Back home, Loyola taken apart

NCAA hopes turning grim as Georgetown rolls, 15-6

April 25, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Loyola played its first lacrosse game at Curley Field in 36 days yesterday.

The road was never this bad to the Greyhounds.

No. 11 Loyola's wobbly hopes for a berth in the NCAA men's tournament fell over, as No. 5 Georgetown rolled to a 15-6 victory, the Hoyas' first over their Jesuit rival since 1973. It wasn't that close, as Georgetown built leads of 9-1 and 13-2 before a crowd of 3,413.

"We couldn't run by them, and they could run by us," said Bill Dirrigl, Loyola's first-year coach. "This game meant a lot, but when you're playing seven freshmen between the lines against a Georgetown ... once we got down, they won the faceoffs and took it to us."

Georgetown (10-1) was spurred on by Saturday's loss to Massachusetts, which means that Dave Urick's Hoyas will have to make the NCAAs as one of the six at-large choices. Loyola's third loss in its past four games stalled the Greyhounds' bid to extend its tournament streak to 15 years, although it should be noted that most came when the field included 10 at-large bids.

When Dave Cottle left Evergreen in September for Maryland, Dirrigl returned to Loyola after one season as the coach at Rutgers and got the rebuilding Greyhounds to play a little over their heads in March, when they beat Hofstra, Duke and Notre Dame by a combined four goals.

Loyola (8-3) had no margin for error yesterday. Walid Hajj, a sophomore midfielder out of McDonogh, had the best game of his Georgetown career, with three goals and an assist. As is usually the case, the Hoyas were led by midfielder Steve Dusseau, one of the top candidates for national Player of the Year honors, who collected four goals and two assists.

"This was just a test of our character, to see if we could come back from the loss," Dusseau said. "We worked our butts off this week. Everyone played well, and our defense played extremely well."

Loyola senior Mike Sullivan, who had both of his goals in the fourth quarter, saw it differently, and the stats that showed Georgetown with a 56-31 bulge in ground balls backed him up.

"We got embarrassed on our home field," Sullivan said. "Today, we didn't belong on the same field with Georgetown. I still think we're capable of playing well. We surprised some teams early in the season, and now teams are ready for us."

Sullivan is playing with a bad knee, and fellow attackman Chris Summers (foot) has also been unable to practice. Three of the first six midfielders are freshmen, as is a long-stick midfielder, and the youngsters seemed lost in their first home game since March 19.

"We've got a lot of young men playing a lot of minutes who need time to develop," Dirrigl said. "I feel bad for them right now. I'm probably asking too much of them. We have a huge game against Hobart, and we have to get them emotionally back intact for Saturday."

Georgetown 3 8 2 2 - 15

Loyola 1 1 0 4 - 6

Goals: G-Dusseau 4, Hajj 3, Vincenti 2, Walker 2, Goldman, Hammer, Paolisso, Sweeney; L-Sullivan 2, Brundage, Einhorn, Fink, Stromberg. Assists: G-Dusseau 2, Hajj, Goldman, Hammer, Shooshan; L-Halip, Case. Saves: G-Schroeder 10, Owen 1; L-Bloomquist 10, Fretwell 2.

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