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Ward nets seven in Loyola’s 21-9 win over UMBC

Justin Ward scored seven goals and had three assists as the Loyola Greyhounds rolled over local rival UMBC, 21-9.

Justin Ward scored seven goals and had three assists as the Loyola Greyhounds rolled over local rival UMBC, 21-9.

Not heavy rain nor winds up to 40-mph could stop Loyola Greyhound attackman Justin Ward as the defending national champions blew out local rival UMBC, 21-9. In the game Ward scored seven goals, matching a mark set by Tim Goettelmann in a NCAA First Round game against Georgetown on May 15, 200. Ward add three assists as well while Nikko Pontrello scored three goals with three assists and Mike Sawyer had a hat trick with an assists to go with it.

“We really focused on simplifying the offense tonight,” Ward said. “Our middies did a great job of dodging hard all night long. We were drawing slides, we were able to get the ball to the backside, see guys in the middle and then in transition our defense was making stops and getting the ball on the ground. That’s when our attack thrives.”

For more than half the game Loyola, which improved to 3-1 on the season with the victory, and UMBC looked to be in an epic that would go down to the wire but in the third quarter the Greyhounds started a 10-goal run that led to there dominant victory.

After Matt Gregoire and Nate Lewnes scored goals in a 40-second span at the very end of the first quarter UMBC led the Loyola 4-3 after the first 15 minute stanza. Loyola, though, started hitting there offense groove in the second quarter. Ward, who scored the first goal of the first quarter, opened the second quarter with a goal only 55 seconds in to even the score but UMBC’s Conor Finch hit an unassisted goal after some dodges to put the Retrievers back up by one scored.

Thirty five seconds later, though, Ward made some dodges himself and netted an unassisted goal that sparked a three-goal run to give the Greyhounds a 7-5 lead that they would never give up.

Pat Young made it a one goal game with 4:12 remaining before the half but Layne put Loyola back up by two goals, 8-6, going into the locker room.

Ward struck again coming out of a break, hitting the opening goal of the third quarter with an unassisted attempted. Dave Brown got UMBC back within two barely one minute later but then the Greyhounds separated.

In 90 seconds Loyola netted three goals, first from Sean O’Sullivan before Pontrello and Sawyer each netted goals. That was only the beginning of it, though. Loyola netted six more goals, including three by Ward. With 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter Layne scored a man-down goal to make it a 10-goal game and 30 seconds into the fourth quarter Harry Kutner scored his first goal of the year in a man-up situation before Pontrello scored an even goal to give the Greyhounds a 19-7 advantage.

UMBC finally ended there 16 minute scoring drought when Young scored his second goal of the game at the 11:06 mark but the offense just was not there for the Retrievers in the fourth quarter like it was for the Greyhounds in the third quarter. Sawyer and Scott Ratliff each scored a goal in the fourth quarter before UMBC’s Dave Campbell closed out the game with a final goal with 1:49 remaining.

Loyola’s 21 goals on 46 shots were the most by the team since defeating Villanova 21-7 on April 26, 2000 and it was helped by a dominant performance at the face-off X by Brendan Donovan, who won 19-of-31 attempts. Kyle Gangemi won another one as the Greyhounds beat UMBC 20-13 at the X. They also dominated UMBC 49-30 on ground balls.

Gregoire and Young each scored two goals for the Retrievers as they dropped to 1-2 on the season.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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