Cooper MacDonnell's third goal of the game trimmed Massachusetts' lead to two with 10:25 remaining, but No. 16 Loyola was held scoreless the rest of the way as the visiting Minutemen defeated the Greyhounds, 8-6, yesterday at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.
After a goal by attackman Jim Connolly put UMass (4-3, 1-0 Eastern College Athletic Conference) ahead 8-4 with 2:49 left in the third quarter, Loyola made its run. MacDonnell scored two unassisted goals, and the Greyhounds climbed within 8-6 in the fourth.
But the Greyhounds (5-3, 2-1) got no closer. A shot by Collin Finnerty with two minutes left hit the post, and a point-blank attempt by midfielder Jake Willcox was saved by Minutemen goalie Doc Schneider with 1:15 remaining.
Schneider, a preseason first-team All-American, nearly single-handedly stopped Loyola's rally, making five of his season-high 17 saves in the final period.
"I thought Doc Schneider was the best player on the field today," Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. "More than that, [UMass] played with a better sense of urgency.
"It's a loss that can hurt us if we let it. But we've got to get stuff figured out because we've got a very good Syracuse team coming to town next weekend," said Toomey, who was handed his first conference defeat at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. He is 11-1 against ECAC opponents at home.