Loyola gathers itself, rallies to shock No. 1 Syracuse, 14-13

'Hounds' 4 late goals tie game

Sullivan's shot in OT finishes it

April 08, 2001|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

With seven minutes left against Syracuse yesterday, Loyola College's lacrosse stock looked as promising as a diving dot-com's.

The Greyhounds were down four goals to the top-ranked Orangemen, who are also the defending NCAA champions.

Loyola's previous game was a second-half collapse against Towson that defenseman John Brasko called "embarrassing," so Dave Cottle's club was headed to consecutive losses at Curley Field for the first time since 1985, when the coach was in his third season at Evergreen and his current freshmen were toddlers.

Somehow, a gang that couldn't shoot straight - or stop anyone - stepped up and stunned Syracuse, as No. 10 Loyola scored the last four goals in regulation and midfielder Michael Sullivan whipped in the game-winner 1:29 into overtime for an improbable, 14-13 win over the Orangemen.

Sullivan's fifth goal bolstered the Greyhounds' bid for their 14th straight NCAA appearance.

"After last week, our thinking was that this was a playoff game for us," Sullivan said. "We needed it to make the playoffs, but it looked pretty weak there for a while."

Loyola (5-2) led for much of the first half, but Syracuse (5-2) scored the first three goals of the second and another three-goal run had the Orangemen in command midway through the fourth. When little Liam Banks fed freshman Michael Powell with 8:06 left, Syracuse basked in a 13-9 lead.

The Greyhounds stuck to their game plan, which called for patience at the offensive end and better cohesion on defense. The Orangemen got hasty, made some stupid penalties and paid for them. Gavin Prout set up Sullivan with 6:30 left, and Sullivan returned the favor 35 seconds later, after Syracuse goalie Rob Mulligan was sent off for slashing.

Prout got another extra-man goal with 50 seconds left to draw Loyola within 13-12. Syracuse had a 22-7 bulge in faceoffs, but sophomore Ryan Radonis controlled the draw for the Greyhounds. Freshman Stephen Brundage got the ball out top to Bobby Horsey, whose bouncer forced the overtime.

Loyola was called for a hold with nine seconds left in regulation, so Syracuse started the extra session with possession. Goalie Jason Born stopped Michael Springer, then Brasko stripped Powell, who had two goals and four assists.

Working on the right side, Sullivan's shot caromed off the left pipe and the back of Mulligan's left thigh as an emotional week ended with a giddy celebration.

"After the Towson game, people were beating up our players and beating up our coaches," Cottle said. "It was a different team in the locker room the last week. A lot of people looked at it as a bad situation. I looked at it as an opportunity to beat Syracuse, which would give us a chance to get in the playoffs."

With his team's shooting percentage at a dismal .256 and his defense in disarray after Towson had burned it for 13 second-half goals, Cottle called on his program's tradition.

Bryan Kroneberger, an ace midfielder from a decade ago, talked to the Greyhounds on Wednesday. Mike Day, a defenseman who graduated just three years ago, spoke on Friday.

Horsey, who had been so overcome by the significance of the game that he broke into tears yesterday morning, gave the pregame speech. Then he and his fellow captains each dedicated the game to someone, and wrote that someone's name on their helmet.

"I wrote down the number of each senior," Born said. "No. 4 [Horsey], No. 6 [Prout], all the way down the line. I actually walked around the locker room to make sure I didn't miss anyone."

A fifth-year senior out of Mt. St. Joseph who lost his starting job after wobbling down the stretch last May, Born regained it last month and squelched Syracuse with nine big saves.

Prout had four goals and three assists. Sullivan, a junior from Abington, Pa., had five and two, as suddenly sharp-eyed Loyola connected on nearly half of its 29 shots.

Loyola's first overtime game since 1995 continued a wacky 2001 season as the No. 1 team lost for the fourth straight week.

That stretch began with Syracuse losing to Johns Hopkins. A week later, Princeton fell to the Orangemen. Notre Dame flashed to the top, but got hammered by Hofstra, and now Syracuse will fall back again after it was unable to put together a complete 60 minutes.

"It was such an up-and-down game," said Mulligan, the Syracuse goalie. "Loyola slowed it down and took us out of our rhythm. We're a young team, and we haven't learned how to win an ugly game. We're obviously better than that."

Syracuse 3 2 5 3 0 - 13 Loyola 3 3 2 5 1 - 14

Goals: S-Springer 3, Powell 2, Coffman 2, Wright 2, Banks, Hogan, Nee, Solliday; L-Sullivan 5, Prout 4, Summers 2, Brundage, Horsey, Stromberg. Assists: S-Powell 4, Banks 3, Coffman, Wright, Solliday, Hardy; L-Prout 3, Sullivan 2, Summers 2, Brundage 2, Goettelmann 2, Horsey. Saves: S-Mulligan 11; L-Born 9.

Comeback

How Loyola erased a 13-9 deficit in the last 6:30 of regulation to upset No. 1 Syracuse in overtime:

Scorer Time Score

Sullivan 6:30 Syracuse 13-10

Prout 5:55 Syracuse 13-11

Prout 0:50 Syracuse 13-12

Horsey 0:27 Tied 13-13

Sullivan *2:31 Loyola 14-13

*-Overtime

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