8-1 lead into the break and held on with solid defensive play over the final 30 minutes. Loyola held Rutgers to 9-of-13 successful clears and only 1-for-5 in extra-man conversion. Matt Gaines scored all three Scarlet Knight goals in the second half, the last coming with a two-man advantage with 1:25 left in regulation.
"The rain let up in the second half and I felt like I saw the ball much better," says Fretwell. "The offense gave us a big lead to work with and it we did our part to get the win."
Junior Ryan Rabidou scored Loyola's only second-half goal while sophomore Paul Richards and a pair of freshmen in Tyler Gale and Jake Willcox scored goals in the win. For Willcox, the 6-6 rookie from Wayne, Pa, it was his first collegiate goal and came with 2:43 left in the first half.
The Greyhounds finished the day 1-for-2 in the extra man and have a .552 conversion percentage this season. The man-down defense lowered its conversion-against percentage to .286 while Fretwell lowered his goals-against average to 8.64 this season.
With the win, the `Hounds are 4-4 overall and one-half game back of Georgetown in the ECAC standings. Loyola will host the Hoyas next Saturday at 1 p.m.