Loyola turns it on, tops Delaware, 19-11

No. 1 Greyhounds rally from five-goal deficit

April 29, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Trailing Delaware by five goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, Loyola's Gewas Schindler stared across the field at fellow senior attackman Tim O'Shea and gave him a nod.

The message: Let's not exit Curley Field this way.

The top-ranked Greyhounds immediately connected after that, scoring eight straight times in 7: 15, including four goals in less than a minute, to surge past the No. 7 Fightin' Blue Hens, 19-11, before 2,823 yesterday.

The Loyola seniors combined for 10 goals and nine assists in the Greyhounds' 21st consecutive regular-season victory and finished out their careers by winning their final 13 contests at Curley.

"There's no way we were going to lose on our last home game," Schindler said. "It came down to the seniors' last game and we had a lot of fuel in our engine. We weren't going to let the season end this way on our home turf. I think that's why we took over the game."

Glaring at a 6-1 deficit, Loyola (10-0) didn't have the ball enough to retaliate, carrying the the ball in its attack end just four times and managing only five shots as a result of sloppy turnovers and few controlled faceoffs. Meanwhile, Delaware (10-2) had already surpassed the average goal total that the Greyhounds' defense allows in a game.

That's when senior Joe Maier adjusted his faceoff technique according to the scouting report and won eight of the next nine draws. Gaining more possessions, the Greyhounds had time to whip the ball around, forcing Delaware's defense into multiple slides to create wide-open looks on goal.

The Greyhounds crept to 6-3 after a Kyle Campbell extra-man goal and a Schindler score with eight seconds left in the first quarter. That spilled over into an overwhelming second quarter, in which Loyola converted its first four shots in 58 seconds.

After a failed Blue Hens clear, Schindler put back a rebound to close the Greyhounds to within 6-4 just 1: 06 into the second quarter.

Maier won the ensuing faceoff. Schindler then took a cross-field feed from Todd Vizcarrondo and short-hopped a shot into the goal.

Maier won the next faceoff, and Mike Battista scored unassisted to tie the game at 6.

Again, Maier won the faceoff. O'Shea bounced a shot that veered right as goalkeeper Ron Jedlicka attempted to seal off the left side.

"I couldn't figure out what was going on," Jedlicka said. "After they got the lead, people started putting their heads down. That can't happen."

The Greyhounds continued to pull away, extending their 7-6 advantage to 12-8 by halftime. Loyola then hammered the Blue Hens in the third quarter as it scored the first five goals and shut out Delaware for nearly 13 minutes.

"We told our guys that they would explode out of the gate and if we could withstand their initial shot, we could come back," Loyola coach Dave Cottle said. "We thought we played more people than them and that for 60 minutes we would have a chance to win."

Loyola, lacrosse's top-ranked defense, limited Delaware's nation-leading offense to five goals in the last 49 1/2 minutes as well as 4 1/2 goals under the Blue Hens' season average.

The Greyhounds also locked in on attackman John Grant, who was shut out on five shots and recorded just one assist.

Grant, who averages seven points a game and had scored a goal in 13 straight since being blanked by Loyola last year, was face-guarded by defenseman Tim O'Hara for most of the game as the Greyhounds double-teamed early.

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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