It was potentially a dangerous game for Loyola's top-ranked lacrosse team.
An opponent of good quality in the middle of a grueling run of four games in nine days. The prospect of looking ahead to the Fleet Lacrosse Invitational at Brown on Saturday, where two tough foes are waiting.
But Loyola, ranked No. 1 in The Baltimore Sun poll, was equal to the assignment yesterday, pressuring C.W. Post from the start for an 18-7 romp at chilly Curley Field. The win gave Loyola a 5-0 record.
"Normally, you'd worry about a letdown," said Greyhounds coach Dave Cottle. "But we didn't play that well last Saturday [in a 17-10 victory over Massachusetts]. So, we built on that."
Midfielder Mark Nugent (Calvert Hall), who played two seasons at C.W. Post, said: "We were kind of disappointed Saturday. I think we expected that to be easier than it was. So, we really prepared for this one."
Loyola had the ball for virtually all the first quarter. The Pioneers, struggling to clear, got off only three shots.
That dominance -- and the Greyhounds' superior depth in the midfield -- showed late as C.W. Post wore down and allowed nine of the final 11 goals.
"Their 10-man zone kept the pressure on us and we were stuck with playing a lot of defense," said Pioneers coach Tom Postel. "Itseemed like we were always playing in stressful situations."
But the Greyhounds couldn't apply a knockout punch early because C.W. Post played stout defense, and their own shooting needed some refinement.
"We just weren't shooting smart shots," said the Greyhounds leading scorer, Jim Blanding, who had three goals to increase his total to 14. "We had to start using the high bouncers more because we weren't putting them away."
The Pioneers (2-3) rallied to within 9-5 at the 12:10 mark of the third period, but basketball player Kevin Anderson started the final charge for Loyola by scoring on a assist from Todd Sloper with nine seconds left in the quarter.
Then, it was almost target practice against the tiring C.W. Post defense and backup goalie Anthony Greco, who replaced Ivan Savory in the middle of the second period.
Loyola finished with a 68-31 advantage in shots.
Being No. 1 (No. 2 in the USILA coaches poll) doesn't seem to faze Cottle at this point in the season.
"To be honest, that only matters to Steve Jones [Loyola sports information director]," said the coach. "I don't pay much attention to polls. You want to be No. 1 at the end of May."