April 9, 2016
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Pat Spencer scored two-straight goals to stop a 6-1 Lehigh University run and spark a 4-0 Loyola University Maryland rally that pushed the 13th-ranked Greyhounds past the Mountain Hawks, 11-10, for a Patriot League victory at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
The win clinched a Patriot League Championships bid for the Greyhounds (8-3 overall, 5-1 Patriot League).
Lehigh (6-5, 4-3) scored the second half's first three goals, taking a 9-7 lead when John Mehok slipped a pass to Billy Oppenheimer on the crease for a goal with the 30-second clock on at 5:55 in the third quarter.
Oppenheimer's goal was the final of a 6-1 Lehigh run that started midway through the second quarter and was spelled only with a Loyola goal at the halftime buzzer.
Spencer scored with 64 seconds left in the third when he dodged from behind, bounced off his defender and stepped back to clear space before shooting a left-handed to bounce one inside the nearside post, drawing Loyola within one heading into the final quarter.
Lehigh had a chance to go back up by two when it was whistled for a procedure call after a player ran on from the substitution box too quickly. Less than 30 seconds later, Loyola converted its possession into a goal, the third of the game by Spencer. He moved underneath his defender at goalline-extended, ducked to the crease and scored with 11:49 left in regulation.
Graham Savio won the ensuing faceoff for Loyola -- he was 15-of-24 with eight ground balls at the `X' -- but the Mountain Hawks caused a turnover, and took possession. An unforced turnover on a bad pass, however, gave the Greyhounds the ball back.
Romar Dennis worked left-to-right at the top of the box, and he found Jeff Chase on the top left side after Chase set a screen. Chase dropped his hands and shot a worm-burner past Lehigh goalkeeper Chris Kiernan, and his second goal of the game gave Loyola a 10-9 lead with 8:19 left.
A turnover in traffic by Lehigh's Matt Raposo, the Mountain Hawks' third in as many trips on offense, put the ball in the stick of Loyola's offense.
This time, Zach Herreweyers came from behind the goal on the left side, fought through a check and sent a low-to-high shot into the goal. His third goal of the game put Loyola on top by two, 11-9, with 4:49 remaining.
Lehigh, however, went on offense after a Loyola faceoff violation. Alex Eaton dodged down the middle and put a left-handed shot inside the near post with 3:35 on the fourth-quarter clock, bringing the Mountain Hawks within a goal.
Savio picked up the ground ball on the faceoff for Loyola, but he had it knocked away as he was in traffic. David Manning came up with the loose ball and ran a one-man clear for the Greyhounds.
A Chase shot was blocked, and Lehigh saved it from going out of bounds with a Craig Chick groundball. Chase, however, knocked it free from Chick on the ride, and Dennis came up with the loose ball to allow Loyola took over possession again with less than three minutes to play.
Herreweyers tried to get topside on the right with under two on the clock, but Kiernan saved his low shot at 1:43, and Lehigh cleared the ball, taking a timeout with 1:23 remaining in regulation.
Loyola cleared the ball with 37 seconds left, and Spencer carried for the Greyhounds. He was double-teamed near midfield, but flags flew, and Loyola went two-men up with 13 seconds left to run out the clock.
Stover made a career-high 14 saves for the Greyhounds, seven coming in the first quarter. The Mountain Hawks outshot Loyola, 35-28, but Savio's play on faceoffs proved important.
He led Loyola with eight ground balls, while Begley had a career-high five.
Herreweyers and Spencer each scored three goals and assisted on another. Herreweyers' goals were his first since he was injured on March 19 at the U.S. Naval Academy and missed the next two games.
He gave Loyola a 1-0 lead when he caught a Spencer cross-crease feed and scored 2:44 into the game. Spencer then tallied his first at 8:46 in the first when he dodged hard from `X' to get topside and drop in a shot.
Tristan Rai got Lehigh within one at 6:57, picking up the groundball on a rebounded shot, and Ray Mastroianni tied it with a tough-angle goal from the right side at 5:47.
Herrweyers, however, scored off a rebound himself at 5:08. Stover later made a clean save on an Eaton extra-man shot, sent an over-the-top outlet pass to Ryan Fournier who ran into the box and scored man-down at 2:36, pushing the Loyola lead, 4-2.
Reid Weber scored his first of four at 11:02 in the second for Lehigh, but Chase tallied one off a Jay Drapeau assist at 10:29. John Duffy then caught a Zack Sirico pass from behind to score at 8:12, extending the advantage to 6-3.
The Mountain Hawks, however, tallied three in a row, and Mastroianni's second tied the score at 6-6 with 16.7 ticks left before halftime. Savio won the ensuing faceoff for Loyola, and the Greyhounds called timeout.
Herreweyers tried to dodge to goal, but he was tied up and flipped an underhanded pass to Brian Sherlock who was charging to goal. Sherlock scored after the halftime buzzer, but the officials ruled the ball was out of his stick with time on the clock, giving the Greyhounds a 7-6 halftime advantage.
The Greyhounds continue Patriot League action with the first of two-straight home games when they host Boston University at 12 noon on Saturday, April 16.