Charley Toomey wants to end comparisons between current Loyola squad and last year's team

Greyhounds coach emphasizes and re-emphasizes that 2013 team is still finding its identity and searching for answers

March 12, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

In the aftermath of last Friday night’s 9-8 loss to a then-unranked Duke team, Loyola invited scrutiny about whether it had the talent and will to match last year’s squad that captured the university’s first Division I national title. The constant comparisons to last season, however, are not welcomed by coach Charley Toomey.

“I’m only going to talk about this team. We’ve got to stop comparing this team to last year,” Toomey said Tuesday morning. “… Right now, I really believe there’s enough talent and enough leadership in our locker room that we just need to take baby steps every day and continue to gel and get ready for a March-April-May run. It starts this weekend with Air Force, which is a very talented team. But hopefully, we’re a better team each week.”

In addition to graduating a pair of starters in attackman Eric Lusby and defenseman Dylan Grimm and the team’s primary faceoff specialist in J.P. Dalton, the Greyhounds bid farewell to offensive coordinator Dan Chemotti, who left to become the head coach at Richmond. Those absences are reasons enough to drop the comparisons, Toomey said.

“I’ve said that all year. I think if anybody is listening to Charley Toomey, I’ve said that we’re a different team,” he said. “We’re not last year’s team. What people have to remember is that team was one pipe away from being the best team in the history of college lacrosse at 19-0 with the most wins and with a 4½-goal margin. This team is still coming together. This team has new leaders. This team has people in every position that are new to the attack, the midfield, the D. So we are different, and what I’ve learned is that chemistry is as significant or even more significant than talent, and we’re still finding that chemistry.”

Loyola (4-2) fell from No. 4 to No. 14 in The Sun’s rankings after the loss to the Blue Devils, and Toomey didn’t mince words about the team’s effort in Durham, N.C.

“Last week, we went down to Duke, and quite honestly, we laid an egg,” he said. “We didn’t play well. So we’ve challenged our team, and I think that true to character, they’re a team that just wants to go back on the field and get better. We’re all searching for the right combination of guys out there. We’re searching for answers a little bit. We had one of our best practices of the year yesterday. Just talking to our leadership in the locker room, if we had played like this on Friday night, the outcome may or may not have been different, but we would’ve liked our effort a little bit more.”

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