Greyhounds falter, 'just didn't get it done'

no. 2 syracuse 14 no. 19 loyola 13

March 29, 2009|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,

For most of the game, Loyola had all the answers for No. 2 Syracuse. But in the final minutes, the Greyhounds had no solutions for Orange senior midfielder Dan Hardy.

Hardy scored three of Syracuse's four goals in the final seven minutes of the game, including the game-winner with 1:17 remaining as the Orange edged host Loyola, 14-13, on Saturday before an announced 2,620.

The No. 19 Greyhounds (5-4) had taken a 12-8 lead on a goal by attackman Cooper MacDonnell with 12:01 left in the game, and soon afterward Loyola coach Charley Toomey went to a zone defense.

The switch stymied Syracuse (7-1) for a while, but Orange coach John Desko moved Hardy from midfield to attack, enabling Hardy to quarterback the offense from behind the goal.

At 6 feet 4, 214 pounds, Hardy created a lot of matchup problems for the Greyhounds.

"We have a special offense just for me back there," Hardy said. "What it allows me to do is take some of the pressure off [attackman] Kenny Nims. I think Loyola had a tough time adjusting to it. It's been a long time since I've played attack."

It was hard to tell Saturday. In the fourth quarter, Hardy scored off fast breaks and settled situations. His game-winner came from 15 yards out on the right of the goal, a laser that buzzed past Loyola goalie Alex Peaty.

Loyola was outscored 6-2 in the fourth.

"We put ourselves in position to win. We just didn't get it done," Toomey said.

Before the fourth quarter, Loyola had won 11 of 21 faceoffs. The Greyhounds were content to slow it down, and they caused a lot of problems for Syracuse. MacDonnell finished with five goals, and fellow attackman Shane Koppens had three. Attackman Collin Finnerty had one goal and four assists.

But as the faceoffs started to go in Syracuse's favor in the fourth period, so did the momentum.

"I was concerned," Hardy said. "At one point, we were starting to get down on ourselves, but I guess we like playing it close to the edge. Coach [John Desko] had told us it was going to be a tough game and that Loyola is a very physical team, especially at home."

Toomey said, "I think our team gave a tremendous effort, and we have to learn from this, that if we play like this every time out, we can become a very good team."

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