Loyola wins the hard way, 12-11 O'Shea goal, Brown save help stave off Notre Dame

March 16, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Loyola coach Dave Cottle wearily walked out of the locker room and sighed.

He was drained. It had been that sort of a game for the Greyhounds, but the type of game they hadn't won in quite a while.

Behind Tim O'Shea's goal with 2: 45 left and Jimmy Brown's save in the final seconds, No. 11 Loyola escaped with a 12-11 victory over No. 15 Notre Dame yesterday before 2,283 at Curley Field.

Despite turning the ball over three times in the last 2: 17, the Greyhounds (2-1) earned their first one-goal victory in two years. The loss ended an eight-game road winning streak for the Fighting Irish (2-1).

"I'm just happy we won," said Cottle, whose Greyhounds had lost their previous three games decided by a goal. "It wasn't a work of beauty. We knew it was going to be a tough game."

Loyola, which never trailed, built leads of 5-1 in the first half and 11-8 in the second, but Notre Dame rebounded each time to tie.

Down 11-8 with nearly 13 minutes left in the game, the Fighting Irish jumped back within a goal as Chris Dusseau and Jimmy Keenan scored back-to-back in a 57-second span.

Notre Dame tied it at 11 with 4: 37 remaining after a defensive breakdown by Loyola. When a double-team failed to take the ball away, the Greyhounds didn't slide over to a wide-open Burke Hayes, who went in untouched for a close-range shot.

The Fighting Irish, who had held the Greyhounds scoreless for nearly 10 minutes, handed Loyola a perfect scoring opportunity by committing two penalties within a minute of each other. Playing two men up, the Greyhounds quickly scored the game-winner as Matt Shearer found O'Shea for an uncontested 7-yard shot from the left wing with just under three minutes left.

But Loyola almost handed the game right back with three mental mistakes, giving Notre Dame several scoring chances. The most critical error occurred when Greyhounds goalkeeper Jim Brown overthrew David Mahoskey on a clearing attempt with 18 seconds remaining.

Notre Dame worked the ball around the zone defense until Keenan threw a skip pass to Dusseau out in front of the goal with a few seconds left on the clock. Taking one step toward the goal, Dusseau fired a sinking shot to the lower left corner of the net.

With his vision screened by several players in front of the goal, Brown nevertheless deflected the ball with his stick to preserve the win.

"They're playing zone, so you have to take the shot they give you," Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan said.

"We wanted to put the ball in the hands of our best player, and he found the open guy. We just didn't make the shot. I can't be upset how we executed offensively."

What upset Corrigan was how Notre Dame played to open the game.

With the game tied at 1, Loyola went on a 4-0 run as four different Greyhounds scored against a slow-reacting Notre Dame defense.

"It's kind of the story of our team," Irish goalkeeper Alex Cade said. "When we give up goals, we give them up in bunches."

But the Fighting Irish matched the Greyhounds in the last three quarters, outshooting them 30-25 and taking a 25-18 ground-ball advantage to nearly pull off the upset.

Despite Loyola's play down the stretch, Cottle couldn't complain about the outcome.

"We came away rattled from Carolina and we were rattled today," Cottle said. "It was good the game ended on the defensive end. It was good the game ended with a stop."

Pub Date: 3/16/97

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