Orange shows its true colors in 12-6 win over Greyhounds

Syracuse back on track after rough start to year

Loyola streak ends at 4

College Lacrosse

April 10, 2005|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Loyola College was riding a four-game winning streak and some renewed confidence after a rough start. Then, No. 6 Syracuse came to town and knocked the 17th-ranked Greyhounds down with authority.

The day started with a string of Loyola turnovers in a nightmarish first quarter, which helped the Orange open up a hefty, early lead. It ended with Syracuse cruising to a 12-6 victory before 3,113 yesterday at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field, in a contest that was never in doubt.

Remember when the youthful, defending national champions were staggering last month, after blowing that big, early lead to No. 1 Johns Hopkins and tumbling to a 1-3 record? Syracuse is well on the road to recovery. The Orange (5-3) ran its fast break smoothly, worked the ball inside patiently, and smothered the Greyhounds at the offensive end for the most part, while winning its fourth straight.

Loyola (4-4), which was starting to feel pretty good about itself after addressing an 0-3 start, is still searching for consistency on offense and poise overall. The Greyhounds, who start four sophomores and a freshman, were outclassed in certain spots athletically, and they put too much pressure on their solid defense and junior goalkeeper Michael Fretwell.

"We didn't give ourselves a chance," Loyola coach Bill Dirrigl said. "[Syracuse] got on us and made some plays, and we backpedaled a little bit. This was probably the first big game our young kids thought they could win. I know they wanted to be successful. We just turned the ball over too much. We couldn't gather ourselves."

This game essentially was lost in the first half, when Syracuse turned four of Loyola's slew of first-quarter turnovers into goals and jumped out to a 5-1 lead, and senior defenseman Scott Ditzell led a unit that stymied Loyola's attack. The Greyhounds wasted a 12-for-17 showing in the faceoff game in the first three quarters.

Syracuse freshman attackman Mike Leveille (three goals, one assist) scored the game's first three goals in the first nine minutes, sparking the Orange to a 5-0 lead at the end of the quarter. After freshman attackman Shane Koppens finally put the Greyhounds on the board with 12:27 left in the half, Loyola would need an additional 19:41 to score its next goal.

By then, the Orange had gotten two goals from senior midfielder Andrew Boyle in the final 1:23 of the first half to take a 7-1 halftime lead, and had scored twice in the first three minutes of the second half. Sophomore Steve Brooks finished a fast break, after a Loyola turnover, to make it 9-1 with 12:41 remaining in the third quarter.

"We had to work for every goal. We always had to beat two guys or make something tricky happen. When we needed to step, we didn't step up," said Koppens, who, along with sophomore attackman Dan Bauers, had two goals. Neither could dent the Orange in a second quarter, during which Loyola blew several fast-break chances.

The Greyhounds, trying to make their first NCAA tournament since 2001 and in need of quality wins, have a crucial test at No. 4 Georgetown next week. The Orange, which has beaten four teams currently ranked in the Top 20, are rolling again.

"Even though we didn't light up the scoreboard, our offense ran really well," said Syracuse coach John Desko. "Our defense was pretty stingy. We made some timely saves. This wasn't [Loyola's] best game."

Syracuse 5 2 4 1 - 12

Loyola 0 1 2 3 - 6

Goals: S-Leveille 3, Boyle 2, Crockett 2, Park, Niewieroski, Rommel, Brooks, D'arrigo; L-Koppens 2, Bauers 2, Monfett, Spack. Assists: S-Bucktooth 2, Park 2, Boyle, Leveille, Niewieroski; JH-Monfett, Spack. Saves: S-Pfeifer 11; L-Fretwell 10.

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