Lax Loyola falls to No. 12 North Carolina, 12-6 'Embarrassing effort' ends 6-game home win streak FTC

March 08, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Try this combination: A North Carolina team seeking respect comes to town to play disheveled and lackadaisical Loyola.

Get the ugly picture? The Greyhounds sure did.

Billy Walsh and Matt Crofton each scored three goals as No. 12 North Carolina routed No. 5 Loyola, 12-6, yesterday at Curley Field. It ended the Greyhounds' six-game winning streak at home.

"It was the softest Loyola effort I've seen in five years," Loyola coach Dave Cottle said. "I thought it was an embarrassing effort that our seniors will have a long time getting rid of. I have never seen us so soft on defense and on ground balls in 15 years. When things go wrong, you expect your seniors to pick it up. Today, ours hid."

Loyola (1-1) seemed content on trying to score from the perimeter, taking 12- to 15-yard shots with little motion on offense. That made the game relatively easy for North Carolina goalkeeper Jarron Harkness, who recorded 17 saves.

But when the Tar Heels (2-1) had control, the players moved the ball and penetrated for close-range shots. When North Carolina wasn't making its opportunities, Loyola handed it some more with nine extra-man chances.

North Carolina continually reversed the ball to the opposite side to find a wide-open and point-blank shot on the back side of the crease. The Tar Heels scooped up loose balls off the faceoff, translating them into a quick-passing, fast-break attack.

And it was a lopsided game from the start, as North Carolina opened with a 4-0 run and ended the first half by scoring four goals in 5 1/2 minutes -- the last three on extra man -- to take a 9-3 lead. In the second quarter alone, the Tar Heels had five goals and the Greyhounds had only five shots.

"They're out to prove they're worthy of the name on their shirts," North Carolina coach Dave Klarmann said. "I think our guys have been accused of not being very good because of our failure to win a couple of one-goal games against pretty darn good competition."

However, the game wasn't a surprise. Cottle said he saw this uninspired play during practice all this week.

The Greyhounds appeared stubborn offensively, as they solely focused their attack on isolated moves.

No passing. No looking for the open man. That's why only one Loyola player, Mike Battista, had any assists.

But there were times when the Greyhounds had trouble just catching the ball.

On a fast break off the faceoff, Joe Maier threw the ball over the head of Tim O'Shea and out of bounds. After Loyola had cut the lead to 9-5 in the third, Gewas Schindler repeated the same miscue, tossing the ball clear out of bounds.

"Right now, we're having a continuity problem," Cottle said. "We had no flow. I thought offensively, we never gave ourselves a chance."

Some could blame the continuity problems on not having Mark Frye, a second-team All-America midfielder, and starting attackman Tim Goettleman, who were serving their first of a three-game suspension for an academic violation. Then there was Schindler, who was never a factor in his first game of the season after missing the opener for a similar suspension.

But few could argue that factored heavily into a six-goal defeat, Loyola's worst loss at home in three years.

"Out of all the years I've been here, the basis of our team has always been our heart," Loyola junior goalkeeper Jim Brown said. "I never thought we would actually lay down and quit like we did."

Pub Date: 3/08/98

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