April 10, 2004
Syracuse, N.Y. - Senior Stephen Brundage scored three goals and Michael Fretwell made a career-high 20 saves in goal, but Syracuse used a five-goal second-quarter to defeat Loyola 13-8 on Saturday afternoon. The Orangemen, ranked No. 3 in the nation, held off a furious third-quarter rally from the 20th-ranked Greyhounds in front of 6,399 at the Carrier Dome.
"We grew up today," says Loyola Head Coach Bill Dirrigl. "We came back in the second half, played really well and although we didn't get the win, I think we found a goalie."
Fretwell played the entire 60 minutes, making 16 second-half saves, and along with the Greyhound defense, held the nation's second-leading scorer, Michael Powell, to one goal on seven shots.
"I think this is the best overall game I've ever played," says Fretwell. "I was seeing the ball well and it just got easier with the more shots they took."
After Brian Nee beat Fretwell for an early goal, scoring at 12:43 of the first quarter to give the Orangemen a 1-0 lead. Junior Matt Monfett answered with an acrobatic goal, scoring a one-armed goal while diving past Syracuse goalie Jay Pfeifer at 8:28 of the first stanza.
The Greyhounds controlled the tempo with patient offense and solid defense and as the first-quarter closed, the score was knotted at 1-1. Syracuse's Brian Crockett, however, slipped past the Loyola defense with eight second remaining in the quarter and at the first intermission, the Orangemen led 2-1.
"I think we did a good job of being patient," says Brundage. "We had a good game plan and we stuck to it. I just wish the result was different."
Syracuse posted five second quarter goals and led 7-1 when Patrick Kennedy took a pass from Matt Monfett and connected on Loyola's first extra-man opportunity of the day. Kennedy's goal with 3:27 in the second quarter had the Greyhounds trailing 7-2 at halftime.
With freshmen Matt Cassalia and Andrew Spack winning faceoffs, the 'Hounds quickly regained the momentum in the second half. Brundage and Nino Othman scored back-to-back goals to make the score 7-4. Syracuse responded with a goal of its own, but Cassalia won the ensuing faceoff and found Brundage for the answer. Junior John Halip shot a laser past Pfeifer at 8:04 of the third quarter and after trailing 7-1 to start the game, the 'Hounds now trailed 8-6.
"We really didn't do anything different in the third quarter," says Cassalia, who finished the game winning 11-of-14 faceoffs. "Our wings played extremely well, boxing out and picking up groundballs. I guess you could say the team stepped it up."
Just like the first quarter ended, with eight second remaining in the third quarter, Loyola looking like it had a fast-break opportunity, lost its momentum when Syracuse capitalized on a turnover and scored to end the quarter with a 9-6 lead.
The Orangemen closed out the game scoring four goals in the fourth quarter, the last an empty net goal with 20 seconds remaining. Brundage led the team with three goals, Monfett had two goals and an assist. Cassalia picked up a team-high nine groundballs and despite his team-high 45 saves this season, Fretwell falls to 0-3 as a starting goalie.
Syracuse is now 7-1 overall and Loyola, 3-4 this season, hosts Georgetown at home next weekend. The Hoyas, ranked No. 7 in this week's national polls, come to Geppi-Aikens field for a 1 p.m. faceoff.
"It hurts to lose," says Brundage. "But we'll be ready for Georgetown next week. We have our backs to the wall and we'll be ready."