No. 4 Loyola upsets No. 1 Gilman, 8-5

April 20, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

Until yesterday, senior Jon Leuchs hadn't had much of a career as a Loyola Don.

After waiting to take over as starting goalie last season, his dream was put on hold early this spring after he sprained his left ankle during a preseason scrimmage in Connecticut.

But as the top-ranked Gilman Greyhounds found out yesterday, Leuchs is back.

He made 18 saves -- many of them thwarting fast breaks -- to anchor a Loyola defense that gave up two goals in the second half as the fourth-ranked and host Dons upset No. 1 Gilman, 8-5, in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.

"I was excited just to play," said Leuchs, who was making his first varsity start.

"I was a little nervous going in, but I calmed down once I made my first save [to stop a Gilman fast break]. . . . It feels really good to come up big in a game like this."

The entire Loyola team came up big, after falling behind 3-1 10 seconds into the second quarter.

Loyola coach Joe McFadden said his team was nervous to start.

"At the 3-1 mark, Gilman defenders started dropping balls and they had trouble clearing the ball," said McFadden. "I think that's when our nervousness went away.

"Everybody's been telling these kids all season that Gilman was too good and that we couldn't beat them. Today they went out and proved everybody wrong."

An aggressive Dons defense stepped to the forefront.

The group, led by Tim O'Hara, Roman Knysh, Karl Zeller, Chris McGlone and long stickman Dave Ford -- who marked Gilman's leading scorer, Mark Cornes, for most of the day -- kept the ball out of Loyola's end for most of the second half.

Loyola (8-1, 4-1) outscored Gilman 7-2 the rest of the way.

Leading the Dons' offense were attackman Keith Euker (three goals, two assists), midfielder Charlie Brown (two goals) and attackman Dave Fields (one, one).

Euker said the intimidation factor played a large role early in the game, when the Greyhounds (6-1, 4-1) got off 14 of the first 20 shots.

"All we had heard about in the papers was how good these guys were, and I think we were a little intimidated by that," said Euker. "But once we realized we could play with those guys [early in the second quarter], we just got more and more confidence."

McFadden said the win was especially sweet considering that nobody considered Loyola's offense much of a threat to start the season.

"This is outrageous," said McFadden. "Everybody said we couldn't play offense. This was an outstanding Gilman team, and we just got them with hard play."

"We didn't play well, and Loyola deserved to win," said Gilman coach John Tucker. "They did a real nice job, and their kids played to win."

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