On rebound, Loyola gets bounced 13-6 loss to Orange follows 2-week layoff

April 06, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Dave Cottle said that Loyola's 13-6 loss to Syracuse yesterday was "not about what happened two weeks ago," and he might have been right.

It was probably more about what happened to the Orangemen a week earlier.

The inaugural college lacrosse game at Memorial Stadium was also the Greyhounds' first since the death of freshman attackman Gerry Case on March 22. Loyola handled Brown that day, then postponed its next game, so as not to hurry its mourning.

No. 7 Syracuse, meanwhile, came in off an uncharacteristic 20-12 humbling at the hands of that same Brown team.

"We didn't play our best lacrosse last week," Orange coach Roy Simmons said in a bit of an understatement. "You don't want to compare scores, but Loyola led Brown 11-1 at the half. That frightened me. Of course, you can't use a stat like that."

Well, did Simmons use it in preparing Syracuse for Loyola?

"Oh yeah," he said.

In a season-opening win over Virginia, the Orangemen (5-2) allowed 21 goals. The previous week's fireworks by Brown put goalie Jason Gebhardt and an inexperienced defense even further into a funk, but they did little wrong yesterday, as No. 9 Loyola (4-2) required an extra man on half of its goals.

"I took the Brown game very personally," said Gebhardt, who had nine saves. "It was the second time this season someone had scored 20 on us, and I had never given up that many in my life. I took that as a personal insult. Granted, Brown played a great game against us, but we were really prepared for Loyola."

Syracuse junior Casey Powell had four assists and two goals, despite finding pipe instead of an open net after stealing a Loyola clear in the third quarter. His younger brother Ryan led the Orange with three goals, and sophomore Mark Frye had three for Loyola, giving him a team-high 13 this season.

The Greyhounds scrapped to get a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, but the Orangemen reeled off four unanswered goals in the second. Loyola had several chances to get within three goals early in the fourth, but the Greyhounds kept finding Gebhardt's stick.

"We had to win the game on Syracuse's defensive half," said Cottle, who admitted concern over his attack's cohesion. "We hadn't played offense well all week in practice. Every day it got a little better, but it's not where it was before we left off."

Both artificial-turf teams raved about the surface at Memorial Stadium, but it took the coaches to appreciate the events that unfolded there decades ago. Cottle cracked that for once, Loyola fans "didn't have to worry about parking," then added, "being a kid from Baltimore, there's a lot of history here."

Simmons conducted a trivia quiz during Friday's walk-through. Think Jim Brown was the only NFL Hall of Famer who played lacrosse at Syracuse? Before John Mackey got his name on the Memorial Stadium Ring of Honor, he did, too.

"I gave John [Mackey] his first stick," Simmons said. "I was his freshman coach, then I handed him over to my father. A lot of football players helped lacrosse at Syracuse. Joe Ehrmann and Tom Gilburg played for the Colts, but they played lacrosse, too."

Loyola needed time to adjust to the setting, and to playing without Case, who died of meningococcemia three days after scoring the first goal of his college career. He was remembered in a moment of silence before the game.

"The atmosphere took some of the younger guys by surprise, and the two-week layoff was very difficult," senior midfielder David Mahoskey said. "Emotionally, it was a different kind of game. The moment of silence brought back a lot of memories, and the emotions came from a different place."

The announced crowd of 2,543 included the Case family, which was returning a favor.

On Friday night, Gerry and Effie Case figured that two Greyhounds would watch their other son, Joey, play for Broadneck High against Chesapeake. They were touched when Jason Born and Tim Goettleman, classmates at Loyola, arrived with nearly enough teammates to start a game.

They went to dinner. They have talked about Gerry, and moving on.

"This is probably the hardest step," Effie Case said of Loyola's first game without her son.

Pub Date: 4/06/97

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