Loyola's late burst fends off Towson

4 goals in 1: 37 power No. 1 'Hounds, 16-14

April 04, 1999|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Loyola Greyhounds never considered the consequences. Not for a second.

Even when faced with a five-goal deficit midway through the third period, Loyola's seniors refused to consider the possibility of their first loss of the season or an end to the Greyhounds' hold on the nation's top ranking.

"We knew we could win this game," said Loyola goalkeeper Jim Brown. "We knew we had the ability. We came out in the second half and refused to lose."

With an offensive explosion in the fourth quarter in which the Greyhounds scored four times in 1: 37, No. 1 Loyola turned back No. 12 Towson, 16-14, yesterday at Curley Field.

The Greyhounds (6-0) had faced little adversity this season, but coach Dave Cottle also found something else among his team's many strengths: resilience.

Said Cottle: "Defensively we've dominated games before this one and this was a game our offense had to win."

Towson coach Tony Seaman doesn't much care for moral victories, but the Tigers (3-2) pushed Loyola to the limit yesterday, which could go a long way as Towson next plays America East foes Hofstra and Delaware.

"It's tough. Losing is losing," Seaman said. "The good thing is we know we're not going to play anyone better than this the rest of the season."

Trailing 13-10 entering the final period, the Greyhounds stormed back behind their seniors, particularly senior Todd Vizcarrondo and Mark Frye. Vizcarrondo scored 1: 26 into the quarter to bring Loyola within 13-12 and Frye converted twice in just over a minute to give the Greyhounds their first lead (14-13) since the 11th minute of the second period.

But Towson wasn't done. Mike Haertel's unassisted goal tied the game at 14 before Vizcarrondo, who had a game-high four goals, and Gewas Schindler finished the Tigers with goals in the final 3: 45.

"They won a lot of faceoffs and they're a team you can't give a lot of possessions to," Seaman said of Loyola. "We had a couple of mistakes in the fourth quarter that let them get a couple of easy goals."

Yet Loyola's offense wasn't the only reason it won. The Greyhounds' defense reverted to its usual disruptive form over the last 11 minutes and Brown turned away three critical shots.

"Once the offense got us back into the game, defensively, it was up to us to win this game," Brown said.

For much of three quarters, Towson had Loyola rattled.

From the start, the Tigers were active on offense and their tough checking defense had Loyola out of its rhythm and forcing shots. And the Tigers discovered the scoring power from their more unheralded players, as Dan Ross and Steve Wohltmann each had two goals to help Towson to a 9-6 halftime lead.

Towson's offensive surge didn't let up in the third quarter, as the Tigers ran off three consecutive goals, the last by Haertel off a nice pass from Ross, and Loyola stared at its largest deficit of the season, 12-7.

"When we got down five goals it didn't look good," Cottle said. "I wasn't sure how we were going to win but I just had a feeling that we were going to find a way to put us in position to win."

Pub Date: 4/03/99

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