Loyola prevails with 4 in 4th

'Hounds' rally gives Toomey first victory

Loyola 9 Penn State 6

March 05, 2006|By MIKE PRESTON | MIKE PRESTON,SUN REPORTER

Soon after the game ended, Loyola coach Charlie Toomey walked toward the locker room. He waved at fans on a roof who chanted his team's name. He high-fived a couple of people and then was hugged by about five more. He then walked into the building, a clenched fist in the air.

Oh, what a relief.

Loyola scored four goals in the fourth quarter, including two in the final three minutes, to pull off a 9-6 upset of No. 16 Penn State yesterday at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. Only a week ago, a second-half rally by the Greyhounds (1-1) fell short in an 11-10 loss to No. 11 Towson.

But this time, the Greyhounds got a goal from midfielder Paul Richards that put them ahead 7-6 with 9:16 left in the game. Junior attackman Patrick Kennedy pushed Loyola's lead to two goals with 2:18 remaining, and Richards finished off the Nittany Lions, scoring from the right of the goal 29 seconds later.

As the game ended, there was a mild celebration by the Greyhounds, who won their first game under Toomey, a first-year head coach who replaced Bill Dirrigl earlier this winter.

"It feels great. The kids dug in for me again today," Toomey said. "We had a great halftime, and the kids came out with a lot of energy against a team from a great program. This win shows that we play with a lot of energy and heart."

Only a week ago, Toomey's heart ached. He went home after the Towson game and viewed game film for hours. Last night, he planned to go to dinner with his wife, Sara, and three daughters - Emma, Sophie and Lyla - to celebrate his first win after spending the previous nine seasons as an assistant at the school.

He knows the Greyhounds are still a few athletes away from being a contender.

"We've just got to keep fighting, scrapping and clawing for everything we get right now," Toomey said.

Loyola could have quit yesterday. The Greyhounds were sloppy in the first half with their passing and slow in finding the open man. Even when they had opportunities to score, they couldn't because Penn State freshman goalie Drew Adams was like a wall for nearly three quarters, finishing with 19 saves overall.

And they weren't bad shots, either.

Some were from point-blank range, such as the one sophomore attackman Danny Bauers took early in the third quarter, and one from Kennedy that hit an inside pipe about five minutes later.

"It's hard when you play against such a great goalie on the other side," Toomey said. "We felt like we could throw back, and if we could do it faster than they recovered, we could step in from 12 yards and get a couple of hard shots.

"We had to shoot the ball smarter than we did. He kept plucking off the stick-side and off-side high shots. Once we started going off hip, the shots started to go for us."

Loyola made one other adjustment after halftime. Penn State had repeatedly burned the Greyhounds on fast breaks. Toomey went to a deliberate offense, slowing the pace to a six-on-six game with more settled situations.

The Nittany Lions (1-1) couldn't keep up with Richards (three goals), Kennedy or midfielder Jordan Rabidou, who had two goals each. Loyola outshot Penn State 20-12 in the second half and outscored the Lions 6-1.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

Penn State 2 3 1 0 - 6

Loyola 2 1 2 4 - 9

Goals: P-Boyle, Witaker, Heim, Eremus, Radecic, Mackrides; L-Richards 3, J. Rabidou 2, Kennedy 2, Bauers, R. Rabidou. Assists: P-Boyle 2, Heim, Whitaker; L-Bauers, Leonard, J. Rabidou, Richards, Spack. Saves: P-Adams 19; L-Fretwell 15. A-2,011.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.