April 29, 2016
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Zack Sirico initiated from behind the cage and slipped a pass to Zach Herreweyers who hit a lefty look from inside six yards to give Loyola University Maryland a 7-6 double-overtime win in the Patriot League Semifinals at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
The second-seeded Greyhounds (11-3 overall) will play the No. 4-seed U.S. Military Academy in the championship game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. CBS Sports Network will televise the game.
Jacob Stover preserved the tie with two spectacular saves for Loyola, gaining possession for Loyola with less than 30 seconds to play in the overtime period.
On Bucknell's final possession, he made a leaping save on a Sean Doyle shot from the doorstep after a pass from Will Sands came from behind the goal. Stover wheeled to Doyle, jumped, and the ball caromed off Stover's helmet away from harm with just over one-minute, 20-seconds left on the second-overtime clock.
Thoams Flibotte then had a shot go wide for the Bison (10-5), but Bucknell backed up the play to retain possession. Flibotte came to the crease on a wing dodge and fired a low shot that Stover saved with 30 ticks on the clock.
Stover picked up the ground ball, and Loyola cleared to its offensive end for what would be the game-winning possession.
Sirico worked behind he goal, cutting to his right before reversing to Herreweyers' side. Sirico had a step on his defender, forcing the Bison marking Herreweyers to sink to goalline. Sirico got the pass to Herreweyers, and he finished his second goal of the night with 5.3 seconds remaining.
Herreweyers stepped into his low left-handed shot and beat Bucknell goalkeeper Christian Klipstein to the far post for the goal.
Loyola had a 43-31 advantage in shots, a 33-21 lead in groundballs, an 11-6 favor in faceoff wins and 11 saves to Bucknell's eight, but the Bison did not allow the Greyhounds to build a lead of more than two goals in the game.
The Greyhounds scored the game's opening two goals, the first coming in transition as Zac Davliakos picked up a groundball following a caused turnover by Mike Kutzer. Davliakos ran the one-man clear and scored 1:56 into the game for Loyola.
Loyola nearly took its 2-0 lead into the second quarter, but Sands got underneath his defender and scored on a diving shot with 8.7 ticks left in the opening frame. The Bison then tied the game 4:11 into the second when Sands scored again, this time unassisted with the 30-second timer on.
The next eight minutes saw the teams combine for six turnovers and seven off-cage shots before Spencer worked from goal-line extended on the left to beat his defender and score with 2:13 left in the first half. Both Teams had opportunities to score before the end of the half, but the Greyhounds nursed a 3-2 advantage at the break.
Loyola and Bucknell opened the third quarter with play much the same as the second, minus the flurry of turnovers. Stover made two saves for the Greyhounds, but Loyola could not convert possessions into goals until 6:12 remained in the quarter.
Herreweyers then caught a Spencer feed on the crease and beat Klipstein to put Loyola in front by two, 4-2. Bucknell got back within one at 2:20 when Doyle fed a cross-crease pass to Quinn Collison for a one-timer.
The Bison then opened scoring in the fourth quarter, tying the game 49 ticks into the stanza as Tommy O'Conner fed a cutting Sean O'Brien for a tally.
Loyola would not allow the Bison to take the lead, however, creating a turnover in traffic that enabled Jack Carrigan to pick up the ground ball. Loyola cleared and settled its offense. Brian Sherlock dodged hard from the middle, got to his left hand and converted a hard, high shot for a goal at 11:45 to put Loyola up one.
O'Brien had the answer for Bucknell, however, scoring on another cutter, this time with a Sands assist at 10:55.
It only took Loyola 23 seconds to get back up one as Ryan Fournier picked up one of his career-high groundballs on a Graham Savio faceoff win. He sent a pass to John Duffy who ran into the box and hit Sirico cutting from the low left side. Sirico caught, dove and scored at 10:32, and Loyola lead, 6-5.
The game saw another scoreless stretch of more than six minutes before the Bison scored the equalizer. O'Connor scored on a 15-yard stepdown following a Flibotte pass to tie the game at 6-6 with 4:34 to go in regulation.
Loyola got possession back right away with a Savio faceoff win -- he was 11-of-17 on the evening -- but a blocked shot turned into a Bucknell groundball and clear. Stover, however, came up with a save on a Flibotte shot at 2:06, and the Greyhounds regained possession.
Three Loyola shots went off cage before Klipstein made a save on a 12-yard Sherlock attempt, and Bucknell cleared, taking a timeout with 6.2 second on the clock. Kyle Shannahan had the ball in his stick out of the break. He ran behind the cage and got topside only to have his shot saved by Stover as regulation ran out.
Neither Loyola, nor Bucknell could get a shot on goal during the first overtime, but the Bison had the most dangerous chance of the period. Shannahan got underneath his defender only to have his stick checked by David Manning on a shot attempt with less than 30 seconds to go.
The Greyhounds took the first possession of the second overtime -- Savio won both extra-period faceoffs -- but Klipstein saved a Sirico look, and Bucknell cleared to get its final three shots on goal.
Stover finished with 11 saves and three ground ball pickups. Foster Huggins caused three turnovers for the Greyhounds, and five players had three or more groundballs for Loyola.
Fournier led all players with eight, and Spencer had four. Herreweweyers and Davliakos picked up three, matching Stover's total.
Wing play was also crucial for Loyola as it won 11-of-17 restarts. Jarett Witzal came into the game winning 61.7 percent of his faceoffs this year, but he was neutralized by Savio. Bucknell pole Alex Spring and Witzal also entered averaging 5.21 and 4.07 groundballs per game, respectively, but the Greyhounds held them each without a single pickup.
Loyola will face Army West Point, a team it beat, 12-6, one week prior, in the Patriot League title game on Sunday. The Black Knights defeated the top-seeded U.S. Naval Academy, 9-3, in the evening's first game.