Loyola gets upper hand on Towson No. 7 Greyhounds control Tigers in 12-8 victory

March 29, 1998|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN STAFF

The warning signs could have been posted all over the Loyola locker room before yesterday's lacrosse game at Minnegan Stadium.

1. Don't look forward to a showdown with No. 1 Syracuse next week. 2. Don't underestimate a Towson team bent on atonement for a 20-9 pasting last season. 3. Don't try to overdo it with the full roster together for the first time this season.

The No. 7 Greyhounds might have strayed into those traps briefly yesterday, but, for the most part, they kept their minds on business and comfortably beat the Tigers, 12-8, before 2,015 sun splashed fans.

The final margin was deceiving because Loyola surrendered the first and last four goals of the game and, in between, kept in control.

"I thought we did some good things for a while and did what we had to do to win," said Greyhounds coach Dave Cottle. "Any time you beat Towson it's a good win."

The Tigers had problems with their shooting early and-combined with a solid game by Loyola goalie Jim Brown (St. Mary's) fell into a pit they couldn't escape.

Towson shots sailed high and wide, were blocked by the Greyhound defense or stopped by Brown. Meanwhile, the Loyola offense unwound behind Mark Frye and Gewas Schindler, resulting in a 7-1 lead.

"Brownie was excellent in the cage, and they were hitting some pipes, too," said Frye (Severna Park). "I guess we just got a little lackadaisical toward the end."

The victory was the fifth straight for the 'Hounds (6-1) and ninth in the last 12 meetings against Towson (2-3), which still leads the series 22-18.

"No way were we going to look ahead to Syracuse," said Loyola's standout defenseman and faceoff man Jamie Hanford. "Towson is Towson, our neighborhood rival."

And, continuity was never a persistent problem in this game, although Loyola was playing with a full roster at last after some academic suspensions had depleted the ranks.

"We need to get back in sync a little bit," said Cottle. "Tuesday was the last day [of the suspensions]. And the heat kind of sneaked up on us, too and caused some of the mistakes.'

But it might have been a different game had Towson experienced a little luck early.

"This is really a momentum game," said Tigers coach Carl Runk. "If we had been able to get a couple quick ones and been more effective shooting, it would have helped us. We had opportunities but weren't able to do it."

Senior Greg Franzen beat Brown with a blazer from out front at 12:41 of the first period to give the Tigers their only lead. But several other Towson flurries were fruitless, and then Frye and his helpers took over.

Frye scored twice without assists within 3 1/2 minutes and later outran three defenders to score against defenseless Towson freshman John Horrigan to give Loyola a 6-1 cushion before the half.

"We came out of the Syracuse game kind of banged up," said Runk. "So, we've got people switching to positions they're not familiar with. We just couldn't maintain control [of the game]."

Brown finished with 21 saves and Hanford sparked a 16-7 Loyola edge in faceoffs, a key factor. Hanford is an impressive 73-24 on the draw during the last four games.

"It was team defense," said Hanford. "Jim played well and we kept pressure on their feeders. We got a lot of checks on their gloves and forced them to shoot high or wide."

Frye, Schindler and Tim O'Shea all scored three goals for Loyola, whose only defeat was to North Carolina at home.

Pub Date: 3/29/98

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