Down by 3 late, Loyola tops Hofstra

Radonis, Sullivan lead 'Hounds' comeback, 8-7

Lacrosse

March 03, 2002|By Dan Galvin | Dan Galvin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Ryan Radonis never grew frustrated with his teammates' seeming disdain for the ball.

Loyola's junior midfielder helped the Greyhounds win an incredible 83 percent of the faceoffs, yet time and again his hard work went for naught, the Greyhounds giving it away.

But his patience paid off as Loyola rallied in the final five minutes for an 8-7 win over host Hofstra yesterday before 1,705.

The win extended Loyola's dominance over the Pride to eight consecutive games, a streak dating to 1994, the year coach Bill Dirrigl started his first stint as an assistant.

The Dirrigl head-coaching era is off to a 2-0 start, with a home game against Duke on Saturday. Both wins have been of the come-from-behind variety, the second one with a lot more suspense and against stiffer competition.

Stephen Brundage took a feed from Michael Sullivan 7 yards from the crease and fired the game-winner past Hofstra goalie Jack Alaimo with 44 seconds remaining, Loyola's first lead.

"We weren't running our offense to a T, but we finally got it going, and I stuck one in," said Brundage, who finished with two goals and three assists. "I think in a way [Hofstra] underestimated us, and we snuck up on them at the end."

Hofstra (1-1) might have heard Loyola creeping up, but couldn't get out of its own way. The Pride led 7-4 with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter when Loyola freshman attackman Chris Einhorn fed Chris Summers to cut the lead to 7-5.

Then, Joey Case found Sullivan during an extra-man situation with 3:52 left, trimming the lead to one. With 2:48 left, Brundage scooped up a ground ball at the top of the box and quickly fed an open Sullivan, who scored his fourth and final goal to tie it at 7.

After Loyola managed to kill off a 30-second penalty, Sullivan retrieved possession to set up Brundage's winning goal.

But none of it would have been possible without Radonis winning 15 of 18 faceoffs, including seven of eight in the second half, when Loyola needed them most.

"Winning faceoffs is such a huge part of my game, and it helped us get the win," Radonis said. "It will be a factor for the remainder of the season with such a young team."

But it didn't matter what Radonis did in the first half, because as good as Loyola was late in the game, it was terrible to start, spotting Hofstra a 4-0 lead.

Brundage put Loyola on the board when he dodged from behind the crease and beat Alaimo (18 saves) to make it 4-1. Kevin Roy and Sullivan added goals in the first five minutes of the second quarter to cut the lead to 4-3, but Hofstra's Steve McTigue beat Mark Bloomquist (15 saves) to give the Pride a two-goal cushion at the half.

But the second half belonged to Loyola.

"They won the faceoffs, the ground balls. You've got to give them credit for doing what they did," Hofstra coach John Danowski said.

Loyola 1 2 1 4 -- 8

Hofstra 4 1 2 0 -- 7

Goals: L--Sullivan 4, Brundage 2, Roy, Summers; H--Rao 2, Hananel 2, Kostolansky, Dooley, McTigue. Assists: L--Brundage 3, Sullivan 2, Case, Einhorn; H--Kessler 2. Saves: L--Bloomquist 14; H--Alaimo 18.

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