Loyola finds defensive feet, but Princeton steps up in OT

'Hounds' tough 6-5 loss likely ends NCAA chances

College Lacrosse

April 23, 2003|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

There wasn't much riding for the Loyola lacrosse team against No. 3 Princeton yesterday. All that was at stake for the Greyhounds was face, and their season.

No. 19 Loyola's long-shot hopes to gain the NCAA tournament were probably put to rest by a 6-5 overtime loss to the Tigers at Curley Field, but the Greyhounds and goalie Mark Bloomquist had no reason to hang their heads.

A defense that had surrendered 45 goals in a recent three-game losing streak had a stellar performance that was spoiled when Josh White, a midfielder from St. Mary's who saw his brother, Matt, get an assist for Loyola, draw a double team and find Jason Doneger open in the crease.

The sophomore attackman converted for the winning goal 38 seconds into the second extra session, and for one afternoon he stood taller than his big brother on Charles Street. Adam Doneger is an All-America midfielder for top-ranked Johns Hopkins.

"Josh put the ball right on my stick. I just put it in the goal and we were lucky to win," said Doneger, who scored twice in the first quarter, but was quieted until the end by deliberate Loyola. "It's not frustrating when they're sitting on the ball. It's frustrating when we get control and do something stupid."

Loyola (6-5) did not score in a sleepy first half. Princeton (9-2) posted its ninth straight win, but it was groggy after the halftime break, when the Greyhounds used a four-goal run to take a 4-3 lead 11 minutes into the third quarter.

Joey Case's only goal, with 4:45 left in regulation, forced overtime for Loyola, but it was unable to avoid its third home loss, a stain the Greyhounds last endured in 1985.

"I'd rather not play the game of lacrosse like that," Loyola coach Bill Dirrigl said, "but we owed it to the kids, the coaches and the program to give ourselves a chance to continue [in the NCAA tournament]. We needed a big win. Bloomquist is a senior who we counted on. He hadn't played up to his potential, but he prepared and played his heart out."

Bloomquist, out of North County High, made the most of his final game at Curley Field. He had five of his 12 saves in the fourth quarter and used his midsection to block a Sean Hartofolis shot at the end of regulation.

"It's never easy getting your butt kicked," Bloomquist said about keeping his focus after getting pummeled by Towson, Syracuse and Georgetown. "That's the first time we've really put the game plan into effect."

Matt Dupuis, who didn't handle a long stick until he came to Loyola, limited Ryan Boyle to a single point, and that goal came when the Greyhounds sophomore slipped. Boyle, the Princeton leader out of Gilman, came in with 37 assists.

The Tigers' goal total was their lowest in 26 games, since they dropped the 2002 opener at Hopkins, as opponents want to control the pace the way Princeton used to.

"Teams are doing it to us, and now I know why everyone hates us," Tigers coach Bill Tierney said. "Their goalie [Bloomquist] was fabulous, how many one-on-one saves did he make? Loyola deserved a better fate."

Princeton 2 1 1 1 0 1 - 6

Loyola 0 0 4 1 0 0 - 5

Goals: P-Doneger 3, Hartofilis, Boyle, Trevenen; LC-Summers, Goettelmann, Case, Sinisgalli, Fisher. Assists: P-MacColl, White; LC-Georgalas, Summers, White. Saves: P-Gould 8; LC-Bloomquist 12.

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