Loyola dedicates victory to ex-teammate

April 02, 1995|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

It was two hours before the game when coach Dave Cottle broke the news about Jason Foley to his Loyola lacrosse team.

Foley, a three-year starting defenseman who left school last May after his junior year, committed suicide Thursday in his hometown of Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Missing for seven days, Foley apparently pulled his car to the side of the road, inserted a hose into the exhaust pipe and ran it inside and closed the windows.

"Jason's father, Jack, asked us to play for Jason, to dedicate the game to him," Cottle said. "We did. It gave us a lot of juice. We were more focused and played harder."

Locked in a tense struggle with No. 18 Towson State for the first half, No. 7 Loyola scored nine third-quarter goals and went on to crush the Tigers, 16-8, yesterday before 2,116 at Curley Field.

"We were hurting when we heard about Jason," said senior goalie Tim McGeeney. "His father asking us to dedicate the game to him inspired us to step to the next level. We played hard for 60 minutes, and that was the first time we've done that. One reason was that [Cottle] worked us so hard in practice last week. The other was Mr. Foley asking us to play for Jason."

Cottle said the entire Loyola team is expected to attend the funeral Tuesday in Yorktown Heights.

McGeeney, who finished with 24 saves, helped keep Loyola (6-1) in the game in the first half when the offense was a bit shabby. In the second half, the offense awoke, with Brian Duffy serving as the prime playmaker.

"The defense bailed us out in the first half," said Duffy, who had seven assists and two goals to raise his team-leading points total to 32. "We were throwing the ball away. Then the offense just exploded, really clicking in the third quarter."

Although Towson State leads the series, 20-16, Loyola has won seven of the past eight. Until yesterday, it had been a tight rivalry, with the previous 10 games decided by a total of 23 goals. The last time anyone won a game by as many as eight goals in this series was Towson's 22-14 victory in 1982, the year before Cottle arrived at Loyola.

One key to the game, Cottle said, was that Greyhounds didn't surrender easy goals. Another was that Loyola captured 13 of 26 faceoffs, thanks largely to 215-pound freshman Jamie Hanford, after winning only two of 26 in last year's meeting. "We had no nTC idea Jamie would be this good," Cottle said.

Towson is down from No. 6 in the preseason to No. 18, its lowest ranking in this decade, and is now probably headed even lower. The Tigers' four-game losing streak is their longest since 1982. This is their first 1-4 start since 1969.

"The kids are making a lot of mistakes, but they're working hard and I'm not giving up on them," Towson coach Carl Runk said. "I hope they don't give up on themselves."

For Towson, the third quarter was crushing. It was then, Runk said, that the Tigers "lost some heart and couldn't recover."

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