Inspiration has been hard to find for Loyola since its April 21 Charles Street showdown at Johns Hopkins.
Coach Dave Cottle will be the first to say that getting up for the likes of Delaware, C. W. Post and Adelphi has been difficult. The Greyhounds held off Adelphi for a 13-9 victory at Curley Field yesterday, and they sounded happy to be done with the regular season.
"We've played five games in 17 days," Cottle said. "These last three games, we were just trying to get wins. We're banged up and we look tired, and I really think we're not in good condition. The day before and the day after a game, you can't run a team hard, and we haven't done much conditioning work in the last three weeks."
The Greyhounds (7-4) will have three days off during exam week, and Phase 2 of their season will resume Thursday with some hard practices. Ranked No. 8 by The Baltimore Sun and tied for No. 8 with Massachusetts by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, they'll learn of their NCAA tournament plans on Sunday.
"I don't see how we could be any lower than eighth [in the 12-team draw]," said Cottle, looking to get his team a home game in the first round May 15 or 16.
Yesterday was the final regularly scheduled appearance at Curley Field for six seniors, but they shared the spotlight with goalie Tim McGeeney. Working without injured defenseman Jason Foley, the sophomore out of North County High tied the Loyola record with 27 saves, as Adelphi (6-3) refused to fold after falling behind 5-0 in the first seven minutes.
Adelphi, which in two weeks is expected to play host to the first Division II title game since it beat Loyola in 1981, scored three times in the last two minutes.
By that time, attackman Kevin Beach had four goals, giving him 37 for the season and 106 for his career, two behind No. 4 Chris Colbeck on the Greyhounds' all-time list. The Mount St. Joseph graduate is playing with bruised ribs suffered in a 16-11 loss at Hopkins, and he gave Loyola a scare when he was slow to get up after falling midway through the fourth quarter.
The first midfield of Paul Cantabene, Kevin Anderson and Dan Burnam is the other key contributor in a six-man senior class.
"Beach has 37 goals in 11 games, and that says enough," Cottle said. "Cantabene's had a good year, and we ask so much of him. Anderson is one of those guys that looks tired to me. We need a rest."