April 17, 2014
BALTIMORE - Brian Schultz scored a career-high six goals on just 10 shots, helping No. 1-ranked Loyola University Maryland defeat Bucknell University, 13-5, in the teams' final Patriot League regular-season game of the year.
Schultz, who had a previous best of four goals earlier this season against Lafayette College, recorded a hat trick in the game's first 25-plus minutes, helping Loyola take a 5-1 halftime lead.
He tallied another in the third, the final goal of a 7-0 Greyhounds run, and two in the fourth quarter.
The Loyola run, its 22nd of the season of 3-0 or better, started when slick passing led to a Matt Sawyer goal on the doorstep with 4:47 left in the first quarter. Brian Sherlock sent a high-to-low pass from the top to Schultz on the right side. Schultz didn't let the ball settle in his stick and immediate fed Sawyer on the crease for a goal that put Loyola up, 2-1.
Loyola's defense played as big of a role in the run as its offense, as Bucknell missed on 20-straight shots and was shutout for a period of 37 minutes, 17 seconds.
Jack Runkel made 14 saves in goal for the Greyhounds (12-1 overall, 8-0 Patriot League), and Loyola forced 18 Bucknell (7-7, 4-4) turnovers. The Greyhounds caused 13 of the turnovers, led by a career-high five by Pat Laconi. Schultz and Jason Crane each had two for Loyola. Joe Fletcher led all players in the game with seven ground balls.
Fletcher also held the player he was defending, Bucknell's David Dickson, without a point, snapping a streak of 41 games with at least one. It is the third time in four weeks that Fletcher has held an opponent without a point after he entered the game with a streak of 15 or more games (Colgate's Ryan Walsh, 42; Navy's T.J. Hanzsche, 15).
Schultz put Loyola on the board after more than seven minutes of scoreless lacrosse to start the game. Justin Ward, who had a goal and three assists, used a skip pass to find Schultz on the low right side, and Schultz finished with a nine-yard rip for a goal at 7:27.
Ryan Joseph, however, tied the game for Bucknell with a goal off Tom Black's assist at 65 seconds later, but Sawyer's goal at 4:47 would put Loyola in front for good.
Nikko Pontrello fed Schultz from behind as Schultz was cutting to the middle of the field, and Schultz scored his second with 9:45 left in the first, and after a transition run, Kyle Duffy shot a cross-box pass from high-to-low to Pontrello who quickly shot low to score at 8:06.
Schultz completed his hat trick off another Ward assist at 4:54, sending Loyola into the locker room ahead by four.
Pontrello and Ward scored unassisted at 13:11 and 5:57 in the third quarter, and Tyler Albrecht fed Schultz for a goal from the right side at 5:22 to push Loyola's lead to 8-1.
Peter Burke scored 55 seconds into the fourth quarter, snapping Bucknell's scoreless drought, but Loyola responded with two quick goals.
Ward saw Sherlock make a diagonal cut, threw him a pass, and Sherlock used a right-handed sidearm shot to score at 13:07. Schultz was then the recipient of a Kevin Ryan pass for his fifth of the night with 11:00 left in regulation.
Two-straight goals by the Bison's Sean Doyle, both unassisted tallies, pulled Bucknell within six with 7:56 left, but Schultz fired in his sixth at 7:28, rolling from behind and beating his defender to the crease.
Thomas Filbotte added a Bucknell goal at 3:34, but Laconi scored off Fletcher's first career assist, and Pontrello used another dodge from behind to tally the game's final goal.
Graham Savio had another efficient day at the faceoff `X' for Loyola, winning 13-of-20 and picking up five ground balls. Loyola also used a 39-31 advantage in ground balls to control the possession game.
In addition to Fletcher's game-high seven, Kyle Duffy had four ground balls, and Runkel, Crane and Fournier each had three.
The Greyhounds will have more than a week off to prepare for their next game, a Patriot League Championships semifinal on Friday, April 25. Loyola will host the Patriot League semifinals and championship game at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Greyhounds will play Bucknell, Colgate University or the U.S. Naval Academy in a 4:30 p.m. semifinal that will be aired live on CBS Sports Network. Tickets for the championship weekend are available at http://loyo.la/PLmlax14.