BALTIMORE – Zack Sirico and Pat Spencer each scored three goals Saturday as two of 12 Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse players who tallied scores in an 18-7 Patriot League win for the Greyhounds over the visiting U.S. Naval Academy at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Spencer added four assists for a game-high seven points, while Sirico, Romar Dennis and Alex McGovern both had four points. Dennis scored twice and had two assists, while Alex McGovern scored once and had three assists. Mike Perkins added a career-best two goals, and Jordan Germershausen and P.J. Brown each tallied two assists.
Defensively, the Greyhounds (4-3 overall, 3-0 Patriot League) held the Midshipmen (2-6, 1-3) to 26 shots while forcing 11 turnovers.
Loyola used a trio of 3-0 runs in the game’s first 31 minutes that helped it build a 10-3 lead when Spencer scored twice in the third quarter’s first 60 seconds. Navy scored three of the game’s next four goals to get within five, 11-6 on a Drew Smiley goal at 6:32 in the third, but Loyola reeled off six-straight to put the game out of reach.
The Greyhounds continued to be highly successful when sharing the ball, recording 15 assists on their 18 goals. Through seven games this year, 72.4 percent of Loyola’s 98 goals have come off assists.
Loyola got on the board first through its transition play as Jacob Stover made a save on the defensive end, and after the break McGovern fed Zac Davliakos. The long-stick midfielder turned and shot inside the far post, staking the Greyhounds to a lead 3:15 into the action.
Navy, however, got even 1:14 later as Ryan Wade dodged topside and dove to score a right-handed shot, knotting the game at 1-1.
It was again transition action for Loyola that led to its next goal, as Brian Begley took a Spencer feed and converted an 18-yard shot for a goal at 9:04 that would put the Greyhounds ahead for the remainder of the game.
Sirico scored unassisted at 5:37, and Brian Sherlock tallied a goal off a Dennis feed at 4:59, stretching the advantage to 4-2.
Dave Little scored the first of his two for Navy with 1:48 left in the frame to pull within two, but Perkins caught a Spencer pass, ran into the box and fired a hard high-to-low shot from 17 yards out with 46.8 left on the clock, and Loyola went into the second quarter ahead by three.
As he did throughout the game, Graham Savio kept the Greyhounds ahead in the possession battle, winning the opening faceoff of the second quarter. Thirty-three ticks into the stanza, Jay Drapeau finished a long run behind to get topside on the left for a Loyola goal that made the spread 6-2.
Savio exited the game after going 15-of-22 at the ‘X,’ picking up six ground balls in the process. He did so against a Navy team that entered the game winning 64.4 percent of faceoffs.
A Stover save just over two minutes later created another transition opportunity for the Greyhounds. Davliakos and Begley cleared the ball for Loyola and Begley sent it to McGovern on the low lefty side. He fed Spencer crashing the crease, and he flipped a behind-the-back shot into the opposite corner for his first goal of the game in fancy fashion at 12:14.
Colin Flounlacker then got one back for the Midshipmen at 8:33 to make it 7-3 Loyola, and the teams were scoreless for the next seven-plus minutes. The Greyhounds used a 6-on-4 possession to tally the first half’s last goal, a Sirico score off a Spencer pass from behind.
The Greyhounds took an 8-3 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Spencer scored twice in the second half’s first minute. Savio won the opening faceoff to himself, passed to McGovern, and Spencer finished his pass for a goal seven ticks into the third quarter. Drapeau then initiated with a hard run down the alley and passed to Spencer on the left side of the crease for a goal 60 seconds into the third.
Navy rebounded with its first back-to-back goals of the game as Smiley and Little scored 41 seconds apart; Little’s tally brought the Midshipmen back within five, 10-5, but Romar Dennis zipped a high sidearm shot for a goal at 7:47, and the Greyhounds were back up six.
Smiley tallied his second of the game, and the quarter, unassisted 1:15 later, but that was the last goal for the Midshipmen for nearly a quarter.
Six different Loyola players – Sirico, Duffy, Perkins, McGovern, Dennis and Jared Mintzlaff – scored goals during a 6-0 run that saw two extra-man goals and five scores that came off assists.
Following a Ray Wardell goal for Navy at 7:06, the officials put the timer on Loyola, but Nick Cunningham dropped his hands and shot off-hip to score with 3:01 left in the game.
Thanks in large part to its success on faceoffs, Loyola had a 33-30 advantage in ground balls, led by Savio’s six. Davliakos added five, one off his career-high, and Duffy had three. Ryan Fournier caused two of the seven turnovers Loyola was credited with, and Loyola also had its fewest giveaways of the season, eight.
Wade led Navy with a goal and two assists, while Smiley and Little each scored twice.
Stover made six saves for the Greyhounds, and Grant Limone tallied a pair in the game’s final nine minutes.
Loyola is back in action on Wednesday, March 22, when it steps out of Patriot League play to host Georgetown University at 3 p.m. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network, and it is the first game of a Loyola doubleheader; the Greyhounds women also host the Hoyas at 7 p.m.