Dons start rough, end rolling, 16-9

Cummings' 5 goals lead Loyola past St. Paul's

May 02, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Off what happened in the first couple minutes of its game yesterday against St. Paul's, Loyola should have lost.

With the game less than three minutes old, the No. 4-ranked Dons were already hurting from penalties and down a goal, 2-1, to No. 6 St. Paul's in Brooklandville.

But just as quickly as things went badly for them, the Dons found composure, began asserting defensive muscle, started their attack, and soundly beat the Crusaders, 16-9.

With the road win, Loyola improved to 11-5 and avenged a season-opening 9-4 loss to St. Paul's on March 26.

What the Dons had in the first quarter was too much energy, which resulted in five penalties.

But Loyola goalkeeper Nick Antol was instrumental in turning his team around, helping the Dons wipe out seven of eight man-down situations in the first half.

"I was [ticked] off," said the senior, who made 16 of his 26 total saves during the opening half, which did not escape the notice of his coach, Joe McFadden.

"This thing could easily have been deadlocked, or we could have been down," McFadden said. "Nick's stealing goals some goalies don't get to, and the games are turning on that."

Loyola attackman Brian Miller, who finished with three goals, opened the game's scoring after 67 seconds.

Half-a-minute later, though, the Dons' early trouble began with a double penalty that the Crusaders needed just 12 seconds to exploit, junior attackman Conor Ford scoring from close-in on a feed from the left wing by sophomore attackman Brendan Gill.

The Crusaders captured the ensuing faceoff, and after only 20 more seconds, it was 2-1 St. Paul's.

At that point, though, Loyola stiffened and turned its game around. The Dons went on a 6-1 run, capped by senior midfielder Nick Miceli's goal, to close out the first half with a 7-3 lead.

Loyola extended that to 13-6 after three periods and never let St. Paul's closer than six goals in the second half.

The Dons were led offensively by senior attackmen John Cummings who scored five goals and assisted on two, and T. J. Morton with four assists and a goal.

Mueller's two-goal, two-assist effort led St. Paul's.

"We keep it tight for a while, and then the wheels start to fall off," said St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato, who was upset by his team's inability to score on 10 to 12 man-up situations. "They played us hard, they played us tough, and they wanted this one more."

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