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Loyola beats Lafayette for Toomey’s 100th win

As Loyola improved to 3-0, Charley Toomey won his 100th game.

As Loyola improved to 3-0, Charley Toomey won his 100th game.

The Hounds just keep on rolling.

Now undefeated after three games, No.6 Loyola pulled through with a victory over Lafayette 12-8 in their Patriot League opener Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex, marking Charley Toomey’s 100th win as the program’s head coach.

Despite showcasing their power over Virginia and Johns Hopkins, Lafayette wasn’t an easy win for the Hounds. Loyola started off sluggish, allowing Lafayette’s leading scorer Eric Joseph to get on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the first quarter. Soon after, Loyola standout freshman attacker Pat Spencer retaliated with two unassisted shots.

Eric Joseph and Connor Dehnert pulled a lead for the Leopards with less than four minutes left in the first quarter, but Loyola’s Jay Drapeau and Ryan Fournier, assisted by Spencer and Zach Herreweyers respectively, followed up with a goal each to bring the Hounds one point above Lafayette.

Toomey expressed his disappointment over his team’s lack of dominance. Loyola had difficulty maintaining possession consistently and could not sit comfortably above Lafayette for the entirety of the game.

“I’ll give Lafayette credit, they didn’t let us run today,” Toomey said. “They did a good job of scoring down at their end and getting the ball back in transition. I wasn’t really happy with the tempo of the game, I think it took us out of our personality, but again that’s credit to Lafayette and what they try to do.”

Romar Dennis started off the second quarter with an unassisted shot from the top for Loyola. Five minutes into the quarter, Herreweyers slipped past the Lafayette defense to net his first one for the Hounds, increasing Loyola’s lead by three points.

Herreweyers, who this past week was named to the Tewaarton watch-list, couldn’t get his shots off early, but ended the game with four goals and one assist.

“It’s been tough the last three games, it’s taken me a little while to get going until almost the second half,” Herreweyers said. “Coming into this year, there’s a couple guys that will lock on me a little bit more and I won’t be able to get my hands free, but as the game went on I got my shots so it all worked out.”

“Any guy who’s on the Tewaarton watch-list and has four goals doesn’t look at the first three quarters, they’re looking at the stats,” Toomey said. “Zach Herreweyers doesn’t care about the Tewaarton list, he cares about the win, and that’s the most important thing.”

Herreweyers echoed his coach’s outlook, focusing on the outcome of the game rather than his personal stats.

“It’s not so much about me getting my touches, there’s other guys that can put the ball in the net,” Herreweyers said. “Our starting ten guys can all put the ball in the net. It’s all about the win at the end of the day, [whether] it’s me putting the ball in the net or Spencer or the midfielders.”

Lafayette’s Joseph and Scott McAvoy opened up the second half with a goal each, tightening Loyola’s lead down to a single point. But Zach Sirico took a bounce shot off a feed from Spencer to grab an extra-man goal.

Herreweyers tip-toed along the crease to slip in an unassisted goal with 5:39 left in the third quarter. With less than four minutes left, Sirico fed the ball Herreweyers from behind the cage to bring Loyola’s lead up to a comfortable 9-5.

At 10:09, after Lafayette’s Jason Sands scored on a man-up opportunity, Romar Dennis scored his own extra-man goal off a feed from Spencer. Joseph forced one in unassisted for the Leopards, but Drapeau followed up with a roll around the crease and his own unassisted goal.

With barely over a minute left in the game, Herreweyers took an easy money shot when Lafayette’s goalie stepped out of the cage to help his defense. 30 seconds later, Kevin Lewis finished it for the Leopards with an unassisted goal, ending the contest at 12-8 with Loyola victorious.

Spencer had an outstanding performance, ending the game with two goals and three assists. Toomey places a lot of his faith in the freshman starter, calling him a “really good decision maker.”

“It feels good,” Spencer said. “I think a lot of the guys trust me and the coaches trust me so it’s a good feeling when you’re playing. I have a great group of teammates and they make it easy for me.”

Toomey’s faith in his first and second midfield lines consistently reflects the team’s scoring demographics. Dennis Romar and Jay Drapeau each ended with two goals, along with a goal each from LSM Ryan Fournier and Zach Sirico, who also had an assist.

“I think that that [midfield] group is a very unselfish group, they’re willing to dodge hard, throw down, and then play together as a unit,” Toomey said. “We’re going to be a better team if we as coaches have the ability to get them out on the field in a 50/50 split, rather than last year being a 70/30 split with that first midfield.”

Even though Saturday’s game was one more victory for the undefeated Greyhounds, Toomey expects a lot of improvement from his team.

“We’ve got to see what Lafayette did to us and hopefully fix a few things to get ourselves ready to play again. We’ve got to learn how to dig in a little better defensively, capitalize on the offensive end, and hopefully get that flow of the game into Loyola’s favor.”

The win marks Loyola’s fourth all-time and consecutive win over Lafayette. This will be a short preparation week for the Hounds, who will host local rival No. 13 Towson this Wednesday at Ridley.

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Taber Lucchese

Staff Writer
A washed up high school athlete studying in the heartland of college lacrosse and living vicariously through her D1 friends. Growing up in a lacrosse-obsessed family in New York's hotbed, Taber received her first stick as a toddler, an all-pink plastic beauty with the Powerpuff Girls printed on the shaft. Soon after, she was criticized for her lack of a pocket by her male teammates, who all no doubt play college lacrosse today. After over a decade of shooting space and tight pockets, Taber picked up field hockey in high school to finally prove that she could be better at a sport than her D1-committed younger sister. Shockingly she was wrong, and now has accepted the fact that club sports are her destiny. Taber is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science with concentrations in Journalism and Italian Studies. Don't worry, she's not sure what she's doing either, but she's confident that she knows more about sports than you do.

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