Saints upset top-ranked Loyola

May 14, 1994|By Marc Bouchard | Marc Bouchard,Special to The Sun

It just had to come down to this.

The fierce rivalry in recent years between Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association powers Loyola and St. Mary's produced its most exciting finish yesterday.

Senior midfielder Todd Vizcarrondo's goal 20 seconds into overtime gave the fourth-seeded Saints a 7-6 upset over the top-seeded Dons in a MIAA tournament semifinal at UMBC Stadium.

No. 3-ranked St. Mary's will play No. 2 Gilman, a 6-5 winner over No. 4 Boys' Latin, for the MIAA championship at 7 p.m. Friday at UMBC.

"It's an emotional, heated rivalry," said St. Mary's coach Jim Moorhead, whose Saints defeated No. 1 Loyola, 6-1, in last year's Maryland Scholastic Association title game. "Over the last eight or nine years, Loyola has done the job and beaten us by one goal a number of times.

"But all I know now, is that we've beaten them three out of the past four times."

St. Mary's beat Loyola, 9-6, early this season by scoring six unanswered goals in the fourth quarter. Two weeks ago, a late Saints rally fell short and St. Mary's lost, 5-4, to the Dons.

Early in yesterday's game, it looked like the Dons (12-2) were not going to give the Saints (12-3) a chance for any comebacks.

After spotting St. Mary's the first goal of the game, Loyola rattled off three straight to take a 3-1 lead with 4:36 left in the second quarter.

But the Saints scored two goals in the final 3:22 of the period to force a 3-3 tie at halftime.

St. Mary's continued its run in the second half, as goals by junior midfielder Ryan Beard and junior attackman Dan Collins gave the Saints a 5-3 lead with 5:05 left in the third quarter.

"We had a long stretch where we just didn't catch and throw the ball," said Loyola coach Joe McFadden, whose Dons were outshot 18-7 in the second and third quarters. "We were up 3-1 and were not able to distance ourselves."

But the Dons did make a comeback of their own.

Senior attackman Keith Euker scored on a rebound to bring the Dons within one -- on one of only two shots that Loyola got off in the third period -- at 5-4 with 4:43 left.

Loyola tied the game two minutes into the fourth quarter on an unassisted goal by junior midfielder Scott Diggs.

St. Mary's regained the lead when Loyola senior goalie Jon Leuchs lost the ball attempting a clear, allowing senior attackman Matt Clune to score on an empty net with 6:33 left in the game.

But a failed clear by St. Mary's with four minutes left resulted in Eucker tying the game with 3:52 left.

Neither Loyola's Charlie Brown nor St. Mary's Justin Bowman could control the faceoff to start overtime.

The ball rolled to Loyola's restraining line, where Dons defenseman Tim O'Hara scooped it up and attempted a pass to midfield.

Clune picked the pass off and fed Vizcarrondo in front of the crease for a point-blank shot on Leuchs.

"I was hoping I'd get the ball," said Vizcarrondo. "[After the steal] I worked my way to the slot and Matt got me the ball."

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