Fatigue not a factor for Loyola

One day of rest for counference tournament final reminds Greyhounds of two games in four-day span in March

May 03, 2012|By Edward Lee

As if getting past two-time Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament champion Denver in Denver wasn’t tough enough as evidenced by Wednesday night’s 14-13 overtime decision in a semfinal of the league tournament, No. 3 Loyola gets the assignment of tangling with No. 18 Fairfield (12-3) in Friday night’s final.

Both teams will be playing on short rest, but that’s not a concern for the Greyhounds (13-1).

“I haven’t worried about that stuff all year with this team,” coach Charley Toomey said Thursday evening. “We’ve played some of our best lacrosse on short rest. I think back to playing Duke [March 10] after being in Michigan on a Wednesday and just doing a walkthrough on Thursday and really trying to be smart with them, and our kids responded. You heard [sophomore attackman] Justin [Ward] say it the other day that they live for weeks like this, where they won’t have to hear the coaches talk so much. They can just go out and play. And that’s what they did last night. They played the Loyola brand of lacrosse again, and we got up and down the field.”

With No. 2 Notre Dame getting upended by St. John’s, 8-7, in Thursday’s semifinal of the Big East tournament, it would appear that the race for the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament involves No. 1 Massachusetts (14-0), No. 5 Duke (13-4) and Loyola.

Toomey conceded that being in a position to gain that No. 1 seed is a tantalizing carrot for which to strive.

“They really haven’t been worried about rankings and they haven’t really been worried about seeds, but last night we did talk about the importance of playing at Ridley [Athletic Complex in Baltimore],” he said. “I think if we could secure this AQ, we definitely have a resume that would warrant playing at home in the first round. But right now, it’s about playing our best lacrosse in the early part of May, and we’ve got to continue with that.”

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