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Terps top Loyola in Championship rematch, 12-10

By: Pat Terwedo

Goalkeeper Niko Amato held Loyola at bey with 13 saves in the game.

Goalkeeper Niko Amato held Loyola at bey with 13 saves in the game.

While a victory in the regular season will not fully avenge Maryland’s loss in the National Championship game last May the Terrapins got the best of the Greyhounds this time around, topping Loyola in Baltimore, 12-10.

John Haus led the Terps offense with four goals and an assist while Niko Amato recorded 13 saves in the victory.

“We’re happy we won but no one is ever satisfied being a winner in February or March,” Amato said. “Our bar is set for National Championships and ACC Championships.”

Loyola opened the scoring when Mike Sawyer was left alone on the outside and sent a rocket down low through the legs of Amato but Maryland went on a 5-0 run to close out the first quarter. Haus scored Maryland’s first goal less than two minutes after Sawyer put the Greyhounds up a goal but two more unassisted goals by the Terps before two set plays led to a 5-1 lead.

The second quarter opened up with a flurry of scoring. In only 15 seconds three goals were scored, the fourth fastest time for three goals in an NCAA men’s lacrosse game. Loyola’s Kevin Ryan scooped up a rebound and scored a behind the back shot at the 10:15 mark but only five seconds later Charlie Raffa won the faceoff for Maryland, took it straight to the cage, and answered. Only five more seconds later Loyola had a similar situation after Blake Burkhardt won the ensuing faceoff but he dished it to Scott Ratliff, who quickly took it down for the score.

The next seven minutes went scoreless as each team traded shots and turnovers. With 3:21 remaining before the break Haus scored his second goal of the game to put the Terps up 7-3 going into the half.

Loyola opened up the scoring in the second half when Pat Laconi scored in only 27 seconds but Maryland would have nothing of it and responded with three-straight goals to give them a 10-4 lead.

“You have to give them (Maryland) a lot of credit because that’s what good teams do,” Ratliff said about Maryland’s momentum-killing goals. “Every time we had some momentum they snuffed it out.”

After a brief Loyola timeout Greyhound Head Coach Charlie Toomey elected to pull starting goalkeeper Jack Runkel and replace him with freshman Jimmy Joe Grantino and it did seem to work out much better with Loyola outscoring Maryland 6-2 the rest of the game while Grantino stopped three shots. Runkel had a difficult day in goal, allowing 10 goals with only two saves.

But while Loyola played some great lacrosse down the stretch the 10-5 deficit was too insurmountable as they dropped their first game of the season. And Maryland improved to 3-0 on the year.

Loyola scored back-to-back goals in less than a one minute span midway through the third quarter before Haus scored his fourth goals of the game. Near the end of the third quarter Loyola scored back-to-back goals again in less than 10 seconds.

The fourth quarter was mostly a possession game for Maryland but with 3:08 Billy Gribbin hit a goal off an Owen Blye pass but in the final minute Loyola hit two late goals to make the final score closer than the game actually was.

Despite outshooting the Terps 41-36 the Hounds struggled to hit the back of the net in the game.

“I looked at my locker room and said I’m going to put this squarely on me,” Toomey said. “I think I left my short sticks out to dry a little on those alleys and I think we should have popped into a zone a little earlier.”

Without senior Josh Hawkins, who was out for his third-straight game to start the season for a violation of team policy, Maryland was able to take advantage of outside matchups on Loyola’s short stick midfielders. Toomey explained that there is no announced timetable for his return, he has a few things to work out with the University first.

“We didn’t know if he would or wouldn’t play,” said Maryland Head Coach John Tillman. “We obviously can only play against the guys that are there. We didn’t really enough and we just needed to prepare like he was going to play.”

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