Déjà vu — but not really — as Loyola beats Navy, 9-8

Greyhounds rally from five-goal deficit to get best of Midshipmen thanks to late Fanshaw goal

February 19, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

The Loyola men's lacrosse team almost began 2011 the way it ended 2010.

The No. 13 Greyhounds found themselves trailing visiting Navy by five goals late in the second quarter Saturday, which evoked memories of their seven-goal deficit to Cornell in the first round of the NCAA tournament on May 15.

And like that contest, Loyola mounted a comeback to eventually tie the score in the second half.

But unlike the 11-10 loss to the Big Red in triple overtime that knocked the Greyhounds out of the tournament, they didn't relent and grabbed a 9-8 decision in their season opener against the Midshipmen before 3,339 at the Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore.

"Loyola's been here before," Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said afterwards. "We can kind of think back to last year in May when we were down 9-2 against Cornell, and we really put ourselves in a position to win the game, taking it to overtime. We're one of those programs that have been here, and I really felt that our locker room handled that adversity and played a great half and gave us a chance to win the game."

The game-winner came from the stick of sophomore attackman Patrick Fanshaw, who rubbed his defender off of a screen in the high slot, caught a pass from fifth-year senior midfielder Chris Basler, and stuck the shot low past Navy junior goalkeeper R.J. Wickham with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter.

"Everybody was setting screens for each other," said Fanshaw, a Gyndon native and Calvert Hall graduate who finished with two goals. "I just went down the alley, and I guess he [the defender] got lost. Somebody set a good screen for him, and I think it was Basler who fed me. I was able to get the shot off."

Fanshaw, who was questionable prior to the contest with a wrist injury, and the rest of the attack powered the Greyhounds. Sophomore Michael Sawyer scored three goals in his first game with Loyola since 2009, senior D.J. Comer scored twice, and senior Matt Langan dished out three assists.

That unit had a hand in six of the team's seven final goals and was instrumental in Loyola overcoming a 7-2 deficit with 5:53 left in the second quarter.

The third quarter proved to be the critical period for the Greyhounds, who won all five faceoffs, outshot the Midshipmen 16-1, and collected nine more ground balls.

"They dug in," Toomey said of his players. "Every ground ball meant something. If we got a shot off and the ball was loose inside, we had three or four guys go into it on the offensive end, kicking it out, moving again, and getting another quality shot. It's not any one thing. It was an attitude. It was an attitude in the second half that I saw, that I've seen before, and we really feel like this is a win that can take us deep, and it's a win that you're going to be able to draw on down the road."

Prior to the rally, Navy (1-1) had controlled the tempo and score. They scored the game's first four goals and followed goals from Basler and Comer within a 44-second span with a 3-0 run of their own.

"It's a tale of two halves," Navy coach Richie Meade said. "I thought we had everything going our way in the first half, playing the way we wanted to play. And then in the third quarter, it just came down to possession. I thought if we had the ball, we were going to be able to score, and Loyola just had the ball. They won faceoffs. We had a couple of good possessions in the beginning of the third quarter. I thought if we could've extended the lead a little bit in the third quarter, the game would've changed."

Notes: The Greyhounds won their second consecutive season opener after dropping the previous five. … Saturday was first time the Midshipmen surrendered a five-goal lead in a loss since March 4, 2000 when North Carolina overcame a 7-2 deficit in the second quarter to win 11-10 in overtime. … A week after the freshmen class combined for eight goals and four assists to propel Navy to a six-goal victory over the Virginia Military Institute last Saturday, the same group had a quieter outing against Loyola. Attackman Sam Jones recorded a goal and an assist, attackman Tucker Hall assisted on two goals, and attackman Harrison Chaires scored once. … Sophomore midfielder Jay Mann's goal with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter snapped a 28:05 scoreless drought for the Midshipmen, who went almost 15 minutes without taking a shot in the second half.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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