To top it off, it's Loyola, 14-13 Beach's goal in OT lifts Greyhounds over Syracuse

March 21, 1993|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

On one end of the field, Loyola College senior attackman Kevin Beach was under a mass of fans and teammates who had rushed out to help celebrate one of the most memorable victories in Greyhounds lacrosse history.

On the other end, Syracuse goalkeeper Chris Suran had his face buried in his mother's shoulder. He hugged her ever so tight, not quite yet willing to face the reality of defeat.

Only minutes before, Beach, who had fallen outside the crease, turned in an incredible effort by slapping a shot past defenseman Pat Cougevan and Suran 1 minute and 43 seconds into the four-minute sudden-death overtime period as No. 6. Loyola upset No. 3 Syracuse, 14-13, before a crowd of 3,557 at Curley Field.

It was an amazing ending to an incredible game that had nearly everything: Syracuse (1-2) making one of its famed goal runs in the second period; Loyola (2-1) showing great poise in the third quarter when the game seemed to be slipping away; Loyola coach Dave Cottle devising a zone defense that gave Syracuse trouble early in the game; Orangemen coach Roy Simmons adjusting by sending cutters around the top of the crease.

And, oh, what great goalkeeping.

Suran was big with 25 saves. Loyola goalkeeper Tim McGeeney, playing with a sprained left ankle, was even bigger with 23, including a point blank save of a Dom Finn shot 37 seconds into the overtime period.

"For this team, this is a great win," said Cottle, whose team was 0-5 against the Orangemen. "We've only got six seniors. After the loss to North Carolina last week, if we had lost to Syracuse, and lost big, a lot of self doubt would have set in. But this is great, the whole atmosphere was great. The [Home Team Sports] TV cameras, the crowd, a win over Syracuse. I usually have to go down the street to watch something like this."

But the moment is something the Greyhounds, especially Beach, won't forget for quite a while. The 6-foot-5 and 220-pound Beach, from Ellicott City, turned in perhaps the best game of his career.

He finished with six goals and three assists, and even set up his game-winning goal by stripping defenseman Chad Smith of the ball near midfield.

Beach then took the ball behind the goal and challenged Cougevan on an isolation play outside the crease, backing Cougevan to the goal. Beach had converted on the play twice before in the game, once tying the score at 10-10 with 1:58 left in the third period and then tying the score at 12-12 with 6:29 left in the game.

But this time, as Beach turned to shoot, Cougevan checked the ball loose. Beach fell on his rear end and was squashed by Cougevan, but Beach still managed to swipe at and smack the ball past Suran, who had lost track of the ball when Cougevan jarred it loose.

"It's just like it was two years ago in the fall [scrimmage], where I scored on a similar shot and we beat Syracuse, 15-14," said Beach. "I saw this one go in. The ball just lay there right in front of me. I'm glad it went in I didn't want to have to go to the goal again. I was tired."

Said Suran: "Pat made a great play and he did what needed to be done. I should have went out when Beach came across the crease, but I didn't want to commit too early. It was a great effort on Beach's part."

Beach and the Greyhounds looked good early, taking advantage of a Syracuse team that had practiced only once outdoors in the last 10 days. Loyola had a 5-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, a period in which the Orangemen had a tough time just playing pitch and catch.

"They got the lead and hit us with the zone early," said Syracuse midfielder Roy Colsey. "We haven't practiced against that much this year. It kind of surprised us, and we didn't find the right offense for it until the second quarter."

Syracuse controlled seven of eight faceoffs in the second period. The Orangemen picked and rolled for the first four goals of the quarter, and then tied it at 6-6 on a Colsey goal with 31 seconds left in the half.

The Orangemen seemed to take control of the game when they went ahead 10-8 with 4:04 left in the third period. But Loyola tied the score at 10 by the end of the quarter.

"We've got to learn to take control of a game early," said Simmons. "Mother nature, plus the eastern regional basketball committee, which told us to get lost until March 27, have made us orphans of our game. We love to run and we haven't done that yet. We're not as hungry as we should be, and Loyola certainly was. This is an important milestone for them. Usually by now, I have a feel for this team, but this time I don't. Fortunately, the season is still young."

The Orangemen, though, don't seem worried.

"Us, in a hole," said freshman attackman Jim Morrissey. "This is Syracuse. We're never in a hole. We'll be back."

Syracuse 0 6 4 3 0 -- 13

Loyola 5 1 4 3 1 -- 14

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