May 13, 2007
Albany, N.Y. - The Loyola men's lacrosse team could not afford to play catch-up against Albany's high-powered offense in Sunday's NCAA First-Round match-up in Upstate New York. Unfortunately for the Greyhounds, that's exactly what happened, and a 19-10 defeat at the hands of the fifth-seeded Great Danes officially brought the 2007 season to a close.
Albany jumped ahead early with two goals in the game's first three minutes. Junior Shane Koppens appeared to answer and cut that deficit to one with a goal off the ensuing face-off, but a crease violation wiped the goal off the scoreboard and the Great Danes came back with their third goal to take a 3-0 advantage.
The Albany lead would grow to 4-0 before senior Andrew Spack put Loyola on the board with a strike from about eight yards out at the six-minute mark of the first quarter. The Great Danes took a 5-1 lead into the second quarter, but the `Hounds came back with a man-up opportunity that eventually led to senior Dan Bauers' 29th goal of the season.
Albany, however, moved the margin from three goals to six with a 3-0 run that was finally snapped by a determined Paul Richards at 3:15 of the second quarter. Richards drove hard to the cage and scored on a one-handed diving shot at the goal. The Great Danes closed the first half with two more goals and a 10-3 advantage.
The second half began the same way the first half did with Albany scoring a pair of quick goals. The Greyhounds, who found themselves down 13-4 with the third quarter clock winding down, rallied to close the third stanza with a 3-0 run sparked by Joe Landry.
Landry was slashed on his way to the cage and drew a flag while scoring Loyola's fifth goal of the day. The Greyhounds capitalized on the extra-man opportunity with senior Greg Leonard, and on the ensuing face-off, Koppens knocked home Loyola's seventh goal to close the gap to 13-7.
The Great Danes closed the door in the fourth quarter with six more goals - including two from Merrick Thomson, who finished with a game-high five goals. Spack, Richards and Koppens each scored two goals for Loyola, while senior face-off specialist Dan Kallaugher ended a brilliant college career with a dominating performance in the x. Kallaugher won 27-of-33 face-offs and picked up 19 groundballs in the loss.
"The season didn't end the way we would have like, but I'm very proud of these seniors," says Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "They got us back to the playoffs and have done a lot for this program. I thank them for everything."
Albany advances to play Cornell in the NCAA Quarterfinals next Saturday at Princeton. Loyola, which ends the season with a 7-6 overall record, has now played in 15 NCAA Tournaments at the Division I level.