Jay McMahon's unassisted goal with 48 seconds remaining capped a stunning Brown comeback and carried the undefeated and No. 8 Bears (5-0) to a 14-13 victory over No. 3 Loyola College at Curley Field yesterday.
The loss dropped Loyola to 4-2 on the season and to 0-4 in its
series with Brown. It was the first regular-season loss at home for the Greyhounds since losing to Towson State in 1987.
Loyola had been through a week of distraction after the arrest of reserve goalie Seth Foster on drug charges, but coach Dave Cottle wouldn't use that as an excuse.
"We had a good team on the ropes and let them off," Cottle said. "We can't use what happened during the past week as a reason for our play. We just have to start playing better and smarter. We take a quarter off in every game and we're not good enough to do that."
Loyola had expanded a 7-6 halftime lead to 11-7 during a third quarter in which it outshot Brown, 19-8. But Bears junior goalie Pat Flynn (Calvert Hall) made eight of his 20 saves in that quarter to keep Brown within striking distance.
"We feel that whenever we're down we're going to come back," said Flynn. "We dropped behind Loyola 3-0 last year and came back to win. Coach [Dom Starsia] told us after the third quarter that this game would come down to ground balls."
Trailing 12-8 in the fourth quarter, Brown rallied for four consecutive goals in less than two minutes, pulling even with the Greyhounds at 12-12 on an unassisted goal by Sam Jackson with 6 minutes, 8 seconds left to play.
Then Loyola's Bill Wilson picked up the next faceoff and fed Kevin Beach (one goal, three assists) for the go-ahead goal just seven seconds after Brown had pulled even.
But that didn't stop Brown. McMahon, who scored four goals, tied the game at 13-13 with just under three minutes to go, and he won it with a bouncer past Loyola goalie Tim Dunnigan in the final minute. Brown outshot the Greyhounds, 14-8, in the final quarter and outscored them, 7-2.
Brown also got big offensive efforts from midfielder Andy Towers (three goals) and attackmen Neil Munro (one goal, three assists) and Darren Lowe (one goal, four assists).
"I kept talking to their pride," Starsia said of his team's fourth-quarter revival. "Loyola played hard in the middle quarters, but Flynn came up with some big stops. It was a big game for him and the comeback was terrific.
"But Loyola's had a hard week, quite frankly. I feel for them a little bit."
Loyola got a final chance to tie the game in the closing seconds but the Brown defense wouldn't allow Gary Miller to get off a shot as time ran out.
"We self-destructed in the fourth quarter," Cottle said. "We made the mistakes that you can't make against a good team."